OTG is iOpening

Fundamental change comes with revolution. The revolution to the food industry comes from an obsession with an apple. The iPad is taking over. The experience has been overhauled on the go, but an obsession can quickly force this apple to go bad.


On The Go Management has taken to airports all over the country and has begun the revolution in the food industry. They buy out the contracts for entire terminals and bring in their own unique restaurants, bars, kiosks, and stores. The catch is that the customer service is completely dependent on the iPad. You can even get food, drinks, and other amenities delivered to your gate if you don’t feel like getting up. Just imagine getting a smoothie delivered to your seat while watching Wall-E on your tablet. They have forced their way into the food industry with its technological revolution to customer service. From ordering, to paying, to entertainment, to the service experience, the entire time spent at an establishment is influenced by the iPad.

Nostalgia seems to be the first thing that comes to mind when this is experienced in real time. Talking to people seems like it has become too much of a hassle to the majority of first-worlders. Pen, paper, and conversation have their longevity in crisis.


A server from OTG who chooses to remain anonymous from Newark, New Jersey, a server for over four years, has been an employee of OTG Management since 2015 and a server at in Terminal C of Newark Liberty International Airport. He has firsthand experience of the impact that OTG’s innovative idea has on people and the personal service, or lack thereof, that he provides.


His first day presented him with an early sign of what was yet to come, which he chose to ignore. When he applied, he wasn’t aware that the use of iPads was as extensive as it was. The restaurants can’t function without them, and he was thrown into the fire right on his first day without even so much as a tutorial or walkthrough of the iPad system or menu. He was forced to learn it on his own, and he was taking orders and was as confused as the customers were, which didn’t reflect well on the restaurant, the company, or him. Surely, that led to several uncomfortable customer interactions right away.


He eventually became acquainted and settled in, but the worst was yet to come. As time passed, the stress was only exacerbated, and everyone felt it. Pep talks on the bus to work became regular. Managers crying on the job and in front of customers actually happened. Managers dropping left and right occurred frequently. The menus were large but there was never enough inventory to accommodate such a menu, and the iPads were never updated, which led to horrendous customer service and countless problems. Essentially, OTG came to Newark, an airport that is already dreadful, and failed miserably at living up to their objective of world class customer service with new world innovation and made the experience at Newark even worse to many.


“I usually get a lot of complaints about the iPads” says Anon. When OTG first got to Newark, the iPads failed regularly. “I felt more like an Apple tech at the Genius Bar than a server with all of the trouble shooting I was doing” says Anon. Clearly, this took away from the service.

We live with screens all around us and in front of us everyday, and OTG has assumed that that is the new norm and has created a product that gives us more of what we already have

“The quality of the iPads and the organization has gotten so much better, but it just makes the service so much impersonal than what it already was” says Anon. When he had to troubleshoot the failing iPads, he would still have to talk to the patrons and would even have to take their order the old fashioned way if there was no luck with the system or if the customers just got too frustrated waiting for the troubleshoot to work. Now, they all work flawlessly, and with the high volume of customers and orders, there really is no “waiting” to be done. The iPad and OTG’s business model has practically done away with the personal service provided by an old-fashioned server. It is astonishing that we even have to refer to a server as old-fashion.
“I’m just a glorified food runner now, and I get stopped sometimes by people who ask if they can just place their order with me. I get into conversations sometimes when I can find time and there are people who hate it, but there are many more people who love it” says Anon.

We have screens in our pockets and now have to eat at places that can’t function without them

He goes through his day with his head down and tray up, but the sight of everyone with their face planted to a screen is a sight that he cannot ignore. The disrespectful attitudes and dismissiveness are symptoms of the detachment from our reality. Our reality has been under attack from the cyber and digital world for quite some time now, and OTG is contributing to this assault with their infiltration of the food and hospitality industries. This revolution, the attack on our reality and our unique and simple humanity, will leave many nostalgic. Who knows how long it will take before this model is in every restaurant, bar, store, etc. across the world. If the development from the rest of our innovations has anything to teach us, then we can expect this transition to be swift and discrete. It will creep in like a thief in the night. Will we ever realize our destruction, or will it take a cute, quirky, clunky robot to teach us the error of our ways?