October 26th, 2012
Going out to eat this weekend? Save yourself the runaround with TablesUp
This time of year—as outdoor seating is relegated to tarps and sheds—seating in Portland’s thriving restaurant scene is at a premium. And that makes it much more difficult to simply walk up and grab a table. But with the help of that magic little computer you’re carrying in your pocket, that could be changing.
Founded by the cofounder of Pixelworks, TablesUp is a simple app designed to make the task of determining wait times at restaurants less onerous.
How’s it work?
Using any iPhone® or Android® smartphone, users open the app to view the city’s most popular restaurants via pins on a map. A simple tap on a pin opens the restaurant profile. With a push of a button, they may request a restaurant’s current wait time, triggering the TablesUp automated phone service to call the restaurant and prompt the answerer to punch in the wait time: 1 for less than 10 minutes (green), 2 for fewer than 30 minutes (yellow), or 3 for over 30 minutes (red). The diner receives a text message with the “fresh” wait time, and the restaurant’s pin on the TablesUp map turns from blue to green, yellow, or red accordingly. Likewise, anyone viewing the TablesUp app can see the updated wait times without making a phone call or requesting it again. Armed with this information, customers can now make more informed choices about where to go, depending on their schedule and the restaurant’s availability.
(And for the geeks in the crowd, it’s a pretty compelling use of the Twilio API.)
What’s more, it saves you from the classic “let’s drive over to [restaurant x]” only to cruise across town to find restaurant x closed. Because, guess what? When restaurants are closed? That translates into a very, very long wait time for a table. No, it’s true.
Even though it’s a new product, TablesUp has an impressive list of Portland restaurants, already.
For more information or to download the free app, visit TablesUp.