I think the Disney system will work well, as far as efficient seating is goes. My only real issue with it is that it's going to build up crowds around the serving area, with whole families waiting there rather than just a couple of members of the family.
There's only a small area outside to sit, but it's a choice of last resort because with 95-100 degree temps, people are looking to cool off, not roast to death. Since we go down in the summer months, it's probably different at other times of the year, (sitting outside that is).
In two words: Singularly unimpressed.
Sea World's physical plant, animal and veterinary care, are all pretty much beyond reproach. I've never had an issue with that part of their business. However, they still don't seem to have the slightest clue how to properly balance entertainment and education.
Granted, that could change. I'm going to give it a year or so, see what kinds of significant changes (if any) go into place as a result of the buyout (and no matter what the corporate spin-doctors say, there are going to be changes. It's inevitable with any sort of buyout), before I form any sort of revised opinion.
At the very least, it'll be interesting to see what 'Blue Delusions' and 'Deceive' are replaced with.
Contrast that with Chipotle in the Empire State building... as each order is created in front of you, the line can be slow moving at lunch time. So slow in fact that someone can sit down with their food, eat, and be getting up by the time another person goes through the line. Often I see a single person holding a table for fifteen minutes; meanwhile, multiple people are looking to sit and have no where to go. During those fifteen minutes, a table for four would have turned over and been ready for the table hog when their food would be. It's especially frustrating for single diners who don't have the luxury of a table squatter.
Maybe I am just lucky, but is this really a big problem? The only place I have been that its been an issue was Tusker House at AK, but thats now changed.
I only see it for Pecos Bill.
And yes, I am part of that group that goes and gets a table first.
There seemed to be more of an importance set on benches and rest areas when Disneyland first opened. There still seem to be plenty of places available in most parks to have more benches and shaded areas. This would help to solve (and seemingly inexpensively) the problem of rest areas as well as easing up the dining areas for actual diners.Just MHO though, I guess.
Glad to see an attempt at trying to help out in one area - hope it works out and grows into a trend.
I also worry that it might lead to a rushed feeling while you're eating if CMs are constantly circling to see who's almost finished eating. Not conducive to a relaxed meal, if you ask me. Plus, I've never eaten at a counter service restaurant at Disney and been unable to find seating, even on busy days.
With the new system what we'll get is 5 people with cold food, 3 people with tepid food and 2 happy bunnies with hot food. Happy that is until their food goes cold too while they wait to :1. Attract the attention of a member of staff 2. Wait while that member of staff searches for a suitable table3.Wait until they get seated at the allocated table
If you're going to have counter service then you have to have counter serviceand if it's table service....well you get the idea.
We have a chain here in the UK that satisfies both. You may have it in the US too. It's called Nando's. They serve BBQ chicken.
The system there is this :1. You get allocated a numbered table2. You go to the counter and order and pay giving your table number3. They bring the food to your table.
It's a bit of both. It solves the existing WDW problem. It uses no more staff than the proposed new WDW system. Everyonegets seated together and everyone gets hot food.
By the way Nando's BBQ chicken is pretty damn good too.
So instead of adding a cast member to seat people at tables, add someone behind the counter to make sure the food gets out more quickly.
This was very visible at Disneyland a few years ago when food service was short staffed. Families began saving tables at eateries where it hadn't been an issue before.
As far as this experiment goes, I expect they'll end up having to make exceptions for families with young children. If you've got a kid or two in strollers, you don't want to take them through the food line - you want to sit down and start feeding them snacks and baby food while your spouse goes to get the meals.
Once you have placed your order, you are given a buzzer that only works within the building. The same kind of buzzer used at some restaurants to tell guests that their table is ready, but in this case, their food is ready to pick up.
Only if you have a buzzer at your table are you allowed to sit down.
The customer service at Phil's BBQ is unreal, and is definitely much better than most sit down restaurants that have waiters. This prevents people from getting rowdy or into arguements about seating. Their "crowd control" is excellent, sometimes even better than Disney's.
Disney's been operating the most successful theme parks in the world for a very long time. They may not get everything right every time (nobody's perfect), but I applaud them for taking steps like this to continuously improve their Guests' experience.