NYC Restaurant Fully Operates Using iPads for Service

At De Santos, an upscale Italian eatery nestled in the West Village of New York City, the traditional paper menu is a thing of the past. Upon seating, diners are presented with an iPad 2 to peruse and select their dishes. This tech-savvy approach was highlighted by, noting the use of iPad 2s, a bespoke application, and the Square card reader to enhance operational efficiency and customer satisfaction.

Since August 1st, De Santos, occupying a historic building once frequented by icons like Janis Joplin, Bob Dylan, and Edward Albee, has distinguished itself as New York’s first fully iPad-operated restaurant.

Guests not only order their meals through the iPad but also use it to pay their bills at the meal’s conclusion using Square.

While the initial cost of $500 per iPad might seem steep, the proprietors argue that the investment is cost-effective. The iPads, which communicate with the kitchen via Wi-Fi, allow patrons to view detailed descriptions of each dish. The restaurant utilizes eight iPads with a custom-designed point of sale system, costing around $18,000 for development and setup, a significant saving compared to the $30,000 typically required for traditional systems.

Real-time transaction recording allows De Santos’ owners to oversee operations remotely via an iPhone, accessing data on order quantities, payment methods, and more.

Co-owner Sebastian Gonella appreciates the enhanced oversight, noting, “You really have control over what happens in the dining room,” which helps reduce operational costs.

The iPads themselves are a major draw. Gonella observes, “The customers love it. Who doesn’t like an iPad? They go nuts.” As the success of this system becomes more widely known, it’s likely that other restaurants will follow suit, adopting similar technology.


Ryan is a dedicated writer for TUAW, bringing insightful and engaging content to Apple enthusiasts around the world. With a deep understanding of Apple products like the iPhone, iPad, and MacBook, Ryan offers readers a unique perspective on the latest news, updates, and trends. His articles are known for their clarity and depth, making complex topics accessible to all. When he’s not writing, Ryan enjoys exploring new tech and staying ahead of the curve in the ever-evolving world of Apple.