Several Minnesota Chili’s restaurants are trying out a new technology called Ziosk that not only allows you to order and pay using a table-side touchscreen, but also has games to keep your kids occupied before your meal arrives.

While it doesn’t replace traditional servers, diners who’ve used the Ziosk machines say they make the restaurant experience more fun. “I thought it was cool because it was touch screen and you could flip through different parts of the menu,” said customer Lauren Fisher.

In addition to the on-screen menu, parents can pay 99 cents for unlimited games for their kids, something many moms and dads seem to love, with one mother saying, “It makes it a better family environment, if your kids are entertained and happy.”

But it’s the ability to pay whenever you’re ready that seems to be the most popular feature. Chili’s Area Director Aaron Keske said business people who come in for a quick lunch find it especially useful, and some customers said the added convenience even makes them tip more.

So is the table-side touchscreen the wave of the future?

“I think it’s just the beginning, we’re just scratching the surface on what we can do, and we’re excited for what we can do … with it,” Keske said.

Watch a news story about the Ziosk below.


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