What We Got Wrong in 1990

Orange Coast has chronicled life in O.C. for more than 40 years. What did we predict 26 years ago?

18_FOB_Insight.inddThe October 1990 issue of Orange Coast featured an article about Waiter Lites, an invention from Santa Ana-based Roher Industries. “Placed on each table, the Waiter Lite consists of a fiberoptic light atop a small antenna. When a patron desires service, he simply turns on the light and the waiter gets the message,” it said. “Several dozen restaurants around the country have already installed Waiter Lites and are reporting a positive response by patrons.” We imagine the response was far less positive from the waitstaff, which might be why we haven’t seen many of the airline-style call buttons in restaurants. Though similar devices are common in several of the county’s Korean and Japanese restaurants, they don’t seem to have inspired the breathless demand that this magazine forecast 26 years ago, when it compared the idea to Velcro and Post-Its.

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