The restaurant chain Olive Garden will begin using Ziosk tablets to accept payments at the table starting next month.

The Orlando, Fla.-based chain will deploy the tablets in limited locations initially, and expects to have the system installed at all of its more than 800 restaurants by the end of the year, the company stated in an April 14 press release.

Olive Garden says it has tested Ziosk in some restaurants since last year and reported faster dining times and increased tip amounts for services.

"We've been focused on improving the dining experience at every touch point, and we're excited to give our guests the ability to customize their visit by leveraging the technology of Ziosk's tabletop tablets," Dave George, Olive Garden's president, stated in the release.

Dallas, Texas-based Ziosk sells a 7-inch touchscreen tablet that operates on the Android operating system. The device allows guests to browse the menu, place orders and pay at the table. The system also displays a trivia game for families to play prior to or during a meal.

Diners making a payment through a Ziosk tablet can see their bill, and slide a payment card through a card reader on the side of the tablet. An LED light on the tablet indicates the bill has been paid, alerting wait staff.

Ziosk says its tablets prompt more restaurant patrons to enroll in loyalty programs and fill out satisfaction surveys, both of which they can do on the tablet.

Ziosk tablets serve more than 30 million guests each month in more than 1,500 restaurants across all 50 states, the company said. Ziosk tablets are also in use at the Chili's and Red Robin restaurant chains. When the Olive Garden deployment is complete, there will be 135,000 Ziosk tablets used by more than 50 million guests per month.

Two years ago, Olive Garden was one of the first restaurant chains to accept payments through Facebook's closed-loop gift card.

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