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Chili's To Install Table-Top Computers Screens

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And our last word in business is digital dining.

One of the nation's largest casual dining chains is leading the way here. The Wall Street Journal reports that Chili's Grill and Bar is installing tabletop computer screens at hundreds of its restaurants.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The computers will not only replace the old fashion paper menu, but also allow customers to place their orders and swipe their credit cards right there at the table. The chain says diners using tabletop computers are likely to order more, thanks in part to the dessert ads that pop up during the meal. And no surprise here, the restaurant chain plans to collect data about its diners with the computers by asking for an email address and providing a survey.

GREENE: Now the machines don't prompt any immediate job cuts for the Chili's wait staff. In fact, servers could see a boost with their electronic counterparts. The restaurant claims diners might tip more since there's a tool available to help calculate the right amount.

I'm just waiting to see how long they can keep the caso dip off of these computer screens.

(LAUGHTER)

INSKEEP: Might have to wipe them down afterwards.

GREENE: That's the business news on MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

INSKEEP: And I'm Steve Inskeep.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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