uWink's touch-screen terminals at Chili's Too Margarita Bar at the Fort Lauderdale airport help improve the experience of international travelers
BUFFALO, N.Y. and LOS ANGELES (Sept. 22, 2008) – Delaware North Companies has partnered with uWink (OTCBB: UWKI) to bring that company’s unique self-service and entertainment technology to the Chili’s Too Margarita Bar at Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport.
The global hospitality, food service and retail provider this week completed the installation of four of uWink’s touch-screen terminals at the restaurant and bar. It is the first location to use the unique technology in the airport hospitality sector.
The Fort Lauderdale Airport was an ideal location for Delaware North to provide travelers with the uWink technology because of its selection in April by the U.S. Customs and Border protection agency to be one of 18 "Model Ports of Entry" airports. The initiative seeks to improve the experience of international visitors, of which the Fort Lauderdale airport has many.
The uWink terminals will help this initiative as they offer menus in both Spanish and English translations. In the near future, the technology will also be available to those who speak German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Hindi, Russian and French.
"We’re pushing very hard to bring cutting-edge brands to travelers across the country, so our partnership with uWink represents an incredible opportunity," said Matt King, president of Delaware North Travel Hospitality Services. "I think people are going to be blown away by how much fun they have at the uWink terminals and how convenient they are for international visitors."
Since 2006, uWink has opened three self-operated restaurants in California. The entertainment and hospitality software company was founded by Nolan Bushnell, its CEO, who also launched video game pioneer Atari in the early 1970s and the Chuck E. Cheese family restaurant and entertainment center chain.
The uWink concept features touch-screen terminals at tables that enable guests to order customized food and drinks directly from the kitchen, play dozens of different electronic games and pay the check when they are ready directly at the table. Some of the games allow interaction and competition among tables or even the entire restaurant.
"We are excited to have such a great partner as Delaware North bring our technology and restaurant concept to the airport industry and the Fort Lauderdale Airport," Bushnell said.
"uWink’s hospitality self-service and entertainment software is a perfect fit for the airport industry. Airport restaurant customers require immediate service and immediate check out, both of which are available through uWink’s self-service technology. And uWink’s digital entertainment offerings are great for those passengers who have extended layovers," he said.
King said Delaware North is intrigued by uWink’s technology and concept for making restaurants faster, more fun and more efficient. He said Delaware North is using the uWink terminals at Chili’s as a test for potential expansion to other airport restaurants the company operates.
"We visited one of the uWink restaurants in California and could see the speed and excitement that the interactivity brought to the customer experience," King said. "We knew we wanted to make uWink’s self-service and fun games a part of the experience we provide travelers."
Delaware North, through its Travel Hospitality Services division, is the exclusive food service and retail provider at the Fort Lauderdale airport and operates more than 300 branded restaurants and retail locations at 25 major airports worldwide.
"Anytime our tenants can enhance the customer service experience for the travelling public it’s a good thing. This technology provides the customer with ability to become involved with the dining experience," said Kent George, director of Broward County Aviation. "We’re delighted Delaware North Companies has chosen Fort Lauderdale Airport to launch this exciting new service."