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Danny Meyer, founder of the Shake Shack chain of burger joints, is a veritable New York institution and a pretty big deal in the restaurateur scene, so the bigwigs at Cupertino must be excited that he’s so publicly decided to make Apple Watches a big part of his revamped approach to hospitality and service.
The announcement was made at the TechTable summit, where representatives of Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group and Resy, a reservation platform startup, detailed their partnership and plans to make the Apple Watch an integral part of their front-of-house service, according to Eater. The Apple Watches will come pre-loaded with the ResyOS app, a tech-meets-hospitality platform that integrates various reservation, mobile payment, and point-of-sale services.
There’s been a lot of talk of Apple developing innovative health and fitness tracking functions for its smartwatch line, but the pesky criticism has persisted that the Apple Watch is not much more than an expensive knick-knack. Perhaps Meyers adoption of the Apple Watch into the grand re-opening of the 30-year-old Union Square Cafe will put the ballyhooing to rest.
Meyer has given every floor manager and sommelier of the Union Square Cafe an Apple Watch to coordinate service when issues arise, such as a VIP walking through the door or a disgruntled guest waiting too long. The Apple Watches will also come in handy when addressing more mundane issues such as when someone orders a bottle of wine (which is how restaurants make the big bucks), a menu item or drink runs out of inventory, diners request the check, or a table is newly seated.
Whenever that happens, every floor manager will receive a synchronized alert via their Apple Watches notifying them of the issue. The blast alerts will come from a back-of-house system hosted by a central iPad in the restaurant.
While Apple Watches aren’t usually associated with the restaurant and hospitality industry, Meyer’s plan seems very intuitive and practical.