The venerable leather-bound wine list is undergoing a digital transformation at some Las Vegas restaurants. Walk into a number of high-end eateries on the Strip, and a waiter will hand you an iPad. Patrons using the devices can sort through screens that list wines by region, grape, type or price. They can read in detail about a particular varietal or vineyard, or click to see a sommelier's food pairings. Try putting all that on a batch of grape-stained pages.
The digital trend can be seen at Aliz≈ at the top of the Palms, Andre's at the Monte Carlo, Wolfgang Puck's CUT at the Palazzo and Jaleo at the Cosmopolitan. Insiders say deals are in the works with Caesars Entertainment and MGM Resorts to bring iPad menus to those companies' properties.
And the technology isn't limited to wine. Computer tablets can put hotel concierge services at customers' fingertips. Imagine booking a spa appointment or requesting your car from the valet with the tap of an icon. Customers having drinks at a resort bar can take a virtual tour of the hotel's suites, while chefs can hawk their cookbooks or signature sauces as patrons dine.
"It can really help a company extend their brand," said Jennifer Martucci, co-founder of Incentient, the company furnishing the iPad software in Las Vegas.
For sommeliers, digital wine lists eliminate the embarrassment of having to tell a high-roller the bar is out of his favorite vintage. The technology allows proprietors to update drink menus in real time to reflect inventory and track which beverages sell best. Clients report seeing a more than 20 percent uptick in sales, Incentient said.
Customers get a neat gadget to play with and a useful source of information.
"We believe this makes the guest experience much more enjoyable," said Patrick Trundle, beverage director for Andre's and Aliz≈.
In the four years since Incentient launched its products, they have spread to 14 countries. Programs exist in 150 languages. The company, based in Long Island, customizes software for each client so no two apps are exactly alike, and iPads are programmed to work only as a client intends. (In other words, no Angry Birds.)
Some Las Vegas properties are taking the concept a step further and requesting custom layouts that feature slot machine and roulette designs so customers can "spin" to randomly select wines. Martucci declined to name the clients.
Incentient also is expanding to sports and entertainment arenas to offer VIP fans the ability to order food, check stats or shop at team merchandise outlets from their seats.
"We're not a big-box solution, and I don't want to be," Martucci said. "We have a very specific attraction. You won't see us inside of a Holiday Inn. But I think it's just a matter of time until these roll out at all the appropriate venues. We've got a lot of exciting things coming in Las Vegas."
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Source: Las Vegas Sun