Cupertino overlooks restaurants alongside Apple Cafes

November 12, 1996 Apple is setting out a wild plan to enter the restaurant business, saying that it will open a chain of Apple cafes with a system of points of sale with a touch screen.

A bit like future Apple retail outlets – but without computers and iPhones for sale – restaurants would open in cities around the world. The first, Apple says, will be a 15,000-square-foot restaurant in Los Angeles, which will open in late 1997.

Spoiler warning: None of this is happening.

Apple Cafe: The geek’s Planet Hollywood

Apple has teamed up with London-based Mega Bytes International BVI for its unfortunate restaurant venture. The idea was, in essence, to establish a chain of high-profile cyber cafes. The concept had great appeal at a time when only 23% of U.S. residents enjoyed the Internet at home. (Today that figure is over 90%).

At a time when themed restaurants like Planet Hollywood were becoming gangbusters, the concept of connecting with a technology company – albeit a sick one – to sell food seemed as serious as many dot-com era business plans.

Retro-styled Apple cafes boast seats for about 250 visitors. Users would take advantage of internet connections, CD-ROM access and FaceTime-style video conferencing between desks. Small shops within the restaurant would sell Apple goods and software. In addition to Los Angeles, Apple has explored potential locations in London, Paris, New York, Tokyo and Sydney.

Apple's failed restaurant plan: an inside look at what Apple Cafes might look like
An inside look at what Apple Cafe might have looked like.
Photo: Apple / Mega Bytes

Apple Cafes: Not completely crazy

Apple Cafe’s plan now sounds like a wacky idea. However, the idea of ​​a computer company running a restaurant chain is not so obviously doomed as it may sound.

Chuck E. Cheese’s, which originally built its name on a combination of food, animated entertainment and indoor video arcades, was founded in 1977 by Atari founder Nolan Bushnell – the so-called person who enabled Steve Jobs one of his first major breakthroughs in the technology industry. .

Apple is changing course

Finally, however, the Apple Cafe concept stopped. Like Apple’s attempts to launch a video game console and line of personal data assistants – either to license Mac OS to other companies or to build a Macintosh that was also a TV – Apple Cafe has retired with an era considered “old bad.” days.”

The following year, Jobs returned to Apple. He has wisely simplified all the side projects that hinder the benefit of building products like the colorful iMac G3.

All in all, we can’t say it’s the wrong idea. Although we would totally stop by tacOS and Jony Chive dip!

Here’s how to order food at Apple Cafe.
Here’s how to order your food.
Photo: Apple / Mega Bytes

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Naveen Kumar

Friendly communicator. Music maven. Explorer. Pop culture trailblazer. Social media practitioner.

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