This is the story of a successful plumbing professional having dinner several years ago in Sydney, Australia. As the server presented his coffee the wobbly table that he was sat at led to the coffee being spilled much to the frustration of the owner. The owner lamented: “whoever fixes the problem of wobbly tables will be a billionaire!” and with that, a business was born.
For the first time, rather than coming at the age-old problem with a Band-Aid and hardware solution, Tony Pike took a very different approach. His experience in plumbing had him look for a fix using hydraulics, fluids, valves, and pipes. The dreaded wobbly table has led to spilled drinks, sullied napkins, lawsuits, or just the sheer frustration of having to hold the table down for an entire meal; wobbly tables have soured many experiences.
After years of attempting to fix the issue with everything from folded cardboard to sugar packets, the industry has finally taken notice. “I think the dependence on outdoor dining resulting from COVID-19 has finally made operators look to the more permanent solution that our line offers,” noted FLAT® Tech Director of Marketing Andy O’Donnell. “What was often overlooked is just how sidewalks, streets, and parking lots that became extensions of dining rooms were never surfaced to place tables on them.”
“I’m also convinced that, with the Pandemic, many operators now look at outdoor dining areas as ‘necessary’ extensions of their businesses. Every customer and every cover has become more important to the restaurant operation,” added O’Donnell. “Maximizing the customer experience is key and customers simply won’t tolerate a waiter on their hands and knees going under the table to twist dirty glides and level a table. Compounding the issue now is the hyper-focus on hygiene issues that come with an employee being on the floor. Operators need repeat business in the coming months and the details matter – wobbly tables are not acceptable, nor are the ineffective temporary solutions that litter dining room floors.”
FLAT® Tech has brought a generation of design innovation to their portfolio of wobbly table solutions which has evolved into a line of some 40 different self-stabilizing table base styles – and more recently a range of height-adjustable bases. Their FLAT Table Bases line features a vast array of base sizes, of different shapes and construction materials depending on the table’s indoor or outdoor purpose. All FLAT table bases have FLAT® Tech’s patented technology integrated into the base for automatic stabilization and alignment with adjoining tabletops.
FLAT® Tech also offers retrofit table stabilizers for existing (wobbly) tables that are easily installed onto each foot of a table. FLAT Equalizers are reinforced plastic feet each contain a steel, threaded piston that activates FLAT® Tech’s technology when compressed, allowing for perfect stabilization and table alignment.
“What really makes us different is how our tables provide operators with a permanent solution to wobbly and misaligned tables. We take a problem entirely off the table for management, servers, and customers,” O’Donnell said. “Our products work effectively on uneven surfaces, saving operators time, money, and custom.”
With a focus on maximizing revenues with restricted capacity, the FLAT® Tech line allows operators to quickly reorganize seating for groups. “A restaurant will often have to bring tables together for groups – aligning the tables where the adjoining table tops meet takes time and can cause spillages if not dealt with. Our table bases not only self-stabilize but also align in seconds by tilting or lifting the tabletop to the required level.” O’Donnell added.
Furthermore, FLAT® Tech’s products are just as useful outdoors, as they are indoor, if not even more so. Restauranteurs looking to maximize their outdoor dining revenue will find FLAT® Tech’s technology invaluable. “Our products are perfectly suited to any outdoor terrain, be it brick, concrete, asphalt, or any other uneven surface. What it boils down to is no matter what environment you find yourself suddenly working with, our products will adapt to it,” explained O’Donnell.
For those worried about finances during these troubled times, FLAT® Tech has taken great care to make their products extremely affordable and cost-efficient. A box of Equalizers for existing tables, which will cover one of your standard tables, costs around twenty-two dollars, and FLAT’s self-stabilizing tables start at seventy-nine dollars. Operators should also check if they are eligible for Outdoor Dining Grants in their locale to support the costs of ‘winterizing’ their establishment and investing in the necessary equipment to be successful.
“From a value proposition, the elimination of unnecessary labor costs spilled liquor and food, dry-cleaning bills and potential litigation costs – generate a quick return on investment for the operator,” O’Donnell concluded.
FLAT® Tech products are being utilized by some of the world’s largest brands and are available nationwide. FLAT® Tech stocks significant inventory levels within the US and sells through all major distributors. See their website to preview the line or to find a representative in your area.