It is a well-known fact that food plays a key role in our feelings and can positively or negatively impact our mood. What is also true is that the findings of a decade-old study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology, indicate that people exude more happiness when they spend their money to create an experience and consider them a more fulfilling expenditure as opposed to spending it on material acquisitions.
The team at Tablz understands this dynamic and is proving to the foodservice industry that while the concept of what its CEO, Frazer Nagy calls “premium seating and dynamic pricing,” is not new, it is not taken advantage of nearly enough in our industry. “I’ve been thinking about this table issue for a long time and wondering why restaurants aren’t charging for their tables? Why aren’t they enabling what’s called revenue management where they have premium seating and dynamic pricing, and use economics in their favor?”
The magic of Tablz extends beyond the reconfiguration of a restaurant’s seating chart. Nagy has created a 3D video experience that in many ways replicates the way the real estate industry now utilizes video to take potential buyers on a tour of a property. So In addition to creating additional revenue for those special tables in a restaurant dining room, the restaurant’s marketing profile is enhanced with a fresh new look that captures what is going to make that potential dining experience special.
According to Nagy, the pandemic and the spin-off realities created the “perfect storm” that ushered his idea into the sphere of partners who could help him realize his vision. He further added that his long-time fascination with dining room economics proved the hypothesis of “data first driven management ideology.”
He explained that the gambit of this paradigm shift started at “age 23 while doing seminal research as a precursor to a graduate degree in economics. While my peers took on challenges directed toward the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and other markets, I was looking into a more familiar but largely overlooked subject. Restaurant economics. I convinced my employer at the time, a restaurant owner, to entrust me with the historical sales data covering a 5-year span. The result was a novel research paper based on regression analysis, an endeavor that no previous literature had before highlighted. It was just something the industry simply did not do.”
Years later, Nagy found himself reflecting on a report issued by Consumer Savings in November of 2020. That study revealed that “both millennial and Generation Xers had more money and therefore disposable income than ever before. Conversely, the restaurant industry was getting their teeth kicked in and suffering more than ever.” He added that the epiphany then hit that “this would develop into the perfect storm of bottled-up demand with insufficient service or real-material opportunities to satisfy the expectation. Let’s face it, frankly speaking, millennials and Generation Xers do not cook, the opportunity cost could be considered too high.”
Nagy continued that as Covid-19 limitations started to make a shift around November of 2020, “this presented itself as the perfect stimulant for my economic focused brain to run wild. At this moment there was a massive expansion in demand with ironically not just literally but figuratively hungry consumers.”
What many patrons and likewise restaurant industry employers and employees did not know, Nagy explained, is that “the contraction in supply would extend beyond that time for an additional 14 to 16 months. Not only were restaurants going bankrupt, the limitation of 50% capacity severely titrated the opportunity to make any consistent profitability, and directly impacted survivability.”
He recounted that from the outside looking in “while in California during the summer of 2021 cars were literally lined up on the highway for an opportunity to find a restaurant that was able to seat them. This prompted me to ask several owners what could have been the root cause of this dilemma, “we have no staff!” At that moment it solidified the realization, we were the last industry in the world to exercise revenue management, with a complementary theory of both premium seating and dynamic pricing as a benchmark to meet consumer demand.
Nagy concluded that the idea of prioritizing access and proximity for a premium has been capitalized on by many other industries to the point of normalized expectation. Airlines, theaters, sporting events, concerts, the list goes on. “Why couldn’t a restaurant get the same premium price for a special table that an NBA team gets for a courtside seat?” Nagy added.
“But we, the restaurant industry, are fighting a war and are amongst the last institutions that simply give away our real estate for free. Being last to the party we must shift our mentality and tactics to capture this opportunity. One of the foremost battles within that war is to educate operations to allay the fear of upselling premium seating, as consumers have been comfortable and willing to upgrade to premium seating. Tablz is not a clone of our competitors that give your real estate away for free, let us help you sell 50% of those opportunities for a massive economic value.”
Frazer Nagy and Tablz have created a platform that is the perfect convergence of technology and customer experience that creates a new revenue stream for the national restaurant operators.
Learn more about Tablz by visiting their website