By Debbie Hall
Lead photo by Markus Winkler
One of the biggest challenges facing restaurants, bars, and lounges is finding extra space for social distancing. Another problem is a wobbly table in the dining room. FLAT equalizers and table bases can help solve both predicaments.
How many additional customers could be served each day if uneven areas such as a patio, sidewalks, decks, and titled floors could be opened up?
Today, the technology used by FLAT stabilizes and aligns tables in the hospitality industry worldwide, opening up needed space. FLAT stabilizing products provide a variety of solutions to create alignment. As for uneven surfaces, FLAT’s hydraulic technology, the Patented Actuator Device or PAD, can be applied to FLAT Table Bases using the Patented Undercarriage Key or PUK. The technology automatically adjusts and stabilizes the table instantly.
As for using additional space, according to Michael Politz, author of Food & Beverage Magazine Guide to Restaurant Success, advises repurposing any “real estate” available, including the pavement, square, terrace, patio, deck, or parking spaces.
Here are some top tips on how food operators can align and equalize spaces to maximize covers and ensure customer safety.
Make a map of premises and surrounding areas to identify potential new spaces to serve customers. Determine the flow throughout, including ordering, checkout, and restrooms. Which areas could be repurposed as a dining area in external sites such as the pavement, square, terrace, patio, or deck? Analyze parking lots and spaces to determine some of this space can be utilized for serving customers
Other considerations are noise level and the number of tables and chairs available. Are the tables and chairs suitable for outdoor use, portable, heavy, easily stored, and looking good (or in need of repair)? Are shelters, umbrellas, portable heaters, and or hygiene screens required?
As for wobbly tables, customers are becoming more demanding as the frustration grows. Restaurants, bars, cafes, hotels, and lounges face more obstacles every day. Depending on the state, food and beverage industries are coping with lockdowns, no indoor dining, 25 to 50 percent occupancy, and the need for reservations for even the most casual dining places. Add a wobbly table, and the guests’ aggravation level will go through the roof.
Before and during COVID-19, to be successful in the hospitality industry, attention to detail is crucial, and comfort is vital. Today customers don’t have the option to change tables if it is wobbly. They will probably leave and never come back. No restaurateur, entrepreneur, or foodservice operator needs that. Every customer was gold before COVID-19, and now his or her loyalty is platinum. A wobbly table can literally destroy years of goodwill,” says Michael.
With everything else going on, one might ask, is this a significant problem? According to Michael, yes. It affects profitability, customer service, and reputation. Click on this link for the online calculator to see how much wobbly tables could be costing restaurants and other businesses in revenue and profit.
Australian inventor Tony Pike founded FLAT in 2004 when he set out to make wobbly tables a thing of the past. FLAT has developed patented, proprietary technologies that can be used to stabilize and align items on uneven surfaces.
In 2017, its unique technology was developed further when FLAT Equalizers were launched. Equalizers stabilize existing wobbly tables by replacing a table’s existing screw-in feet following a gentle press on the table’s top.
FLAT sells products through an international team of dealers in North America, Europe, Asia, Central, and South America. Its technology is also applied to leveling other items such as appliances as well as helicopters and film-set equipment and can be licensed by manufacturers.
Offices include the US, United Kingdom, Australia, Hong Kong, and the Netherlands. Its supply chain team sources all parts, and all finished products are checked for quality by its quality control staff. To find a dealer or for more information, visit flattech.com.