A social application that provides live updates about the capacity of bars, restaurants, and events in New York City.

James Wei

Problem Statement  

The New York City hospitality food and beverage and event spaces need a way to properly manage the customer journey and the well-being of their employees, because not doing so affects their profit margins and reviews on social media.

Problem Background  

Living in New York City, the mecca of restaurants, bars and events, is filled with issues such as horrible customer service, long wait times, pricey transportation, and too many options. The current proposal to increase the tolls for entering in and out of Manhattan has caused Uber/Lyft spend to increase and the patience of individuals to decrease. This then solidifies into the major problem being pricey transportation and wait times, which is a recipe for attitudes, fights, and overall disgruntled consumers and employees. 

Target Audience: Adults 19 – 45 living in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Manhattan, Bronx and New Jersey who have an issue with long wait times for their favourite or new places they are visiting and would love to understand the capacity before committing to a solid movement.

Survey Interview Findings
  • 68% of consumers are influenced to go to a bar, restaurant or event, because of social media
  • 80% of consumers said they go out more on Saturday, but preferably Saturday for brunch or Saturday night for an event or bar hopping
  • 92% stated they have a huge issue with customer service on weekend nights than on weekdays.

Interviewer Findings:
  • Of the 68% that are influenced by social media, they specified that TikTok reviews, Instagram reviews and specific websites currently provide them with this information.
  • Of the 80% that provided Saturday as their main day of attending events, the information surmised is that this is one of the reasons they are encountering lines and long wait times. Everyone is going out at the same time.
  • Of the 92% having issues with customer service on weekend nights than weekdays, the popular locations are known for having these issues. The main problem is that people would prefer not to wait on things that don’t occur during the week, regardless of how many people are attending as well. They are impatient with the wait time.

Landing on the Solution 

  • Activity Favourites Tool: Curate your list of favourite bars, restaurants and event spaces in New York City based off of places you frequent and tried and leave a rating for the place.
  • Activity Substitution Tool:  Once the location you are looking for has max capacity, the tool provides a list of five alternative places to go to in the same area to wait on the capacity of your original spot to go down.
  • Social Feed: A tool where AI meets real life. It allows the customer to provide an update of what they are seeing at the location they are and read comments from persons at the location before going. Live review tool.
  • Capacity Tool: Where restaurant, bar, promoters, security and employees are able to provide live updates about wait times and capacity towards the capacity metre for customers to view

User Flows

Scenario 1: Activity Favourites Tool

Acceptance Criteria: Users are able to add all their favourite bars and restaurants to their favourite list so they have a one stop shop to gauge if the place is worth going to.

  • User opens the app. If a first time user it asks for users to sign up and provide their borough location. If a user the user logs into the platform.
  • They navigate to the search bar below the welcome and search for the places they would like to add to favourite
  • For each place user clicks the plus sign that asks which favourites they would like to add to and then click save
  • User then goes to their favourites bar by clicking on the navigation bar and scrolling to favourite. 
  • Now they are able to see their bars and live capacity bars of each location.

Scenario 2: Activity Substitution Tool

Acceptance Criteria: User has a location they are set on, but when they look it up it shows that it is at max capacity and now would like to find a new location to go to

  • User clicks on a location from their favourites list
  • They click on the capacity bar and notice it is beyond capacity
  • The app automatically shows similar places in that location with less people and similar vibe

Scenario 3: Social Feed

Acceptance Criteria: User would like to know what is going on at the location and is tired of trying to gauge by looking at the instagram stories feed of it. They would like to find out in real time from real people

  • User navigates to search bar
  • Inputs the name of the location and clicks on it
  • Scrolls to the bottom to “live review feed” and scroll through comments from individuals of the location to see if the place is worth going to

Scenario 4: Capacity Tool

Acceptance Criteria: Restaurant and bar owners want to communicate capacity and help alleviate the stress of their employees on busy nights. They would like to provide excellent customer service and need a way to help both consumers and employees.

  • Owner users open the app
  • Navigate to the “owner profile”
  • Scroll to “current capacity” location
  • Input how many people are in the location vs the max capacity allowed

Future Steps

Timeline and Milestones:

  • Development Phase: 6 months
  • Beta Testing Phase: 3 monthssome text
    • Summertime testing
  • Launch and Deployment: Month 10
  • Ongoing Maintenance and Support/Product Evolution + Rollouts: Continuous Budget and Resources:
  • Estimated Budget: $350,000
  • Resource Allocation: Development team of 5 engineers, 2 designers, 1 product manager, and 1 QA tester.


Product Manager Learnings:

Shanelle Woods

Co.Lab was a very interesting experience for me, because it included a lot of user research and development. I’m normally a solution based person and this forced me to break down pain points so I can back up the need for the solution.

Designer Learnings:

Developer Learnings:

Developers Learnings:


Full Team Learning