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Australian developer transforms iPads into restaurant menus


It used to be that swiping food at a restaurant was a criminal offense. An Adelaide-based developer of iPad and iPhone apps is changing that.

NetStart appears to have a winner on the table with MenuPad, an iPad app that allows restaurant customers to swipe through screens of food choices and place their order in a wireless, oh-so-geeky way.

NetStart Managing Director Jock Gordon said the company had been inundated by inquiries about MenuPad since its launch in June at Sydney’s Mundo Global Tapas restaurant. The app debuted on the Apple App Store last month. NetStart also announced in November that it had landed its first Middle East customer.

The interactive menu and ordering system is being used by diners in Asia, Europe and the Middle East, NetStart says.

Gordon said NetStart focused on making the application adaptable and easy to use. “Anyone can sign up and manage their menus, no matter how big or small their restaurant is,” he said.

For a monthly fee, restaurant owners get a system that allows them to manage their menus with a web interface. Patrons can then order directly from iPads at their table.

A touch of the button can pull up an image of how the dish will look. Patrons can even choose how they want their meat cooked.

Craig Simpson, general manager of North Sydney’s Rydges hotel, home of Mundo Global Tapas, said, “In the past I’ve struggled to find a unique and dynamic menu format that suits the Mundo brand, but MenuPad is perfect.”

One drawback: We’re going to guess that tourists can’t take home the menu as a souvenir.

Image by Kirti Poddar

MenuPad demonstration