Waitlist Me, Inc. announced a new set of table management features for its popular iPad and Android apps that helps restaurant staff know the best place to seat the next customer. The solution for managing tables without a spatial floor plan is said to be an industry first, and was developed by combining insights from psychology, data science, and cutting-edge design principles.
Most restaurants still use an old-fashioned laminated floor plan and a grease pen to mark off occupied tables. However, the inability to see key information like how long tables have been occupied makes it difficult for wait staff to optimize table assignments and estimate wait times. There are apps that add in layers of data, but they make the mistake of designing around the old floor map concept.
In the Waitlist Me app, tables are represented by boxes of equal sizes for simple comparisons. Table sections are organized as lines that can be read from top to bottom, and left to right, like a book. Open tables for each section stand out in green on the left. Then tables that have been occupied the longest show next in the row, with the time occupied displayed in the lower left.
Sections of tables can also be organized into different saved layouts to fit varying needs or times of day. For example, a restaurant manager might divide tables into six sections for a busy weekend night, and switch to a layout of only three sections for a regular day.
To learn more about this new feature, Waitlist Me has created a video available here.