Applebee’s plans “No Tech Tuesdays,” even as it puts tablets on tables

It looks like Applebee’s(s din) has a problem that many of us can relate to: we surround ourselves with gadgets, but also feel the urge to escape them from time to time.
As CNBC reports, the restaurant chain has applied for a trademark on “No Tech Tuesdays,” which suggests that Applebee’s is planning some sort of promotion for customers who want to dine without buzzing, blinking cell phones all around them.
It’s a nice idea, but one wonders how Applebee’s will square its “no tech” plans with its decision to plunk down 100,000 tablets on tables around the country. According to a press release, the tablets will let customers place orders, pay their bill and even play games as they dine.
A similar scheme is underway at Chili’s(s eat) where, as Gigaom reported last month, the restaurant chain has replaced menus with special rugged Android tablets mounted on stands. (Reaction from our readers was divided over whether this was clever or just gross.)
As for Applebee’s, the company declined CNBC’s request to comment about what exactly it is cooking up for No Tech Tuesdays or how the trademark application fits with its tablet plans. Like Amtrak trains, where quiet cars are very popular, Applebees appears to be another example of people’s desire for less tech in public spaces, even as they carry around more gadgets than ever.