Olee Fowler of Eater reports a restaurant in New York City is employing Apple Watches to increase communication between staff; tablets on tables are replacing menus and servers at restaurants across the country; and apps are aiming to smooth out everything from ordering to payment to food delivery. Serving actual food on an actual iPad may be the next big thing in dining rooms across the globe.
Restaurants in the United Kingdom have been using iPads as plates since 2015, according to the Daily Mail. Arzak, the San Sebastian restaurant that boasts three Michelin stars, has been serving food on iPads for a few years. Now, acclaimed San Francisco restaurant Quince is the latest to join the trend.
The 13-year-old, tasting-menu-only spot run by Michael and Lindsey Tusk, which just received its third Michelin star this year, is now incorporating iPads into its meals: The dish “A Dog in Search of Gold” is served on a iPad Pro in lieu of a plate. Understandably, this had some on Twitter scratching their heads a few days ago when it was first revealed. According to 9to5Mac, it’s an attempt by the restaurant to attract a younger audience.
The dish, which is made of white truffle croquettes on iPads playing videos of dogs on the truffle-hunt, raises questions about food safety and how thoroughly the iPads are cleaned in-between customers, which is something San Francisco has no regulations on at the moment.
Representatives for Quince did not respond to requests for comment.
The N.Y Daily News reports in another pop science study that of four iPads that were swabbed in two stores last month and then tested in a lab, two contained harmful pathogens.
One sample, collected at the 14th St. store, contained Staphylococcus aureus, the most common cause of staph infections, which can lead to an array of ailments, from minor skin infection to meningitis.
The second swab from that store only contained benign, skin-borne microbes, but in unusually high quantities, pointing to an extremely grimy iPad.
Dr. Philip Tierno, director of Clinical Microbiology and Immunology at New York University Langone Medical Center, said that iPads handled by a multitude of strangers are bacteria breeding grounds.
"We clean our products and our stores regularly throughout the day," said Apple spokeswoman Amy Bessette. "And we are committed to creating a healthy environment for our customers."
Tierno said exactly what bites-l news guru Gonzalo ‘Gonzo’ Erdozain said in April after visiting an Apple store in Kansas City: Apple should consider providing small disinfecting wipes to customers and installing small sinks or sanitizing gel dispensers inside its stores.
The iPad is all the rage, but I just don’t get it. Amy’s got her iPhone, and it has a camera, so she doesn’t care; me, I figured out how to take my 17-inch MacBook Pro everywhere, including the bathroom, years ago. It may not be subtle, but it works.
For those of you looking to better combine your computing and recreational experiences, Albert Amgar of France and friend of bites.ksu.edu sends along this video.
As an avid user of Apple products, I made my way to the Apple store in Kansas City’s Country Club Plaza on Saturday to try out the iPad.
The iPad is a touchscreen-based device, with no buttons or physical keyboards. As a budding food safety geek, I noticed all the products in the Apple store were touched by thousands of people of all ages every day, and not once did I see hand sanitizers inside the store.
I had just visited a small petting zoo near the area where I had lunch. The petting zoo had a hand-sanitizing station at the exit point, which consisted of many bottles of hand sanitizer, but no water and soap to actually wash your hands – so it wasn’t optimal, but still better than nothing at all.
If I had gone to that petting zoo, and didn’t know much about hygiene or just didn’t care, I could have brought all those germs and maybe zoonoses back with me to the Apple store, rub them good on those brand new iPads and lovely miscellaneous products and then gone home. And so the next person that came to the store with the same curiosity and excitement may have gotten my lovely zoonotic gifts.
To the Apple store manager, please, for events this big, some hand sanitizer would probably be a good idea – not just sanitizing the products at the end of the day.