EliteSeat combines the mainstream/popular trend of a reservation app, though strictly for hard-to-reserve places. Restaurants can connect with this app to provide extra spots to willing customers.
EliteSeat offers curated lists of popular restaurants that are notoriously hard to reserve without waiting months.
Feburary 2022-May 2022
Duration: 3 months
Strive to create a better way for foodies to try these overbooked restaurants.
Gather information on the hottest & most exclusive restaurants to reserve.
Learn the process/flows of reserving a table through an app
What makes a restaurant so popular, tables are booked months before?
Analyze the importance of restaurants by location.
A faster way to reserve a popular restaurant without needing to wait months.
Understand the Problem
25-49 / Foodie / Tech savy / social butterfly
Food lover, loves dining out
Enjoys cooking, but dining out more
Loves shopping for food
Active on social media, following food accounts
Enjoys hanging out/dining out with friends & family
Finn is trying to save money on ordering food due to the pandemic. But he can’t since it’s not super safe to eat at restaurants and he wants to be. He has no choice, but to pay the delivery fees & tips.
How do you usually find new restaurants to eat at?
Do you use tools/websites/apps to help find the restaurants? Which ones?
What qualities/content do you look for to determine if a restaurant is good? What about a restaurant that is not good?
25-49 / Foodie / culinary student/food blogger
Food lover, loves dining out
Enjoys cooking, finding new recipes
Owns multiple gardens around her home
Owns a food blog with 10k followers
Loves to host parties for family & friends
Enjoys cooking & dining with friends & family
Francesca is trying to find more ingredients to use within her recipes without needing to pay for high delivery fees. But she can’t because most food delivery platforms charge a lot for deliverying her grocieries and specialty foods.
What do you most about eating out (even if it’s a restaurant you’ve been to & why?
How often do you eat out?
What dining experiences that you think could be improved, or has room to grow?
Would you define yourself as a foodie? How would you define yourself as a “foodie”?
What is your best memory, regarding food?
What is your favorite food type? Out of that food type, what’s your favorite dish?
What is your budget for going out to eat?
How much do you spend on groceries?
How much do you spend on takeout?
Which do you prefer, dining in or getting takeout, and why?
What is your favorite food to eat at a restaurant, and why?
What is your favorite food to takeout, and why?
Food is more of an art form. I enjoy food. I like to recreate dishes that I’ve had in restaurants. As well learning how they made them. I love to try new things, especially with food.
Food is essential. Eating out is a great way to bring people together. Getting together with family and friends and enjoying great food creates great memories & experiences.
Growing up in different cultures, has really helped me appreciate the value of food. I also enjoy cooking & finding great recipes to try. I go to restaurants as a way to change my scenery.
I love to try all different types of food & experience variety. Trying new restaurants with people and having new experiences is like how I form connections and bonds.
There are many ways to find restaurants & so many resources to go to find them. There would be specific niche apps to help with this.
Dining at new restaurants would be an interesting experience that could be touch & go.
It takes specific requirements to become a foodie, that they need to meet all the requirements. Like possibly be involved in food activities.
Due to Covid, it was assumed that people would prefer to order takeout, instead of dining in.
Food delivery/takeout is considered cheaper, since the customer is not eating at the restaurant & therefore pay for tips.
Most used the classic Google & Yelp. Some even went with, “word of mouth” or recommendations from friends & family. There were a few that used social media and other apps, but not many.
Most people enjoy looking for & trying new restaurants. The majority, having positive experiences and will keep doing it again.
Most people enjoy food a lot. Though not many engage in food-related activities besides dining out. Though they also appreciate food & strive to try new things, which is a definition of a foodie.
Most people preferred dining over takeout. Mainly atmosphere & social aspects. There were a few that did prefer takeout, but not many. Reason mainly, time constraints.
From service fees to additional tips though food delivery apps, some say that those alone are about 1/2 the cost of what they ordered.
Many thought that restaurants prices were becoming more expensive, & therefore impeding the overall experiences. Some have stated this as one of the reasons they don’t dine out as much as they used to.
