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No. 28

Tablz. Get the best seat in the house.

One of the many service industry conventions that could use a pandemic-era rethink is the value — or lack thereof — that restaurants place on their best tables at peak hours. Enter Ottawa tech company Transparent Kitchen and its new software, Tablz, which can merge with an online booking system to allow customers a preview of where they might sit by navigating within a 3-D version of the dining room. The most coveted tables can be secured for a surcharge of $4 to $10, of which a small cut goes to Tablz, and the balance becomes a new revenue stream for the restaurants. As Transparent Kitchen sees it, when in-person dining returns but physical distancing remains in place, pent-up demand for scarce tables should make such fees easy to justify. And when dining out normalizes, the improved ambience of a premium table should still be worth the surcharge. At press time, some 20 Ottawa restaurants — from Charlotte and Das Lokal to Arlo — had signed on. And the push into Toronto had begun with Marben, Bar Sybanne and Mangia & Bevi.

—Peter HumPhoto Credit: Transparent Kitchen

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