Sioux Falls man develops app to help cut wait times at restaurants

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – A Sioux Falls man is looking to help people cut waiting time for their dinner reservations. While there are many different restaurants out there, a lot of them have the same thing in common: a waiting list. With a new app, one local entrepreneur is hoping to make the process more convenient.

Since reopening last June to full capacity, Owner of R-Wine Bar & Kitchen Riccardo Tarabelisi says people have been hungry to dine out.

“We’re doing so much patio business. The patio was full every night, and then that momentum carried through the fall and the winter,” Tarabelisi said.

With many people filling up tables and booths, that means that some have to sit on the waiting list.

“They might think a thirty-minute wait is inappropriate or unacceptable for how much time they have that evening. So, they kind of him-and-haw in the lobby and then they choose to just leave,” Entrepreneur Ben Whitley said.

That’s where entrepreneur Ben Whitley comes in. He’s developing an app to help people cut down on waiting. It’s called ‘BoothOrTable.’

“The primary purpose is to help restaurants publish their wait times so that guests can check in remotely before getting to the restaurant,” Whitley said.

He’s been beta testing the software with R-Wine. It appears as a widget on their website where people can see live wait times. You can reserve one and check-in once you arrive.

The widget is at the bottom of this image.

“I think we’ve had about 38 parties check-in within the last month or so,” Whitley said.

“We used to get those phone calls, ‘Hey how busy are you?’ ‘Do you have any open tables in the bar?’ that kind of thing. And, those phone calls have been fewer because people can go to our website, they see the online ‘check in’ button with BoothOrTable,” Tarabelisi said.

Then all people have to do is decide what they want to do until their reservation time.

“Restaurants are ready for guests; there’s a lot of pent-up demand on the guest side to get out to eat, so I want to help make that easier,” Whitely said.

Whitley hopes to expand the widget to more restaurants around Sioux Falls before it’s officially launched.

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