Nothing is more irritating than looking at the menu, finaly making a choice and then having the waitress return to tell you that they ran out of the main ingredient for your dish of choice.
I propose a smart menu that utilizes bluetooth and the new Flexible OLED displays or Electronic Paper systems.
This menu would change as needed to reflect currently available dishes by either removing them from the menu or marking them as not available.
However this menu would maintain the look and feel of traditional menus and exisiting holders allowing diners to page through the menu as they would normally.
Menu would be powered by thin lithium ion batteries in the spine of the menu or sandwiched in the pages. Charging would be handled by an inductive charger similar to those units used to charge internal pacemakers or electric tooth brushes that are built into the menu box at the host station.
Other things this menu would allow for include;
--Items that are normally marked as "Market Price" to indicate the current price for the meal
--Current specials could be displayed in a desginated area
--Buttons for things like salad dressing, beer, liquor and cocktail lists would be available
--Diners could view pictures nutritional information and ingredient lists by touching the item of interest
--games for children to play while waiting that can be chosen to suit the abilities of each child(see biometric system note below)
--Allow for customizable menu views such as arranging by main ingredient, popularity, price or level of spiciness(see biometric note below)
--diners could quickly see which dishes are popular based on statistics collected from the ordering system. Something like say, small croisants in front of the name to indicate popularity
--regular patrons could be identified by the use of a biometric fingerprint scanner which would allow them to track dishes or beers(like bennigans in the US tried to do) that they have not yet tried, or remember prefered menu settings(see above) or health related items for the customer(flag dishes with Milk or Nuts for example)