Navigating Boston’s nightlife scene can be cumbersome with long lines full of velvet rope jumpers and disgruntled bouncers, but fortunately “there’s an app for that” with Tablelist, the app where you can book a table at some of the hottest bars and nightclubs in Boston with a press of a button.
The app works simply enough; all you have to do is sign up for the service, add a credit card for payment and you’re on your way to a night of poppin’ bottles.
One of my favorite features of the app is that it allows you to split the bill with other people. Gone are the days of collecting cash from everyone prior to the event waiting for everyone’s checks to clear. Now, you can just split the bill within the app and no money ever has to exchange hands.
Once out of the app though, there is still some work to be done with the “live” portion. I was invited out by Tablelist to check out The W Hotel’s club Tunnel. I had booked my table for 11:30pm and when I went to the door, the incredibly friendly staff let me know that they were just setting up and for me to head downstairs and someone would be with me to get my table started, so that’s what I did. I picked a table and sat down and waited…and waited. Nobody came down. After a half-an-hour, I went back up, spoke with another few incredibly nice people, and my table finally got set up.
Now, if I were an actual client and not just doing a review, I would have been incredibly disappointed that all the fanfare I had built up in my mind about the experience, hadn’t been lived up to. And with the latent service I received, I probably would have walked out.
The first issue was the timing. As a client setting up a reservation, I reserve a time slot for a reason. Let’s say it is a birthday gathering, and we have a whole night set up. Maybe we’ll do a table at one bar because we like the warm up DJ and keep the party going at another because we want to see a specific set or meet up with another group. If I planned to be somewhere at 11:30pm, and they take a half an hour to serve me when I’ve pre-paid for the service, that’s an issue. You might have even ruined my night. Instead, each establishment should be clear with Tablelist when they want to begin bottle service e.g. if they can’t start serving bottles until 12am, don’t put it as an option on the app.
Secondly, the type of client that orders table service, especially when they are spending up a minimum of $125.00 for a bottle of champagne, are going to expect that service to be top notch. Tablelist would do well to have a representative inside the venues for a few months to train staff on how they want their customer base to be treated. Tablelist should be like a code word in a speakeasy. As soon as it’s said, the response should be, “Right this way. We’ve been expecting you.”
Once I actually got my champagne, the party began and the service was impeccable well – except for the bouncer that asked for a sip of my drink. Sir, are you working? It was a slow night, but still *eye roll*.
Although I think that Tablelist is a great service and love the split payment option, I think the developers have not taken into account why people buy bottle service in the first place – for the preferential treatment and the experience. You want to walk up to the velvet rope parted give a nod to the bouncer, and immediately be whisked to a table that says “Reserved” and waste not a moment getting the party started. Good customer service is something you can’t get at the touch of a button.
Disclaimer: Tablelist provided me a table free of charge. All of my opinions are my own.