As we become more accustomed to instant digital gratification, scenarios in which we have to physically wait for something begin to feel less and less tolerable. In some cases, like shopping in stores and going to the Post Office, there are ways around it. But if you want to go your favorite restaurant, and it happens to be packed, there's no way alternative: You need to wait in line.
During the demo, Textaurant founder Joshua Bob asked the audience to go to a URL and sign up for a seat at a fictional restaurant by entering some basic information, including their cell phone number. The page showed a list of everybody waiting in "line". Attendees later got a text telling them that their table is ready.
In a real use case, diners can opt into receiving special offers via text message, which adds a long-term marketing opportunity for restaurant owners.
The concept is not unlike the hand-held buzzers that restaurants give to patrons now, except that Textaurant doesn't require patrons to carry around an extra device, they can venture as far from the restaurant as they want, and it's self-service.
As its name would suggest, the service is targeted toward restaurants, but one can imagine how the concept could apply to other small businesses. Whenever customers can opt into a service that lets them know when products or services are available in real time, it takes some of the potential inconvenience out of real-world experiences like shopping, waiting for an appointment or dining out.
What do you think about this concept? Does a product like Textaurant make you more likely to go out for eat if it can save you time waiting?