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I suppose it was inevitable in our speed-based culture that we’d find a way to try to turn a sit-down restaurant experience into a fast food experience. The free YWaiter iPhone app (The operative pun being “Why Wait?”), allows you to order food and drinks at a restaurant and pay for your bill; all without ever even acknowledging your waiter after you’ve sat down.
Although that seems wildly antisocial, I guess there are those times at busy restaurants when waiters seem like they’re running all over to everyone’s table except yours, and now this would theoretically allow them to get your order without having you stare at them from across the room in a half-irritated, half-desperate attempt to create eye contact.
I was unable to test that theory out in person. YWaiter’s noble concept doesn’t actually have any restaurants signed up to participate here in Chicago, and after looking at the comments on the iTunes App Store, it seems most other major cities seem to be out of the loop as well.
Forgetting for a moment why you’d publicly release an app that has, as of yet, no support, YWaiter does allow you to play pretend with a demo restaurant. I can report that all of the features seem to work as advertised. Ordering, paying and even making theoretical reservations are all done easily and seamlessly.
Whether this would translate into a faster meal if the restaurant I was ordering from was real? I can’t say. I do like the idea of being able to call your server over with a button on the app, and adding in promotional coupons built right into the app should get restaurants using it eventually; but for now, this is more of a concept than an app.
In the same way you’re not allowed to drive a concept car out of a car show, you probably shouldn’t download this app until there’s a reason to use it.