Chicago is Providing a Better Front of House Experience – with FLAT

We’ve all had that experience… we’re looking forward to a nice dinner out at one of our favorite restaurants, and sit down to a table that is pitching and wiggling every time we touch it. It’s annoying! Then we try and fix the issue by stuffing napkins or coasters under the feet to settle it down. Even if get the table to stop moving, we’re left being less impressed with the brand than when we arrived—even if the rest of the experience (food, atmosphere, service, etc.) were all perfect! It’s like going to a concert featuring your favorite band and there’s a short in the PA system that keeps popping and crackling during the performance. It’s nearly impossible to enjoy the music with this constant interruption bringing you out of the experience. A wobbly table is exactly like that, it’s just this consistent reminder that things aren’t quite right and you could be having a better time. It’s deadly to a business that needs to make a great first impression!

Most owner/operators are fully aware of the problem, and many have tried several different solutions to fix it. However, when the demands of day-to-day operation are bellowing for attention it can be hard to consider table bases as a high priority. The fact of the matter is that most brands are willing to invest in a solution, as long as it works, is economical, and doesn’t take a lot of work to implement. Enter FLAT Tech products, which have been engineered to be a permanent solution to wobbly tables that are safe and easy to use.

To prove our point, we actually visited two of the hottest locations in Chicago, IL—both of whom recently became FLAT Tech users—and asked them to give us their stories on wobbly tables, and their opinions on FLAT Tech products. Here’s what they had to say.

- Howl at the Moon -

Known around the country for providing one of the best nightclub experiences available, Howl at the Moon’s growth has always depended on creating a vibrant and positive customer experience. The brand’s President and Co-Owner, Bradd O’Brien, has always believed that building the right first impression it core to their continued success. When we met with Bradd to talk about how and why he chose FLAT Tech products to help him solve the issue of wobbly tables, he was more than happy to share his experience.

"I have two enormous pet-peeves… one is that the sign needs to work, and the other is that the tables need to be level” - Howl At The Moon

“If you ask anyone who knows me well in the business, I have two enormous pet-peeves… one is that the sign needs to work, and the other is that the tables need to be level,” says Bradd. He has spent several years testing different solutions to wobbly tables, and has been less than impressed with the results many of the other options have given. “I have boxes of other solutions that just didn’t work for me. I was still spending money every week having a maintenance person come into the club to check all the tables and make repairs to bases with issues,” said Mr. O’Brien.

Bradd goes on to explain that he had FLAT Tech recommended to him by one of his store managers who had seen the product at an industry trade show. After a brief call with the FLAT Tech sales team, he decided to test the products in a new location that was opening in Boston, MA. The feedback he got back from the staff at the Boston location was overwhelmingly positive, and he decided it was time to make FLAT Tech a part of his front of house at all his other locations.

What sold Bradd O’Brien, and his staff, on FLAT Tech Equalizers was just how easy they were to install on existing tables and operate in the clubs. “You take the table and unscrew the levelers—that don’t work—and screw these into the base and push down, and it’ll stay level there,” explains Bradd. He goes on to say, “There are a lot of things that we may not know our customers are experiencing… but a level table isn’t a problem anymore.”

One of the big benefits Howl at the Moon has seen since installing FLAT Tech Equalizers in their locations is removing an annoying distraction for their staff. “Our servers when we’re very very busy have a lot do. They don’t have time to level tables,” explains Bradd. “I feel that the investment we made in FLAT Equalizers, was the best investment we’ve made in a long time,” he concluded.

- Theory -

FLAT Tech also visited one of the hottest new Chicago upscale sports lounges, Theory, to learn more about their experience with our products. Since they opened their doors, Theory’s goal has been to be a step above in their atmosphere and service experience. The sports bar market in dense with national and local independent competitors that want to drive traffic to their locations. Having a “secret weapon” that helps you create a consistent and positive drinking and dining experience is crucial to winning more traffic.

Joel Sorinsky, Managing Partner of Theory, knows all too well what it takes to give his staff the freedom to focus on making their customers experience second-to-none. “From a small business owner perspective, you do everything you can to tell everybody how much you value them, but sometimes you can’t be there for every experience,” Joel explains. “The customer complaints we would get would be involved with tables that would be wobbly. We tried to have our servers help, but for sanitary reasons we really don’t want our servers going down on the ground and getting their hands and knees dirty to fix a wobbly table.” This is an issue that any restaurant owner/operator can relate to. Having customers watch a server get down on the floor to fix a table and then serve those same customers their food—even if they washed their hands in the back—doesn’t give a great impression.

“Using FLAT Tech table bases, all of those customer complaints have gone away” - Theory

After having done some research and trying a few other solutions, with limited success, Mr. Sorinsky reached out to the FLAT Tech team. “One thing I can say is that the FLAT Tech team has been a great partner for me. They’ve always been available to help me find the right solutions, and give me great service and peace of mind about partnering with them,” assures Joel. “Using FLAT Tech table bases, all of those customer complaints have gone away,” says Joel.

Another added benefit that the staff of Theory has enjoyed about FLAT Tech table bases is how easily, and accurately, they are now able to align multiple tables for large groups. Joel explains, “In my business, people are sharing appetizers… and we’ll put a plate out on a table the other table won’t be level, so the plate will be tipping over. That doesn’t happen on the FLAT Tech table bases.” The tables can be quickly, and easily, aligned to give one smooth and consistent table surface for customers.

As a local brand that is targeting a high-end clientele for their sports lounge experience, Theory knows that building a better customer experience means paying close attention to all the details for their clients. “Throwing napkins or coasters under a table is not a good representation of who we are,” explains Solinsky. The economy of customer experience is just too important to allow a table to derail the brand’s goals. “We’re never buying another table base again… only FLAT table bases,” declares Joel Solinsky.

If you’re evaluating your restaurant experience, and just aren’t comfortable with the solutions you have in place to fix wobbly tables. It’s probably time to consider FLAT Tech. As the global leader in developing truly effective and economical table solutions, FLAT Tech has been an award-winning leader in providing a better table experience for customers. Whether you need to replace damaged or poorly designed table bases with FLAT Tech table bases or you need a solution to repair existing tables, FLAT Tech has a solution for you and your staff. The main benefit is just how easy these products are to use in a busy front of house.

To learn more, we encourage you to contact the FLAT Tech team and discuss your specific needs in order to find the perfect solution for your locations. Our sales staff are ready to provide you with a catalog of FLAT Tech solutions that will stabilize your tables quickly and permanently. Getting this issue solved is the first step to allowing owners, operators and staff to focus on creating a dining experience that amazes and delights their customers.

Contact us and learn how FLAT® can help you create the best table experience for all your guests and visitors.