Restaurants always look for ways to go above and beyond for their customers.  With all the new delivery apps, it's increasingly hard to get people to dine out. 

With that being said, to get people out to a restaurant, you need to offer unique experiences that make dining out more than just a meal—it should be an event in itself. Creating an interactive dining experience is key to drawing customers in and giving them a reason to choose your establishment over the comfort of their homes

So, in this article, we will go over what interactive experiences are, along with some ways you could implement them in your restaurant. 

So What Exactly Is an Interactive Experience and What Are Some Examples?

First things first, "interactive" means the ability to react to or influence a system or environment by actively participating in it. In the context of eating at a restaurant, interactive elements engage customers in various aspects of their meals. This could include customization, preparation, and many more aspects. Let's go over some good examples.

The First Example of Interactive Dining: Hibachi

I'm sure you've been to a Hibachi restaurant at least once in your life. Still, if you haven't, it consists of skilled chefs preparing meals tableside, showcasing their impressive culinary techniques such as knife skills, flipping food like shrimp into customers' mouths, and creating cool flaming onion volcanoes. So, not only do diners enjoy watching the chef, but they also actively participate in the experience. On top of all that, I also find Hibachi very tasty.

Popular Hibachi Restaurant Example: Sakura Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar

Sakura is a well-known chain across the U.S. that offers a twist on the Japanese steakhouse. Customers order at the register before seating and can choose from popular dishes like ribeye steak with corn and rice or surf and turf combos. Meals are prepared by cooks and served on a hot skillet, allowing diners to personalize flavors using signature sauces like House Chili or Pineapple Teriyaki, creating their unique steakhouse dish.

Another Example: Customizable Screens

Diners these days have a lot of different preferences. They could be gluten-free, vegan, or have a certain caloric intake preference. With that being said, customizable screens allow diners to use touchscreen kiosks to select different things like ingredients, portion sizes, and dietary preferences.

Example Of This: Shake Shack

I recently went to Shake Shack, and they had iPads that you could order on and customize your order instead of standing and waiting online. For me, it was a much faster, more efficient experience. 

Chipotle's Interactive Experience

Food visualization

Chipotle, one of the most popular restaurants out there, also offers an interactive experience. Customers have the ability to customize burritos, burrito bowls, or tacos by choosing from a variety of different ingredients as they move along the line. This allows diners to actively participate in the creation of their meals, which is a big reason why people love Chipotle so much. If you ever get the chance to talk to a Chipotle lover, ask them what they get and watch how animated they get when they talk about it. Interactive experiences will do this to customers.

The DIY Dinner Experience: A Popular Date Night Option

DIY dinner experiences are becoming more and more popular. These experiences allow guests to engage in the hands-on creation of their meals. These classes teach people new culinary skills while preparing their meals with the guidance of professional chefs. I don't know about you, but when I work hard on a meal that I cook, I enjoy it that much more. It's also a great opportunity to feel close to a loved one as you're cooking a meal together.

A popular DIY Diner Experience: Taste Buds Kitchen

Taste Buds kitchen

With locations all over the place, Taste Buds Kitchen allows people to be in an intimate setting while preparing meals under the guidance of professional chefs. 

Interactive Tasting Menus

Next up are interactive tasting menus. Instead of allowing you to pick one option, restaurants with interactive tasting menus let you taste a series of small, carefully selected dishes. At places like this, the chef, waiter, or waitress may engage with the diners while providing educational descriptions of each dish. It's much like going to a winery and tasting different wines, except for food, which could be a much more exciting experience than traditional dining.

Combining Gaming and Dining

Combining gaming and dining offers a unique and interactive dining experience. There are several examples of this concept in action. Video game cafes, for instance, allow customers to enjoy food and beverages while gaming with friends. There are also cafes centered around board games, where people can eat and engage in classic games like chess and checkers. Other venues, such as bowling alleys and batting cages, also integrate dining options, providing a fun blend of physical activity and culinary enjoyment.

Example: Humdingers 

Humdingers is a place I’ve been to with my son. It has batting cages, bowling, and arcade games combined with a good dining experience. 

New Technological Interactive Dining Experience Every Restaurant Should Use: AR Menus

All of the different interactive experiences we mentioned above are great. However, not every restaurant can just get up and rebrand & start a whole different business model. With that being said, we do have a method that pretty much any restaurant can implement to make their dining experience much more interactive. This is adding augmented reality menus.

Augmented Reality Menus

Augmented reality menus allow your diners to see the true essence of a dish by allowing them to visualize realistic 3D models of each dish.

