✅ Verified Review
Terminal C, Self check-in was easy, there was the usual queue for passport control, but nothing too bad. My gate was C80, so I made my way down to the gate, and feeling hungry and I fancied a beer, so called in at one 'eatery' where I was welcomed and sat at a table with an iPad in front of me. A quick glance around told me that every table had a tablet - so I listened while I was told to scan my boarding card barcode and shown how my my name instantly popped up with flight details for all to see - especially as the waiter read my name out quite loudly (which I wasn't terrifically thrilled about in these days of identity theft). I quickly scanned through the menu, the food was astronomically highly priced for even the simplest dish, and beers likewise for ales I'd never heard of. So I fled the place, thinking I'd find a cheaper bar where I could pay by dollar notes, and discuss a choice of food and beers with a friendly barman. But alas, no. Some mastermind of planning had persuaded the airport chiefs of Newark to adopt a full tablet ordering system for every eat and drink outlet. Thirsty, I decided to call in at the Vesper Tavern. At least I recognised the beers on tap, and after my stomach had flipped a somersault at the prices, I decided that I needed a drink, fast. I scanned my barcode again, selected my beer from the menu (note, that the picture of each draft beer shows a full pint - or at least large looking glass of frothing beer), pressed the pay button, and as already mentioned by someone else, spotted the service charge was set at 18%. For what? I'd had no service so far! So I wound it down to 0%, and begrudgingly, I swiped my card (although I'd preferred to have paid in dollars), and waited for my beer to come. Along strolled the waiter with a wimpy looking glass of beer. It certainly wasnt the pint I'd seen pictured on the menu! I sat and observed others coming, and of their dismay at ordering expensive food and drink by tablet. My issue with this is that there's no dialogue between the customer and the staff. Little chance to discuss the food, how you would like the food cooked? Which option would they recommend from experience? Could I sample a beer that I'd never heard of? And if the service was good, then at the end, I'll leave a tip to reflect it - not to have an 18% surcharge lumped onto my bill for something that could have been delivered by a little train on a track, sushi style. I'd love to think that in a year or two I'll re-visit terminal C and all the tablets will have been strpped out and replaced once again by the happy chatter of conversion between customer and bar staff. But somehow, the investment made in this new technology will be made to work. Somehow.