Nourish, the new restaurant at 931 S. East St., is piloting a phone app that lets diners communicate directly with their server.
Called Diner’s Dream, the free app debuted this week at the National Restaurant Association show in Chicago. It lets diners scan a QR code for their table, which allows their server to add the table to their list. Customers can then choose from three options: call the server, request the check or ask not to be disturbed.
Chicago-based developer Ilene Winston created the app, she said, “to elevate and enhance the service.”
Not, she said, to replace the server.
“It’s not at all intended to replace a server,” said Winston. “It’s to allow the server to deliver an exceptional dining experience, to be able to really find out what the guest wants. To almost read their mind.”
Nourish general manager Gwen Hasse said the restaurant will be the first in the country to use the app. “It’s a great way for the guest and the server to be able to communicate,” she said.
As Winston explains, “Have you ever gone out, and you’ve ordered, and everything’s really wonderful, and the server comes over and asks you if you need anything else, and ‘No, no, I’m fine,’ and then you’re like, ‘Oh, shoot.’ I’m notorious for like, ‘No, I think I’m okay,’ and then they walk away, and then all of a sudden I want another glass of wine.”
The app allows a more collaborative dining experience, Winston said when explaining it to the wait staff at Nourish recently.
“You’ll know if they have a request for you or if they’re in a business meeting and don’t want to be disturbed,” she said. “For me, having the interaction, the collaboration, makes for a better relationship.” — Jolene Ketzenberger