I stumbled upon a mention of Logbar, a Tokyo-based bar with a social twist. The founders employ iPads and some custom programming to create a social bar: the drink menu is crowdsourced, there is an activity stream showing who has ordered what drinks, and the customers chat via iPad with each other while inventing new concoctions.
I think that there may be something to this notion of social point-of-sale. The bar example is interesting check out the video), but imagine if Open Table added these sorts of capabilities so that restaurants and bars do not have to. It’s less like a Foursquare check-in, and more like a social version of Yelp, where people could see what dishes or drinks their friends had tried at a restaurant before choosing, or even before choosing a restaurant.
My local bagel place (The Beacon Bagel) is willing to make almost any combination of the various meats, spreads, sauces, and veggies on hand. The menu board is just twenty of the most popular. But it would be cool to create my own sandwich and to see what others think of it, and to get a 50 cent discount on my next sandwich if others ordered the ‘That’s Not Kosher: Pastrami, Lettuce, Tomato, and Sriracha Mayo’ sandwich.
Obviously, this should be an smartphone/tablet app that any retailer could use to create an account, and to configure options. But a bar that lets people select drink ingredients is not too far away from a bagel shop letting customer design their own sandwiches, or a smoothie place letting people configure their own blends.
I bet we’ll see this soon.