Everyone has had a bad dining experience based on the service they received at a restaurant. It could be a lack of attention, getting the wrong dish or just not being friendly. But that could all be changing thanks to a Bay Area company.

A Slate Magazine article profiles a Palo Alto-based startup called E La Carte, which has produced “a souped-up iPad that lets (customers) order and pay right at the table.”

The devices will be equipped with batteries with a full-day life, a credit card reader and an easy to use interface. Diners will be able to order, including making special requests. If you want to add something while waiting, you can just punch that in as well.

The company is starting to roll the product out after two years of development, fundraising, testing and manufacturing.

Slate reports that about 20 restaurants have already signed up for the Presto service, “and many more nationally have expressed interest.”

Developers stress that the console is not meant to replace servers, as wait staff still has to bring out the food and drinks. But it sees the Presto as a cost-cutting measure and margin-booster for restaurants.

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Photo Credit: Infrogmation, via Wikimedia Commons