Some people thought a potential problem with restaurants were the qualities of the food as well as the cleanliness. Some mentioned that they will not go to restaurants if both these requirements were not meet, while others didn’t mind. However, not enough thought that this was a viable concern.
There was a viable opportunity to tackle restaurant service & delivery fees. They’ve become increasingly expensive & have caused many to not have food delivered. As well as prompted them to change the way they get their food. However, creating a solution meant potentially using an existing restaurant delivery platform, which could potentially eliminate design originality.
There was enough evidence to support the fact that restaurant wait-times are a growing concern. This problem seemed more plausible to solve & that additional people could relate to.
Considers themself a foodie
One point here
Live in a more urban enivronment, that prompts them to just walk to get food.
Living in surburan environments that influence them to utilize more food delivery.
If the restaurant is crowded, they are more motivated to try it.
If the restaurant is not crowded, they are less motivated to try it.
Franny cares about researching new restaurants before visiting them.
Franny cares about the quality of food at a slightly reasonable price
Franny cares about the constant wait-times needed to eat @ a popular restaurant.
She doesn’t want to miss out on the latest food experiences.
Franny cares about experiencing something new while trying a new restaurant. Finn wants a change in scenery from the usual places she eats.
She gets recommendations from friends regarding trying new restaurants. “Hey this place has the best pancakes/food”! You need to go try this!”
Her family consists of foodies @ actively look for new restaurants & notify one another & try them.Has friends who are food bloggers or are big on social media when it comes to food.
She looks to social media (Instagram, Yelp, Google Reviews/Google, OpenTable, eatery.com) to find new places or convinced to find these places for additonal places her friends may have missed
Work for corporate companies, are working professionals
Decompress & relax from working all dayThey cook at home, or work from home
Activities include dining out w/ friends & family; get together, potlucks & hotpots, as well as food festivals. Maybe even some cooking classes & workshops.
A more efficient way to find the best food delivery fee price
A way to book a table at a popular restaurant that’s hard to reserve
Have more accurate wait-times for ordering food
Regionality on popular restaurants in our area, that are hard to reserve.
There’s got to be a more efficient solution to reserve a table at a popular restaurant. Popular restaurants get booked fairly quickly through the first-come-first serve basis. Not to mention apps like OpenTable, among others aiding this process.
They worry about missing out on trying the latest food trendsTheir frustrations are the unreasonable delivery/service fee pricesObstacles they face are the long wait-timesMore accurate wait-times for food.Solution not ready..yet.
This project wants to build an app that can help that can help foodies and seasoned restaurant goers to book a table at a popular restaurant that is usually hard to reserve. The app will send the user a curated list of restaurants within their area that have the available booking time that the user entered. Apps like OpenTable and others centered on reservation can potentially add this as a feature to their platform to make reserving a table even easier.
I learned through user-testing that having back buttons were key, to helping the user navigate the app. Some users mentioned that they were having some difficulty keeping in mind of what to do to continue moving forward.
It seemed like a slight oversight, but ended up helping a lot.
While as a designer thinking that more screens are better, I learned a different approach. That there needed to be a way to make putting in the reservation criteria, all on one screen, instead of splitting them into separate screens. While approaching the previous idea, I found the users were discouraged by having to tap or swipe so many times in order to put in the reservation criteria.
It was also noted, to highlight the criteria, once clicked, to evoke hierarchy.
Through testing, I was unaware that the navbar was not as accessible as it should’ve been. The navbar should always be fixed, so that way the user can always find it without too much difficulty, in addition to completing the task.
Including the toggle was a nice touch to evoke a realistic action of the user actually turning on wanting to receive the restaurant list notification.
It was a struggle, trying to find a way to fix, having 3 separate pages for the users to click into to view the “Reviews, Photos, & Menu” of the selected restaurant. Having these 3 separate screens & splitting the criteria invoked quite a bit of confusion.
It was suggested that I combine the 3 pages.