Applebee's will officially announce today that they will be putting tablet computers on all of their tables at all of their 1,680 restaurants. By the end of the year nearly 100,000 devices will be in Applebee's restaurants. Have you ever picked up a salt shaker or ketchup bottle at a restaurant and thought, "Eww, why don't they clean these between customers?"

Is that what the tablets will be like after a few uses? Maybe they will have protective covers on them. In addition to helping you decide between a 960 calorie triple chocolate meltdown versus an 880 calorie apple chimi cheesecake, the 7 inch tablets will also let you play video games throughout the meal (for a dollar of course) and will also allow you to pay your check electronically.

I personally think they didn't take it far enough.  Applebee's opted to not use the tablets as menu replacements. Why not? You could change your menu on the fly and you wouldn't have to wait around for a waitress you can just send your order to the kitchen directly and pay out without having to wait for the check. Of course the wait staff would still have to bring the actual food and clear the plates and make sure everything is to your liking so they wouldn't be replacing them.

Applebee's says that theft of the devices will not be an issue because the tablets become unusable once removed form the restaurant.

What do you think? Good idea or bad?