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Why Tablets Are Showing up in Restaurants

July 14, 2016, 1:00 PM UTC
Illustration by Rachel Ake for Fortune: Original Photo: Getty Images

Paper menus are as old as time. But at Da Legna, an Italian restaurant in New Haven, those documents (which once did double duty as place mats)haven’t touched a table in a year. Good thing: At $500 a month, they cost the business a pretty penny. “We were turning them out like you wouldn’t believe,” says Derek Bacon, co-owner of Da Legna.

Why not go digital? Frequent customer Jeff Hong pitched the proprietor on Bite, his tablet-computer ordering system. At $20 per month for each device—Da Legna started with 10 and now rents 30—the setup offered customers far more for the same cost. Bacon, you might say, bit.

Customer reactions have run the gamut—some are delighted by the interactivity; others reel from the LED glare. But it has completely changed how people spend time in the restaurant. Better still, it’s giving the business better insight into what food customers really want, Bacon says.

For more on the restaurant industry, watch this video:

“We’re saving money, which is a benefit we didn’t anticipate,” he says. And there isn’t a cheesy laminated menu in sight.

This article is part of the Future of Work article from Fortune’s July 1, 2016 issue. Click here to see the entire package.