Do you know how much I love touch screen ordering? This much:
Touchscreen ordering (and the equally amazing mobile/web ordering) is everything my inner introvert needs and wants after a full-day surrounded by teenagers. It allows me to:
- Customize my entire ordering experience
- Pay for my order in advance
- AVOID HUMANS AT ALL COST
Today, I took The Mom to order lunch at Get Go. Why, you ask? Because Get Go’s are delightful, they sell cleaning products, and you can pick up a six-pack of beer. Plus, their subs cost about $4, which leaves me enough money to blend a F’real milkshake and pick up some kitchen sponges…all under 5 minutes.
Well…usually 5 minutes. Need I remind you that I was with The Mom?
My mom has never been good with technology. Thank God she let me play video games when I was younger, because the VCR would NEVER have been set to record television if I hadn’t had a working knowledge of tech. Heck, the VCR would have been constantly blinking 12:00 AM if Mario, Star Fox, and Sonic were unable to pull me through my youth.
That being said, I’ll fully disclose that my mom does not use a sundial to tell time. She has an iPhone. She has an iPad. And this year, she got a Macbook Air. To the untrained eye, she may seem like an Apple geek. If you spend ten minutes with her while she tries to pull up a text message you just sent to her 3 minutes ago, you’ll understand that she needs a lot of help.
I was the type of kid who dove headfirst into any new piece of technology, sans instruction manual. She always wanted me to slow down and read every page. By the end of this anecdote, I’ll let you decide which mantra won out.
We entered the Get Go and immediately went over to the Café touch screens. You need to know that there were 4 touch screens available for use, but my mom saddled up directly on my hip to observe what I was doing. “You can use any other screen to order,” I told her. “You can customize your order!” I tried to end that sentence like parents do when they are trying to get their kids to take their medicine. You know they’re just going to spit it all over your new J Crew over-priced penguin sweater, but you put on the facade anyway.
My mom began randomly tapping the screen. Five seconds in, she had questions:
- “Where are the sandwiches?” (“There are several types, right in front of you. On the screen.”)
- “I just want chicken salad. Where is that?” (“Well, which type of sandwich do you want? Pretzel? Sub? Wrap? Croissant?”)
- “Okay, I’ve picked wrap. What do I put on it?” (“Well…what do YOU want on it?”)
- “I put mayonnaise on it. Is that okay?” (“You put mayonnaise on a food item that bases its entire existence off of its pairing with mayo?”)
- “I want to put cheese on it. What kind of cheese should I pick?” (“String cheese, I don’t know, Mom.”)
I’ve summarized her stream of consciousness throughout this entire exchange because halfway through ordering, she walked away from the machine.
“Wh-wh-where are you going? You haven’t finished your order!” I bellowed.
“Well, I just thought I would look over at the pre-made section to see if they had it over there,” she replied. I was doing this at this point:“You can order it through the touch screen, AND it will be fresh! Made just for you!” I cried. “But you can’t leave the screen. Your order will reset.”
My mom returned to her ordering screen. When I had guaranteed her that she had, indeed, NOT put extra mayonnaise on an already mayonnaise-laden sandwich, I finished her order. Before I could click “Submit,” she had wandered off again towards the freshly cut fruit.
“Mom! You need to wait for your ticket. You need to pay for that,” I told her, snatching her tab away from the machine. In the time it took me to do that, she already had a fried Buffalo chicken salad in her hands.
“Oh, but look how good this salad looks…?”
I snatched the salad out of her hands. “No, no salad. You already have an order in for your sandwich. It’s being made, for you, right now.”
“Oh, all right, but I was thinking of maybe having it later for dinner,” she explained.
“You told me you are going out for dinner later with Dad!”
My Mom then shrugged and walked away from me again. Now I know how mothers feel when their kids pick up every brand of candy in the checkout lane. Except mine was standing in the middle of a Get Go displacing products as soon as her food ADD kicked in.
Touch screens. Am I right?