Friendly's Takes 'Mobile Platform' Literally

East-coast restaurant chain Friendly's is using a new mobile survey platform—literally. Sure, the chain uses mobile software from a vendor called On The Spot to conduct test panels for new menu items, but that's not especially innovative. What's different here is how the users interact with the iPod Touch that the software is running on: The device is mounted on a bamboo board about the size of a notebook to make it easy to hold. The iPod reportedly makes test panelists more inclined to leave open-ended text responses than the previous paper-and-pencil surveys did, while that bamboo palette probably makes it a lot less likely the device will be inadvertently smeared with sauces or dropped in dessert. Story