Hamilton restaurant replaces paper menus with iPads

Hamilton restaurant goes high tech with its menu.

Sushi restaurant goes high tech

Spring Sushi uses iPads instead of menus. (Courtesy Spring Sushi)

At Spring Sushi on Upper James Street paper menus are a thing of the past. Instead of selecting their meals from a traditional menu and relaying their choice to a server, patrons are given iPads loaded with menu options from which to choose.

The idea was borne out of sheer boredom, says Alonza Ma, manager of Spring Sushi.

"We were bored, basically; we thought it would be funny to use iPads," said Ma, who also added that the idea struck him as a pretty smart business move too.

"It's a marketing strategy; it promotes itself."

Though the restaurant, which also has a location in Toronto, has been open since 2009, the iPads didn't come into the picture until September 2012.

The use of iPads hasn't completely replaced the need for waitstaff.

Ma said that while patrons select their items using the devices, it's the waitstaff that sends the orders to the kitchen. Additionally, the waitstaff still act as servers, running all the food and continue to assist patrons with drinks and subsequent issues.

One of the problems that the waitstaff can't solve necessarily though is the occasional wireless crash.

"The iPad does crash at times," said.

"It's not a frequent thing and it does happen. But it's not a big deal."

Spring Sushi is located at 1508 Upper James St.  It's open for lunch and dinner daily.