VITRO stands for Visual Table Reservation and Ordering System. A visual representation of all the tables in a restaurant is implemented to support the management and service.Guests are able to choose the table for their romantic dinner with VITRO. The seamless integration of reservation and booking orders in one central system simplifies working processes across multiple instances: Management, service personnel and customers.
A single database stores the status of the restaurant tables and their corresponding ordered items at any given time. Context-sensitive interfaces provide personalized functionalities for each user group.
Ultimately this decreases the number of mistakes caused by human failure. The system prevents double occupancy and comes with tight coupling of the ordering process and the visual layout of the restaurant. Thus boosting business potential.
In the future the collected data might be used to provide a personalized dining experience for regulars. With the advance of technology one might utilize augmented reality to guide the staff in large restaurants, even connect customers’ names with their faces and eating habits.
User research has shown that one needs to carefully balance the incorporation of new technology and the preservation of existing values; the main advantage “proper” restaurants have over fast food chains and food delivery services is the fact that customers continue to enjoy the direct interaction with service personnel. Customers want to be guests; they want to be served, and they demand attention.
And thus, the Vitro system was born. “Vitro” is derived from the latin word for “glass”, implying transparency, and it stands for “VIsual Table Reservation and Ordering”. It’s a central system that provides a visualization of the restaurant’s rooms and guest placement. Vitro may be accessed from various instances – organization staff can directly query for and update reservations with an intuitive and self-explaining interface and guests planning a visit are able to check if their favourite spot is free in advance and send a reservation request using a web application, which will be confirmed by a personal call. Lastly, service personnel can use Vitro as an easy instrument to navigate the restaurant without being forced to learn the layout and table numbering.
Compared to existing solutions, Vitro helps to prevent errors in organization and cuts down on the time spent operating devices and browsing for information – thus, more time to spend on guests, and a higher satisfaction for everyone involved.
How to combine a field study with pleasure? Go where you can sit, eat, drink and ask your questions at the same time! But seriously, we thought interviewing all the different people working at different restaurants in different positions was a great idea – and we have not been disappointed.
We spoke to several Managers, waiters and chefs to learn about their daily routine in the business. Our goal was to look at the restaurant as a whole and to hereby identify problems that all of the aforementioned user groups might share.
Thus we focused heavily on observing communication between employees, management and customers. Secondly, we tried to get a feeling for the challenges that working in the food industry presents and last, we analyzed the computer systems that were already in place.
Wherever we went to conduct our interviews we met very enthusiastic people that were happy to share their passion for food and service with us, but did not hesitate to speak about problems either. We are looking forward to sort the gathered data and develop ideas based upon it. Surely we have got a lot to work with out of this three day period.