The newly opened Gordon Ramsay Steak at the Paris Las Vegas resort has joined the ranks of finer restaurants offering their wine lists on iPads.
Ramsay views the technology as a way to enhance the guest visit. “Give them one of these iPads and they instantly become more knowledgeable about their selections and more engaged in their entire epicurean experience,” Ramsay says.
The 20 iPads in rotation at Gordon Ramsay Steak provide information about the 300-plus varieties of wine, the cocktail menu and and other beverages and offer interactive assistance with food pairings.
By the end of 2012, the restaurant also hopes to expand the tablets’ functionality by adding the restaurant’s full menu and more. But guests paying top prices for steaks, pork chops and beef Wellington might balk at such an impersonal approach to service. Stay tuned.
Ramsay’s iPads rely on SmartCellar technology, which is also employed at his Bread Street Kitchen, Maze, Maze Grill and Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s locations in the U.K. Michael Symon’s Lola in Cleveland and Wolfgang Puck’s Cut Steakhouses use the same technology.
Posting a wine list on an iPad has a number of benefits, most importantly reducing the guests’ anxiety about ordering, and reportedly boosting sales. An indirect plus for operators is the chance to emulate some of the best in the business. The French Laundry, for example, raised eyebrows when it launched an iPad-based wine list; now, there's an app for that. You, too, can download the free app containing the French Laundry’s wine list in the Apple iTunes store. Designing a new wine list or looking for ways to tune up an existing one? This might be a good place to start, depending on the statement you want to make.