LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC) — Many Americans already spend the bulk of their waking hours in front of screens, and a popular restaurant chain announced Tuesday that it will make it easier for customers to be plugged in during dinnertime, too.

By the end of next year, at 1,800 Applebee’s restaurants across the country, specially-designed tablets powered by Intel will be on every table and scattered around the bar.

They will allow guests to add items to their orders, pay their bills and play games from their seats. They will also be considered for IHOP restaurants, which are operated by the same franchisor.

The company says the tablets, which “significantly reduced transaction times for guests” in pilot testing, will eventually allow for video streaming, music and social media use, too.

Rajat Suri, the founder and CEO of the company that produced the tablets, says five years of field research and customer trials went into their development.

Chili’s announced a similar but smaller-scale tablet initiative back in September. The casual dining chain plans to have Ziosk tablets installed at 823 of its locations in the first half of 2014. They will also allow guests to peruse the menu, order, pay and play games.

E le Carte Presto, the company that developed the Applebee’s tablets, produced this video to show off the product’s capabilities and benefits:


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