Pizza Hut Dreams of Interactive Tables for Elusive Dine-in Restaurants

Your nearest dine-in Pizza Hut--if there is one--probably looks like it's trapped in the 80s, but it might someday leap into the future with tabletop touch screens for ordering and entertainment.

Your nearest dine-in Pizza Hut--if there is one--probably looks like it's trapped in the 80s, but it might someday leap into the future with tabletop touch screens for ordering and entertainment.

In a concept video produced by Pizza Hut and Chaotic Moon Studios, two diners craft their pizza order by swiping, pinching and tapping their fingers on a tabletop interactive display. With one diner's phone already on the table, the screen then offers mobile payment options, presumably through near-field communications, and estimates when the pizza will come out of the oven.

Finally, a selection of games pops up to help pass the time, apparently in a nod to the hulking arcade cabinets from Pizza Hut's dine-in heyday.

Before you rush out to a nearby Pizza Hut to taste the future, be aware that the touch screen ordering table isn't going to happen any time soon--in fact, it may never become reality. Spokesman Doug Terfehr told Nation's Restaurant News that the video is the equivalent of a concept car for pizza, and there's no indication of any specific operating systems or technologies used. The video's description on YouTube merely says it "could be the future of the Pizza Hut dine-in ordering experience."

It may be hard to imagine touchscreen ordering tables in such an anachronistic establishment. But Pizza Hut is planning to redesign its restaurants to give them a more upscale vibe, while adding new dine-in options such as made-to-order salads and sauteed pasta. If those plans go through, futuristic tables might make more sense--though we'll shed a tear once the last skill crane and Galaga machine get taken away.

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