Who's Battling Wobbly and Uneven Tables?

Posted on 22 April, 2015 by The FLAT Team

I'm sat in a coffee shop, just about to take a bite of cake and a sip of co… Wait, the table wobbles! As expected, the coffee comes a little too close to the sides of the cup or overflows. Now don't tell me you haven't encountered wobbly tables before, noticed a waiter struggling to remedy the situation or perhaps someone leaving a restaurant in frustration. Yes, wobbly tables are a problem for just about everyone. Here we take a look at those battling wobbly tables:

Wobbly and Misaligned Tables Summed-Up 

The Designer: Designers love to have free reign over a project, innovate, be creative and do something different! As many of us have experienced, there's a fine line between uniqueness and impracticality. Designers often tell us about their latest extravagant projects and how they have used the coolest flooring but…the tables wobble. What a let-down, the place looks great, but the customers get irritated and the tables leave the owners red-faced. In fairness to designers, virtually all floors are uneven and have imperfections, that's why most establishments 'have a wobble'.

The Owner: No matter where you are in the world, tables are the heart of any hospitality business. It's where your customers eat and want to enjoy their time with family, friends or colleagues. This means that despite a friendly exterior and your *ahem* excellent customer service, restaurants, hotels, cafés and bars can still fall short of a gold star rating with a table that wobbles.

It's easy to ignore and shrug it off but wobbly and misaligned tables can have a negative impact on business. They don't look professional; they can detract from your company's brand and not only lead to complaints, but reluctant refunds and staff costs setting up each day. It's one problem that can have a major impact on a business.

For chains, the problem is amplified across a network. In a highly competitive industry where the customer experience is key, the brand image of a chain can be impacted and their bottom line.

Take a look at our online calculator to estimate how much wobbly and misaligned tables could be costing you.

Staff: It's seems rather simple, but escapes many restaurant workers: treat your customers well and your business will do better as a result. Offering your customers stability when eating translates into an improved customer experience and return business. Our YouGov survey (US) suggests that 56 percent of customers would consider not returning to a restaurant if a wobbly table "spoilt their experience. 

Not only is it frustrating for owners compensating for ruined meals with… freebies, but for their employees having to apologise to unsatisfied customers first hand and pick up the pieces. The time fixing tables prior to opening or during service is costly and embarrassing. We often see servers on their hands and knees, twisting screw in feet to the appropriate level to stabilise the table. Then….the customer sits down, adjusts the table slightly and starts the whole sequence off again. Not only is the waiter frustrated and embarrassed, he also has dirty fingers from meddling with the table feet - nice!

The Customer: The customer is 'King' so why would they be placed at a wobbly table? A table that wobbles from side to side when you sit down is the biggest dining disaster. Most people either put up with the wobble or attempt to correct the problem by pushing a folded napkin under the leg. But when out for lunch and faced with a wobbly table, it can be difficult to find a balanced (get it?) solution. You and your dining partners sit there trying to enjoy a nice meal, but really you're worrying that a drink might end up on your lap. It's certainly not the fine dining experience you were promised. 

Groups: The ability to push together tables for families and work outings is a flexibility that all establishments should have. Ever queued at a restaurant waiting for a larger table to become available when 2 or more could be put together? The 'lip' caused by the 2 adjoining table tops is a reason why many restaurants will not do this. Table cloths can't be used and spillages happen – plus it looks untidy. 

Core-drilled tables fixed into the ground found in many fast food outlets are even less flexible. Groups often have to sit a couple of feet away from each other as there's zero flexibility.

MaintenanceThe amount of time needed to maintain a table should be minimal but we know that maintenance engineers worldwide often get called out to fix a wobbly table (it's true!). More often than not, the engineer finds that the traditional screw in feet have fallen out or snapped and need replacing. Worse still, the plastic cap on the end of the foot may have come off leaving only the screw thread scratching the (designers?) nice floor. This is all time consuming and costly!

So what's the deal with FLAT® table bases, and how can you get one? FLAT table bases eliminate your wobble woes by automatically stabilizing and they allow users to align multiple table tops. Our table bases all come with our award winning FLAT® technology. It's always on, no electronics or buttons to press. We manufacture around 40 different styles of table bases from cast iron, stainless steel and aluminium, so you'll be sure to find a table suitable for your restaurant, hotel, café or bar. 

To find your local reseller click here or if you have any questions feel free to contact us.

Thanks for reading!!