1. Headline
  1. Headline
By
updated 7/11/2014 5:17:28 PM ET 2014-07-11T21:17:28

Note to Rudy Rudes who have a habit of playing with their smartphones and tablets at restaurant tables: You might soon want to steer clear of Applebee’s on Tuesdays.

  1. More from TODAY.com
    1. See TODAY’s ' 'Saturday Night Live' Halloween costumes

      Live from Rockefeller Plaza, it's Saturday Night Live! Willie Geist and Tamron Hall kicked off TODAY's Halloween Boo-Nanza...

    2. Mom Jeans! Watch TODAY ladies re-create classic 'SNL' skit
    3. J.K. Rowling writes new Harry Potter tale for Halloween
    4. TODAY: ‘Live from New York’ in ‘SNL’ Halloween reveal
    5. 'Days' are done for Alison Sweeney, who leaves soap after 21 years

The casual-dining chain appears to be hatching a plan to ban tech inside its 1,860 nationwide restaurants, every week, only on the day after Monday, the one that’s usually reserved for awesome taco deals. Tuesday.

According to a recent NBC Today Money report, the Kansas City-based company recently applied to trademark an initiative titled “No tech Tuesday.” The specifics of the wet blanket (but also sort of refreshing) move aren’t known just yet.

Related: Soon You Could Own a Device That Scans Your Food for Gluten

Don’t worry, gadget gazers, you’ll still be able to stare at your precious screens, in all their various forms, at its tables on all the other days of the week. Phew, Tuesdays will be the only bummer for now.

Bear in mind that it could’ve been worse, the likes of August First Bakery & Cafe in Burlington, Vt., which, like so many other dining establishments these hyperconnected days, recently wholesale banned all laptops and Wi-Fi inside its walls.

Meanwhile, Applebee’s is somewhat hypocritically steamrolling ahead with its campaign to deploy 100,000 Intel-powered E la Carte “Presto” tablets at its locations in 49 states, perhaps in a bid to play catch-up with rival Chili’s, which has already added more than 45,000 Ziosk tablets to its tables. If Applebee’s reaches its goal, there will be one tablet for every one of its U.S. tables by the end of this year. (The company also has restaurants in some 14 other countries and one U.S. territory.)  

Related:12 Restaurants Capitalizing On the Anit-Fast Food Revolution

Applebee's guests will be able to use the tabletop tablets -- electronic waiters, if you will, that people tend to drop more cash on than they would when served by the human kind -- to order more food and drinks, pay their checks and play games and music.

Other features will be added to tablets in the coming 18 months, including gift card sales, social media interaction (with Applebee’s ridiculously popular Facebook Page, of course) music and video streaming and more games, according to a press release on the rollout.

Bottom line: Applebee’s customers will soon be using tech, the very thing it plans on banning once a week, at its tables. Its own highly branded tech. Every day. But diners won’t be allowed to touch their own personal tech at its tables on Tuesdays. Sends a conflicting message that makes about as much sense as Applebee’s baffling slogan, “See you tomorrow.”

Related: Chili's Ups Its Marketing Game By Pushing Its Do-Good Social Programs

Huh? It doesn’t make sense. Not really. Not unless Applebee’s is betting people undistracted by their own gadgets will love up its fancy new tablets instead, to rack up bigger bills. Who knows? Officials at the 30-year-old company aren’t saying how or if its tablets will play into its expected upcoming Tuesday tech ban.   

Once the moratorium goes into effect, Applebee’s might not see techies who lose their appetites at the thought of putting down their electronics while dining out. Not tomorrow. Not Tuesday. Maybe not ever. Because no one likes to be told what to do, especially not the customer. They’re always right.

Related: Tablets to Soon Become Tabletop Mainstays at Chili's

Copyright © 2013 Entrepreneur.com, Inc.

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments

More on TODAY.com

  1. Party on, TODAY! See ‘Saturday Night Live’ costumes for Halloween 2014

    As part of our Halloween Boo-Nanza, Matt channeled the androgynous “Pat,” Willie and Tamron as the “Spartan cheerleaders,” and more… much, much more.

    10/31/2014 12:15:55 PM +00:00 2014-10-31T12:15:55
  2. Matt in drag, Hoda as Yoda: See 20 years of Halloween on TODAY

    No one does Halloween like TODAY. Relive two decades of awesome on the plaza as we rev up for 2014’s plaza bonanza.

    10/23/2014 5:43:31 PM +00:00 2014-10-23T17:43:31
  1. SNL; TODAY

    Mom Jeans! Watch TODAY ladies re-create classic 'SNL' skit

    10/31/2014 12:21:03 PM +00:00 2014-10-31T12:21:03
  1. TODAY

    video See Willie, Tamron as ‘SNL’ Spartan cheerleaders

    10/31/2014 1:05:21 PM +00:00 2014-10-31T13:05:21
  1. Aarón Sánchez shares his grandmother’s favorite recipe

    The Mexican holiday "Dia de los Muertos" or Day of the Dead is a celebration that honors the souls of the deceased. One way to do that is to make and enjoy some of the departed relatives' favorite Mexican dishes.

    10/31/2014 10:49:14 AM +00:00 2014-10-31T10:49:14