This option allows customers to get a better understanding of the portion size, how the dishes are presented, the ingredients used, and even informational content like the number of calories, fat, and protein, amongst other things (food allergies, special diets, etc).

Benefits of AR Menus

On top of all this, there are many benefits to adding an AR menu to your restaurant that doesn't necessarily pop up at first thought. Let's go over what they are.

Increased Customer Satisfaction

The first benefit of interactive dining experiences is that they increase the likelihood of the diner walking away happy. Getting good reviews is essential for a restaurant to succeed. Personally, I like to go out of my way and read all the reviews of a restaurant, and if a lot of the reviews are no good, I obviously won't go. So, the way interactive menus can help your restaurant get more positive reviews is by limiting the chances of a customer having a bad experience by allowing them to see what each dish looks like, confirming if it aligns with their specialized diets, ensuring it's a good size portion and more, it takes away a lot of the guesswork and potential disappointment.

Brand Differentiation

The second benefit of implementing AR menus is the fact that it differentiates your brand. Most restaurants right now still utilize traditional printed menus, so if you go out of your way and implement an AR menu, you'll give people something to talk about. When people experience your AR menu, they will be more likely to talk about their experience with their friends and family. They also might be more likely to write a positive review about your restaurant.

Valuable Data Collection

Next up is the ability to gather valuable data. Traditional menus don't have anything that tracks what customers considered buying before they went ahead and chose the meal that they did. But with AR menus, specifically through platforms that allow you to see your data, you'll be able to see what diners clicked on most leading up to what they ordered. This is very valuable in many ways, but most importantly for tweaking your menu and your marketing strategy.


According to Data Central's Sustainability Keynote in October 2022, they found that 57% of diners are basing their dining out choices on whether or not the restaurant has good sustainability practices in place. By utilizing our AR menus, you no longer have to print menu after menu, which is good for the environment and aligns with the growing consumer demand for eco-friendly practices. This shift not only reduces paper waste but also demonstrates your commitment to sustainability, a factor increasingly important to today's environmentally conscious customers.

Easy Menu Updates

Lastly is the menu update dilemma. When you change up your menu, that means you have to order all new ones. However, if you shift over to AR menus, you can easily change things around within the back end of a good AR experience provider. This means instead of waiting a couple of days or weeks for new menus to come in, you can do it in just a few minutes.

How CSCONNECT Can Transform Your Restaurant with AR Menus

At CSCONNECT, we understand the importance of staying ahead in the restaurant industry. That's why we've simplified the process of integrating augmented reality (AR) menus into your restaurant, making it accessible even for those without technical expertise. Here's how we can help you bring this innovative technology to your restaurant: 

Our 3D Genie Tool

Our 3D Genie tool is what really sets us apart from other AR tools. It allows you to quickly upload 3D models at the highest quality possible for your AR experience Here’s how it works.

  1. Once you’ve signed up and gotten started with creating your 3D Menu, we provide you with the requirements necessary to create the very best 3D models. This includes utilizing the best background, lighting, surface, and more.
  2. The second step is to take the photos. We recommend taking over 100 photos from various angles in order to get the best results.
  3. The third step is photo validation. The photos will be run through the 3D genie app to see which ones qualify for high-quality photos and which ones don’t. The ones that are will be marked green with a V, and the ones that aren’t will come up in yellow. For the ones that are yellow, you will have to retake them to get it right.
  4. Next up, the 3D Genie app then processes the images and adds them to the CSCONNECT XR app, where you can then customize your own AR experience.
  5. Lastly, after you do this with all of the food items you’d like to add to your menu, you could customize your AR menu experience within the CSCONNECT XR app.

The Benefits Of Working With Us

Easy 3D model creation is only one of the benefits we have to offer, here are the others.

Supportive Team

Whatever you’re working on, our support team will assist you throughout the process. Whether you’re stuck in the creative process or need help with the app, we will be there every step of the way.

No Coding Needed

In most cases, you need coding in order to put together a good AR experience. Not with us. When it comes to using CSCONNECT, your technological expertise doesn’t have to be high at all.


We provide you with detailed analytics that allows you to gather insights into your customer's behaviors while going through your AT menu. 

Cheaper Than Most Other AR Tools With Just As High Of Quality

Our lowest plan is just $49.00 per month which is a great deal with the quality you receive. Compared to other AR tools in the market, our platform offers a cost-effective solution without compromising on the quality of the AR experience. This makes it accessible for small to medium-sized businesses looking to enhance their customer engagement through innovative AR menus.

With such a quick, efficient way to create a better experience for your customers, why wouldn’t you give us a try? If you want to give CSCONNECT a try for FREE (30 days)- click here and enter in your information!