With the push of a button, guests at Fatz CafÐ¹ in Lincolnton will now be more in control of their dining experience.
As of Dec. 3, ESP Systems integrated a product that allows the guest to alert the server if something is needed, Byron Sackett, Fatz CafÐ¹ operation partner, said.
The system is called ESP, but Fatz personnel refer to it as the â€œjust in caseâ€ button, Sackett said.
â€œWe tell our guests in case they need something, another straw, drink or check, push the ESP device and a server will be notified,â€ he said.
The folks behind the Charlotte-based company created ESP because they were tired of receiving poor service when they dined at numerous restaurants, founder and CEO Devin Green said.
â€œESP creates a wireless bubble that links the guests directly to the restaurant staff,â€ Green said.
The ESP base is a monitor at the host station that provides a layout of the entire restaurant.
By immediately knowing which tables are available and being cleared, the host can seat guests in a shorter period of time.
â€œTables in green are ready,â€ Sackett said. â€œThe ones in yellow are occupied, and those in red need to be bussed.â€
Staff members wear a watch similar to those you may have seen in James Bond movies, Green said.
The watch connects servers, managers and hosts to a hub located on each table.
â€œThe server has two minutes to greet the guest,â€ Sackett said. â€œIf they pass those two minutes everyone will be alerted, including the manager.â€
The watch sends a signal not only from the table in need service but also from the kitchen and bar.
Through instant notification, the food arrives on the table hotter and the drinks are colder, Green said.
â€œAt the end of the meal, the guest leaves feeling appreciated, in control and invested in.â€
ESP helps to eliminate loyalty killers that can prevent a guest from coming back to a restaurant, Philamee Bennett, client service manager for ESP said.
â€œWhen a guest walks out the door you can tell that they are no longer stressed,â€ Green said. â€œWe are trying to give Fatz CafÐ¹ and other partners the opportunity to create a change.â€
Sackett is hopeful that in 18 months all 40 locations of Fatz CafÐ¹ will have the ESP system installed. â€œESP is a tool that allows us to raise the already great service of Fatz CafÐ¹ to a whole new level,â€ he said. â€œWe are very excited about the opportunity to bring the system to Lincoln County.â€
by Lisa Brown