getWaiter! is a project we have been working on for the last few months for a company called GeniusIn based in Olney, Buckinghamshire in the UK. The concept behind it is to use technology to improve your bar, restaurant or hotel experience, an idea conceived by pair of entrepreneurs around ten years ago that has been waiting for the right time.
Hasn’t this been done before?
Yes and no. There are a number of competing systems, each has their strengths and weaknesses. Many of the existing systems have used expensive hardware that the restaurant or bar needs to purchase or rent, for large establishments this can prove quite expensive, either that or they are very complex to setup and maintain. getWaiter has been designed to be completely set up by the individual bars and restaurants themselves with very little ongoing maintenance.
Why is this the right time?
Until recently the only way to implement getWaiter would have been to do what others have done and design and manufacture bespoke hardware that would need to be placed on every table, every pool side chair and every lounge sofa in every restaurant, bar and hotel you wanted to offer the service in, this would potentially cost many thousands both in design and in the implementation. getWaiter uses the technology that many people already carry around with them all the time – their smartphone. This coupled with the advancement in cloud computing means all the pieces of the jigsaw are complete and the dream could be realised.
How does it work?
By using an app on your smartphone or tablet (Android and iOS at the moment, more to follow soon) you scan the QR code located on your table. The phone then sends a message to the getWaiter servers these in turn send a message to the waiters terminal located in the restaurant, bar etc. At the end of the experience the customer can provide feedback, if they wish.
No, not at all. getWaiter has been designed to be free at the point of delivery and requires very little investment as the customers bring their own hardware! Using the getWaiter website you can print out the codes for your tables on you own printer (professionally printed and mounted table codes are available from the getWaiter online store). For the waiters terminal all you need is a computer connected to the internet, this can be an existing computer although we recommend a tablet computer as getWaiter has been designed for ease of use on these, you don’t need and expensive one either, a £40 tablet from Amazon has been running for several months with no issues.
Why free, whats the catch?
There is no catch! The individual businesses and sites can use getWaiter for nothing for a long as they want.
If it’s free, how is all this funded?
In two ways.
- Reports. A series reports that can be tailored to the individual businesses and sites to enable them to optimise many aspects of their businesses.
- getWaiter merchandise. There is an online store that will professionally print your table codes for you and mount them in a number of ways to suite the environment then will be placed.
Where can I find out more information?
Go to www.getwaiter.com, have a look around the website, set up a site and have a play – no obligation, no cost!
What was RAKtronics part in this project?
We have been heavily involved with most aspects of the project specifically:
- Designing and developing the apps.
- Designing the interface between the app, the cloud service and the waiter stations.
- Designing (but not developing) large sections on the website.
- Coordinating between the getWaiter team and the developers.