U.S. restaurant chain Applebee's announced it will be putting 100,000 tablet devices tableside for guest use at more than 1,800 locations during 2014. The E la Carte Presto tablets will offer ease of payment along with the opportunity for greater customer interaction through Applebee's menus and other branded content. Entertainment services including games and videos that can be monetized during the dining experience are future considerations.
This has been a good year for tablets entering business with a number of notable enterprises and school districts buying into deployments. The Applebee's roll-out is believed to be one of the largest in the world for any business genre, besting Chicago Public Schools at 60,000 iPads, Lexington County Schools at 17,000 iPads, and the mixture of Apple and Samsung devices deployed to pilots, flight attendants and ground personnel by American Airlines. Apple has been the greatest beneficiary to the trend as its iPad 2 was one of the only tablets available for qualification.
Somewhat surprising in the E la Carte arrangement is the boost this deal will have for Intel. Powered by the company's processors, the Presto tablets will help increase Intel's visibility and share of the growing tablet market. Intel Capital was also lead investor for E la Carte's series B round of funding this past June. ABI Research forecasts worldwide branded tablet shipments in 2014 will top 190 million devices, up more than 20% over the expected 2013 market results. Intel, for its part, believes that nearly 10 million tablets powered by its processor architecture will ship in 2013 and has started vocalizing the goal of 40 million next year.