While the situation seems simple, the stakes for restaurants are high. A recent survey conducted by YouGov for FLAT Tech—a company that stabilizes tables for major brands in the hospitality industry world-wide—found that 56 percent of Americans would reconsider returning to a restaurant where their experience had been ruined by a wobbly tables. Furthermore, if that statistic is not frightening enough, each bad experience a diner has at a restaurant is another chance for a negative social media review, which can lead to more lost business and brand damage.
This is exactly the issue Tony Pike, founder of FLAT Tech, set out to solve in 2004.
“Our founder, Tony, was in a cafe in Sydney, Australia, in 2004, and his friend, who owned the restaurant, was fixing a table after the uneven surface had caused Tony’s coffee to spill,” says Barry Mancell, CEO of FLAT Tech. “The friend looked up at Tony and said, ‘I need a permanent fix for this, every day it’s an issue.’”
Pike, spent the next few years developing the technology that became FLAT®, including the brand’s Patented Actuator Device (PAD), which sits underneath a huge range of FLAT® Table Bases that instantly adjust and stabilize on uneven surfaces. Not only does FLAT’s technology help restaurants stabilize tables to help bolster the guest experience and prevent spills, but it also gives restaurants more flexibility in their dining rooms.
Today, FLAT has expanded its product line to better serve the needs of operators at some of the biggest restaurant, brands, hotel, and casinos in the world.
When the pandemic necessitated brands add more space between tables for indoor dining or that they expand their outdoor dining options, tables equipped with FLAT’s technology could be placed anywhere, including on an uneven dining room floor that would typically be avoided in a parking lot or on an outdoor patio.
Additionally, Mancell says tables fitted with FLAT are easy to adjust and align. Meaning that when staff bring tables together for a large party, FLAT’s technologies can help eliminate that annoying ‘lip’ that’s created where the tables join.
“Usually for large gatherings, restaurants have to push tables together to accommodate the group, and there is usually a lip caused by the surface of the tables not aligning,” Mancell says. “Not only do items fall off the lip, but this also prevents restaurants from using tablecloths or using that space for plates or other items, causing more crowding at the table.”