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At Applebee’s, dinner and a tablet

Hello, I’m a tablet, and I’ll be taking care of you tonight.

Applebee’s is insisting that’s not what is on the horizon as it installs tablets at every table in all 1,860 of its restaurants in the U.S. The project is dueapplebee to be complete by the end of next year. Chili’s already is further along in its tablet installation and expects to be mostly done by the middle of 2014.

Though you can use the tablets to place orders and pay your bill (and play games, for a fee), Applebee’s says it won’t be reducing its wait staff and customers still will order their meals through waiters and waitresses. However, even with limited use, Applebee’s says the sites that already have tablets have seen increased sales of appetizers and desserts.

But even if the wait staff is safe for now, what could be in the future? Maybe those Amazon.com drones someday will be flying to your table from the kitchen and dropping off your Bourbon Black & Bleu Burger.

Sure, that’s all well and good, but try telling a drone that there’s a fly in your soup.