Date: Wed, 19 Jun 2013 10:40:15 +0200
uWink in Mountain View, CA
uWink is Nolan Bushnell’s next iteration on combining games and food after founding Chuck E. Cheese’s (and before that, Atari). It’s good news for those who enjoy casual gaming while waiting for food, and a bit of bad news for aspiring waiters, as they’re mostly replaced by touch-screen LCD screens. Sure, you still need someone to seat people, someone to refill your iced tea, and someone to bring the food from the kitchen, but for the space the they occupy (I think the capacity is at 150 or so) they only had 2-3 waiters.
Everything you order is off a colorful touch-screen menu (all apps are written in Flash, looks like). While you’re waiting for drinks and appetizers, you can play games by yourself, with your lunch buddy, who gets their own screen, or with anyone else at the restaurant, as they advertise trivia nights by the entrance. They also have movie nights.
Food ordering process is where touch screens excel, since your burger can have thousands of configurations, single or double patty, choice of 5 cheeses, 5 types of buns, about 20 additional toppings and 20 more sauces, with 5 side items. With waiters I think I’d be more likely to choose some default configuration, with uWink’s UI it’s a challenge of how complex of a burger one can build. Payment and tipping is done through the same touch screen display – there’s a card reader on the side. The receipt can optionally be sent to your e-mail, and once you give them your e-mail, you’re asked to join their mailing list as well, which I did.