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Cupertino eyes restaurant biz with Apple Cafes

November 12: Today in Apple history: Apple wants to get into the restaurant business with Apple Cafes November 12, 1996: Apple lays out a wild plan to get into the restaurant enterprise, saying it would open a sequence of Apple Cafes with a touchscreen point-of-sale system.

A bit like future Apple retail shops — however with out the computer systems and iPhones on the market — the eating places would open in cities world wide. The primary, Apple says, might be a 15,000-square-foot restaurant in Los Angeles, opening in late 1997.

Spoiler alert: None of this occurs.

Apple Cafe: The geek’s Planet Hollywood

Apple partnered with London firm Mega Bytes Worldwide BVI for its ill-fated restaurant endeavor. The thought was, basically, to determine a sequence of high-profile cybercafes. The idea held a number of attraction at a time when solely 23% of U.S. residents loved the web at residence. (At this time, that determine stands at over 90%.)

At a time when theme eating places like Planet Hollywood had been going gangbusters, the idea of hooking up with a tech firm — albeit an ailing one — to promote meals appeared as severe as numerous dot-com period enterprise plans.

The retro-styled Apple Cafes would boast seating for round 250 patrons. Prospects would benefit from web connections, CD-ROM entry and FaceTime-style videoconferencing between tables. Small outlets throughout the eating places would promote Apple merchandise and software program. Alongside Los Angeles, Apple scouted potential areas in London, Paris, New York, Tokyo and Sydney.

Apple's failed restaurant plan: An inside look at how Apple Cafes might have looked
An inside glimpse of how the Apple Cafe may need seemed.
Photograph: Apple/Mega Bytes

Apple Cafes: Not completely loopy

The Apple Cafe plan appears like a wacky thought now. Nevertheless, the thought of a pc firm operating a restaurant chain isn’t fairly as clearly doomed as it’d sound.

Chuck E. Cheese’s, which initially constructed its title on combining meals, animated leisure, and an indoor video arcade, was began in 1977 by Atari founder Nolan Bushnell — aka the one that gave Steve Jobs certainly one of his first massive breaks within the tech business.

Apple’s plan to open theme eating places doesn’t pan out

In the end, nonetheless, the Apple Cafe idea sputtered to a halt. Like Apple’s makes an attempt to launch a videogame console and a line of private information assistants — or to license Mac OS to different corporations or construct a Macintosh that was additionally a TV — the Apple Cafe is resigned to an period extensively thought-about to be the “unhealthy outdated days.”

The next yr, Apple co-founder Jobs got here again to Cupertino. He correctly streamlined all of the distracting aspect initiatives in favor of constructing merchandise just like the colourful iMac G3.

On stability, we will’t say that’s the improper thought. Despite the fact that we completely would have stopped by for a plate of tacOS and Jony Chive dip!

Here's how you would have ordered your food at an Apple Cafe.
Right here’s how you’d have ordered your meals.
Photograph: Apple/Mega Bytes



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