TAM (탐)

Freelance / Product Design / 2019

reservation platform for exclusive high end restaurants in south korea

For the restaurant owners, this is a system that will help them manage their reservations more effectively and efficiently.
For the diners, this is a website/mobile app that will help them make reservations at exclusive high end restaurants.


Users & Challenges



  1. Owners who manage and run restaurants

  2. Diners who wish to make reservations

Owner’s Challenges

  1. Last minute cancellations and “No Show” are directly hurting the business financially.

    • Many of these restaurants have to throw away the food ingredients that were prepared specifically for that date.

  2. They are receiving too many phone calls inquiring about reservations.

    • These are restaurants that do not have trouble getting customers. They are usually booked for months in advance.

    • Most of them are still using phone calls and notebooks for managing their reservations. It is not easy to get a quick view of the overall reservation situation.

Diner’s Challenges

  1. It is very difficult to get a reservation at these super popular restaurants.

    • Only having the phone call option is not helping the situation as it isn’t convenient to physically call in every day to check for open spots.




  1. Designing a system that minimizes the financial damage due to cancellations and “No Show” by

    • taking a deposit and charging cancellation fees depending on how late their cancel is

    • filling in the last minute cancellations with auto alert to diners

  2. Creating an online reservation management system for the owners that

    • allows diners to make their own reservations

    • allows the owner to manage from anywhere and allows staff to manage as well

    • allows the owner to easily view the overall reservation situation at a glance

  3. Lowering the barrier of making reservations by

    • enabling online reservations

    • auto alerting diners when a spot is available


A user flow that shows the benefits of Auto Notification


Example screens of a user searching for a restaurant and making a reservation
Click to view InVision Prototype


Example screens of a manager or staff managing the reservations
Click to view InVision Prototype



Design Process & Other Details


This was a freelance project that I have worked on for a client in Seoul, South Korea. Designing a web and mobile platform for making reservations at exclusive high end restaurants in Seoul. The client was a high end restaurant owner himself, and had a great network of similar owners. He had the right connections and right idea for a startup but had no idea where to start. That was when I was needed. I designed a platform for both diners and restaurants, while providing the client with wireframes, user flows, ui designs, prototypes, etc.



What is the best design to communicate the reservations status in one quick glance?

  • Initial idea - Focus on displaying the exact number of seats reserved vs total

  • Iterated Idea - Focus on letting the owner/staff know if there space for more reservation or not

  • Click to view InVision Prototype



How can we improve the experience of searching for a restaurant to dine at?

  • We need to understand that there are two different types of users

  • There are users who want to dine at a specific restaurant. They are searching for a date that works well for them.

  • Most reservation platforms provide a good experience for this case

  • There are also users who have a date in mind but do not know which restaurant to visit

  • This experience was not as pleasant in many platforms, so I decided to pay special attention to this.

  • Click to view InVision Prototype



What are the Next Steps?

  • Currently this project is in Phase 1, which includes a website in Korean

  • In Phase 2, there are plans to include a mobile platform that is in sync with the web platform

  • Supporting different languages such as English and Japanese is also planned in Phase 2