Make Splitting the Check Fun


Don't feel bad if you and your friends are having problems with the bistro math at dinner. The MIT guys can't do it either. They can develop special tablet to do it for you though. Yes, I know you already have an app for that, but E La Carte is banking on their tablet wooing restaurants by doing much more and raising revenue. The E la Carte tablet allows customers to order, play games, get wine suggestions, split the check, figure the tip, and even pay the bill at that table. reported that in a pilot program in six restaurants, customers at E la Carte tables spent 10% to 12% more than those diners at other tables and tips went up too.  The company has raised over $1 million in funding from investors, and will be launching tablets in 20 restaurants on the West coast. The big news is that the company has a partnership with a large restaurant chain that hasn’t yet been announced, but apparently some Applebee’s execs participated in the first funding round, so that might give us a pretty good hint.

Gimme That Filet-O-Fish


I was going to write about the economic impact of Lent but what I really wanted to know about was the McDonald's Filet-O-Fish. You may have already picked up on my obsession with Mickey D's. I will admit it, I LOVE McDonald's, but back to the sale of fish sandwiches. In 2009 it was reported that McDonald's sells about 300 million Filet-O-Fish sandwiches annually - 25% of which are sold during the Lent season. Some Kentucky regional stores reported selling an additional 7,700 sandwiches during Lent last year. That is a lot of fish! It turns out the Filet-O-Fish was invented for Fridays and for Lent. In 1962 Lou Groen was operating a McDonald's in Cincinnati, Ohio but he was about to go under because most of his customers were Roman Catholic and abstained from meat every Friday and during the 40 days of Lent. So Lou came up with the idea for a fish sandwich. He took the idea to Ray Kroc. Kroc had his own ideas for a meatless sandwich - grilled pineapple. In a head to head sales competition the fish sandwich won hands down and the rest is history. The Filet-O-Fish became the first additional to the McDonald's original menu.

You may remember this catchy tune from 2009. Sorry if it stays with you the rest of the week.

Casual Friday: Austin Margaritas in Google Fusion Tables

Austin Margarita Ratings

Amy Rushing, Metadata Librarian extraordinaire,  shows bizologie how to put Google Fusion Tables to good use. Amy has spent two years testing margaritas around Austin and rating them. Using Google Fusion she has given us Margarita Ratings: Austin, Texas - a map of restaurants and their margarita rating. You can see her rating scale in the File>About section of the Table. With Google Fusion you can create charts, graphs, and all sorts of different visualizations including maps. And, you don't have to be a metadata librarian to do it. It's easy. To create a map, make a spreadsheet with the data in Excel or Google Docs. One of the columns has to be address with zip code to map the locations. Amy used HTML code to create to the stars and fractions for her ratings. Then just import the spreadsheet into Google Fusion.

Google Fusion Table

Let us know if you are inspired to use Google Fusion to map your passion. We'd love to see your masterpiece. And, Amy, we here at bizologie commend you and hope you continue your good work.