On the opposite side of the planet to Cupertino, California is the island nation Sri Lanka, home to Nihonbashi Japanese Restaurants, the first restaurant in the world to use the iPad. Nihonbashi has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to restaurant design, creativity in foods and bringing to diners the cultural and gastronomical appeal of Japanese cuisine.
The half Japanese, half Sri Lankan owner of Nihonbashi, Dharshan Munidasa, a Johns Hopkins Graduate, watched the ipad launch from across the oceans while preparing content for the ipad; and now guests can browse through the menu and view the specials photographically. “Describing an original dish without a picture is tough and hard copies are time consuming and expensive,” says Dharshan as he prepares to use the ipad to communicate to guests daily specials. “No, you cannot order from the ipad,” he continues, as he’s strongly against automated ordering that erodes the relationship between restaurant and diner.
According to Dharshan, the ipads will also be used in the administration aspects of Nihonbashi operations as communications between team members and idea sharing will become easier, faster and more descriptive owing to pictorial representation- and all this without paper. Dharshan explained that the ipad will soon open up a new medium inwhich hotels, resorts, restaurants and banks especially can use as apromotional tool in advertising. With peace settling in the country after decades of war and tourism gathering momentum, Dharshan now wants to show the world that Sri Lanka and his restaurant Nihonbashi is a place where innovative ideas thrive and are not restricted to the Dubais or the Singapores of the world.
Wine lists, daily specials, guest comments and much more will formpart of the content found on the ipad allowing guests to email directly from their ipad comments or take part in surveys and lucky draws. Dharshan added that a special application will also be developed for this very purpose at a later stage. Trying to be the first in the world to introduce the ipad in arestaurant is especially hard owing to the fact that Sri Lanka is on the other side of the globe from the US. If Nihonbashi were based inthe US, Dharshan claims the implementation of the ipad could havehappened on the ipad launch day itself, but with a general election and almost a week of holidays, 9 days later can’t be too bad either.