Perspective: A WIS Editorial - Computer Screens In Restaurants

I've just heard about the worst idea yet for the experience of dining out .  Apparently, several restaurant chains are considering the addition of computer screens or tablets inside their establishments for customers to use for ordering, entertainment and paying their bills right at the dinner table.  What used to be an enjoyable escape from home cooking is now  just another opportunity to be attached to a computer for emails, shopping and video games.

I don't know about you, but it's hard enough to get your family to put down their phones, I-pads, blackberries, and hand-held video games during dinner at home.  We certainly don't need these distractions at the restaurant table.  Whatever happened to lively conversation, ordering from the waitress, and teaching your kids how to behave in a restaurant setting?  As for the convenience of swiping my own card rather than waiting for the server to return with my bill, well, that's just never seemed to be much of a hassle to me.  It's part of the dining experience.  Thankfully this concept is relegated to casual dining establishments for now…other restaurants still seem to value personalized service between diners and waiters.

Maybe Cracker Barrel started this whole craze when they allowed checkers and other games at their dining tables to ease the burden of waiting for your food.  Now those were the good old days.  Convenience or conversation killer, what's your perspective?