Social media on menu: 'Tech buff' opens downtown eatery

The menu of the newest restaurant to hit downtown will include plenty of red meat, shellfish and pasta but its daily feature -- technology -- is what will truly set it apart.

The food-services business has been old school for generations but Michael Schafer is out to change that. The owner and chef at Sydney's at The Forks is putting the finishing touches on Rudy's Eat & Drink, which could be the most technologically advanced eatery in the province when it opens on the main floor of the Manitoba Hydro headquarters on Portage Avenue in coming days.

Take, for example, the servers. Each one will be equipped with a hand-held device instead of a notepad and a pen so when they take your order at your table, it gets relayed to the kitchen immediately, not when the server has time to punch it into the traditional order system.

"Being a chef, there's nothing more irritating than five orders coming in at once. This will make (the process) very fluid," he said.

Schafer wants to go big with social media, too. Customers who download Rudy's app on their smartphones will be able to receive notifications of special offers. For example, Jets fans down the street at the MTS Centre could get a message pushed to their phones with 10 minutes to go in the third period that chicken wings will be half price for the next 45 minutes.

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