Innovation That Matters

Restaurant lets patrons reserve a specific table

Food & Drink

All restaurant tables are not created equal, as seasoned diners well know. One of the first we’ve seen to recognize that fact explicitly, however, is Wagaboo, which now lets consumers reserve a specific table online. Prospective visitors to Wagaboo’s restaurants in Madrid and Barcelona (another is coming soon to Lisbon) simply enter into Wagaboo’s online form the restaurant, date and time they’re interested in, along with their smoking preferences and the number of people in their party. They can then view a seating map of the appropriate section (smoking or non) of the restaurant they’ve chosen. Wagaboo automatically suggests a table based on the number in the party, indicating its selection with a red dot. Patrons are free to choose another from those still available, however, with free ones indicated in green. After making their selection, consumers then confirm their reservation with their name and contact details. Whereas restaurant table assignment typically depends on a combination of availability at the moment, staff workloads and restaurant discretion—with the best tables often given to the best customers—Wagaboo’s system democratizes and adds new transparency to the process. What happens when a party’s reservation comes to an end isn’t entirely clear, but one can’t help wondering about the implications for patrons who like to linger. It’s a system that won’t work for every type of establishment, but in difficult economic times, it could be an extra method of attracting customers, and rising to the expectations that other industries have created—in this case, airlines, theatres and other events venues. (Related: Table snagging service.) Spotted by: Leticia Pérez Prieto



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