Restaurant chains, from quick-service restaurants to their white tablecloth counterparts, thrive on providing an exceptional, repeatable experience wherever and whenever patrons visit one of its stores. Carefully curated menu items, clean environments both back and front-of-house, and courteous, well-kept staff are hallmarks of successful chains. The desired effect is a positive customer experience and a healthy bottom line, which can be quickly spoiled by one of the industry’s most common complaints: wobbly tables. FLAT Tech Inc. provides table bases that automatically stabilize tabletops, eliminating wobbly tables, and enable leveling with other tabletops.
While core-drilled or bolt-down tables will continue to play a role in American restaurants, especially among quick-service restaurants where fixed tables have historically been the norm, a growing trend toward installations with freestanding tables that better suit customer demands for flexibility are challenging designers and architects. The ability to join tables for families, children’s birthday parties, or post-game celebrations is a growing demand. Standard freestanding table bases or those requiring manual stabilization are ill suited for restaurant chains. The risk to the customer experience from wobbly tables is too great.
All FLAT table bases solve two common problems for restaurant chains. The wobbly table—floors in restaurants and bars are rarely level, which leads to wobbly tables. FLAT eliminates the wobble.Additionally, tables are often misaligned—FLAT ensures that the joined table edges align at the same height, eliminating the uneven gap that frustrates patrons and operators when they push tables together.
Any issues with uneven floors are magnified in outdoor seating environments or with bar-height tables where the table’s center of gravity is higher. Add in a busy team of servers, especially in QSR chains, that cannot necessarily be relied on to manually stabilize tables and it’s easy to understand why restaurant chains have so long relied on fixed table bases. With its wide range of automatically stabilizing table bases, including bar-height bases, FLAT tackles all of these challenges.
For any chain, a positive, repeatable experience must be balanced with the cost to achieve that experience. With their advanced, integrated technology, FLAT table bases sell at a small premium over standard freestanding table bases, but because of their cost saving impacts, deliver a return on investment (ROI) of as little as two months. Cost-saving impacts include savings in staff time spent balancing tables, less compensatory product for spilled drinks and a reduction in lost business related to a customer’s bad experience. In a YouGov survey, 56 percent of respondents said a wobbly table would make them reconsider returning to a restaurant. This represents a huge risk to chains working in a competitive industry and a great opportunity for those wanting to improve their customer’s experience.
FLAT table bases achieve their stability and alignment capabilities through an award-winning hydraulic system. The patented system underpins a range of table base options including round, square and x-shaped bases, cast iron, polished aluminum and stainless steel finishes, and standard and bar heights. Additionally, the company’s unique, self-stabilizing two-legged base pairs can be used to create ADA-compliant tables. FLAT table bases can be used with virtually any restaurant-grade tabletop.
FLAT is sensitive to restaurant chains’ unique branding and aesthetic requirements and can work with a chain to customize the materials, finishes and style of a chosen base.
“The restaurant table is at its best when it goes unnoticed by the customer,” says Mike Drake, president of FLAT Tech Inc. “Nowhere is this more true than in a restaurant chain where a bad experience with a table in one restaurant can have exponential effects on future business chain-wide. FLAT gives chains the ability to explore more dynamic seating environments without sacrificing table stability.”