CHICAGO,IL — May 4, 2021..

We all know that the pandemic has done a number on the restaurant industry.  In the US, more than 110,000 eating and drinking establishments closed in 2020, either temporarily or for good, and 2.5 million restaurant industry jobs disappeared according to a January 2021 report from the National Restaurant Association, which has been tallying the devastating toll of the pandemic. Now, as we enter the summer of 2021, the economy has started to recover, local governments are rolling back restrictions, and mitigations are easing. As millions of customers enter back out to restaurants – determined to shake off their covid cabinet fever and make up for a year from Hell by feeling almost human and dining out once again – there is a new problem for restaurant operators.


Restaurants can’t find staff! Servers,  Bussers,  Cooks, Dishwashers, the ranks of restaurant workers has thinned out like a liposuction commercial.  Customers have come out of 2020 ready to eat but there is a severe, national shortage of restaurant staff. This is leaving operators in the unenviable position of being forced to not open up tables, turning down business and in some cases, not even being able to open their dining rooms at all because they don’t have enough staff, willing or able to service them. Operators are doing everything they can. Putting up help wanted ads, hosting job fairs, running ads online, deperately trying to get more staff and.. nada.  Even the go to Cragislist ad isn’t bringing in the applicants it used to. Restaurant Operators are, as they say in the industry, “In the weeds.” 

And that’s where Tableside A from Restaurant Voice Apps (RVA) can help.


In the 1930’s an industrial engineer named Allen F. Morgenstern coined the phrase “work smarter not harder”.  Tableside AI (the “AI” stands for Artifical Intelligence just so’s you know) has been developed by and Restaurant Voice Apps and allows two-way tableside messaging between customers phones and restaurant staff. It handles common customer requests and instantly notifies staff when a customer request comes through. Requests can be:

ORDER: Customers can message food & drink orders to the BOH directly from their phones. No App to download. Nothing to download. Tableside identifies the table number and then hands off the request to the staff.

SERVICE: By texting a keyword, customers can request a server or team member to come to their table. For simple requests like “I need more napkins” and “can I get more steak sauce” the FOH can dispatch any team member to service the request.

CHECK: Eliminate servers dropping the check too soon, or having the customer wait too long for their check. A memorable dining experience can be soured – and often lead to a smaller tip or even a negative online review – when customers have to wait too long to get their check.


  1. Customer texts keyword
  2. Tableside handles basic requests
  3. The Bot executes a HAND OFF off of the conversation to a FOH team member (QUARTERBACK by CALLING THE QUARTERBACK DASHBOARD  (the dashboard is web-based so it will display on any computer or tablet) 
  4. When the Quarterback answers, they take over the conversation, and can then send out instructions to the floor staff (“Table 21 needs Napkins, Table 19 needs another round etc”)
  5. FOH Team member takes the customer request in for the tableside TOUCHDOWN.


From reducing customer wait times to increasing table turn, there are several benefits to boosting your service withTableside AI messaging.

  • Increase the number of tables your servers can effectively handle
  • Reduce customer friction caused by excessive wait times
  • Increase check averages
  • Increase table service efficiency
  • No App required – nothing for customers to download
  • Get tableside customer requests to your backend dashboard
  • Easy to deploy – login to your Kitchen QB dashboard from any laptop or tablet

With the host, expo or manager acting as the FOH Quarterback and the Tableside bot handling the initial requests from the customers, the server is freed up to handle more tables and service more customers.

Post pandemic it’s a brand new world in the restaurant industry and with the  sheer lack of available service workers the options for operators are limited. A bot won’t replace your servers, but it will certainly dramatically increase their efficiency.

And priced at $129 per month for unlimited customers (if you do the math, for 10 tables that’s 43 cents a day) the cost is very, very modest.

Contact RVA to get your Tableside Bot!