Waitrate App Concept Proposal
A case study and prototype for a proposed mobile wayfinding app for Seattle's legendary Pike Place Market featuring augmented reality.
In major cities across the country, the high-end restaurant scene is thriving. Chefs and entrepreneurs are opening new “foodie” havens and cuisine hotspots on a regular basis. Occupants of major cities flock to these new dining establishments eagerly. Some new restaurants will achieve lasting success and popularity, and some will fade away shortly after the opening buzz fades away.
There are many ingredients in the recipe for a restaurant’s success, as anyone in the industry will tell you. First and foremost, there is the food: it must be fabulous in taste and presentation. Then, of course, the decor: lavish and unique interior design is a must.
Once these elements are secured, another key factor comes into play: the staff. Of course, the kitchen must be staffed with dedicated professionals who excel in their craft, but what about the staff in the front of the house?
There exists a breed of career servers who support an affluent and flexible lifestyle through this job choice. It’s not for everyone; it takes years of experience and certain aptitudes to flourish in this career.
Yet, these aptitudes are often overlooked or taken for granted by the patrons who enjoy this careful service. There pervades an attitude that a server is a lowly servant rather than a trained professional. This misconception is the source of much bother for a seasoned pro.
Instead, one might argue that the service of a burgeoning restaurant hotspot is the most important aspect. No matter the quality of food, decor, management, location, menu, etc., the whole experience rests on the quality of service.
Guests desire a “red carpet” service experience, so that the other aspects of the restaurant experience may shine brightly. Guests often do not understand that their own behavior as a guest is a key ingredient in the quality of service received.
Enter Waitrate, a tool for elevating the quality of the dining experience for both server and guest.
Waitrate is a smartphone application that offers a platform for servers and guests to consensually and mutually rate and review each other based on the quality of the experience had by each during their time together.
The goal of this service is to elevate the level of respect shown in both directions, the level of appreciation given by the guest to the server, the level of finesse and professionalism displayed by the server, and the level of enjoyment had by both, thereby offering multitudinous benefits for both server and guest.
This project proposal documents the exploration and realization of this proposed mobile application.
Potential Investors in the Restaurant Industry
This project proposes an app concept that would require much funding and research to launch and build out.
The client that this proposal is aimed at are any potential investors interested in backing a new mobile app concept.
These investors would harbor interest in aiding servers, guests, and the restaurant industry as a whole.
The app designed to be used by servers and guests of fine-dining restaurants in major cities.
Potential investors want to know that the proposed project is well-thought-out and investigated. It is important that they know that there is a real-world need for the product being proposed, and that the project would be well worth offering their funding.
The product needs to address the needs to enhance the experience of servers and guests in fine-dining restaurants as well.
The proposed project is a mobile application that offers a platform for servers and guests in fine-dining restaurants to rate and review each other based on the quality of the experience had by each during their time together.
The goal of this service is to elevate the level of respect shown in both directions, the level of appreciation given by the guest to the server, the level of finesse and professionalism displayed by the server, and the level of enjoyment had by both parties.
The proposed system would provide certain benefits to participants, such as increases in the following qualities:
• return business
• superb service
• take-home pay (tips)
• guest promotions
• To develop an iOS interface that
conveys the essence of the project
• Utilize contemporary design standards,
trends, and Gestalt principles
• Review competing and similar applications
• Produce sketches, content flowcharts,
wireframes and hi-fidelity prototypes
• Conduct user testing
I have revised the Waitrate concept three times, yet many components still need to be developed. The consensus from anyone who tests the app and hears the proposal is that the prototype is in great shape in terms of interface design and functionality, but many questions remain about the rating system, integration with restaurant POS and floor management systems, rewards programs and general user motivation.
This concept was born out of extensive personal experience with a very nuanced industry; anyone who has ever waited tables know that a typical shift pelts a server with an array of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly. It was my intention to create an app service that could alleviate some of the stresses put upon servers, while encouraging guests to participate in elevating the quality of the experience. Attaining such lofty goals will require much more investigation.
In conclusion, I believe that this project proposal is a robust start to something that could really take off, given the right footing. In order for this concept to be fully fleshed out and implemented, a whole team of designers, researchers, developers, and investors, as well as much data collection and community outreach, would be required.