New App Encourages Boston Users To Swap Spots

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BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — At peak hours, a walk into most downtown Boston cafés, restaurants, or bars will offer little when it comes to dine-in seating, as customers sit at tables with laptops or books for hours on end. But a new app is looking to change that, through reward or cash incentives for guests to give up their seats to absolute strangers.

According to its creator, BetrSpot seeks to level the ratio of people to chairs, creating table turnover in places that offer in-house seating. But it doesn't end there, CEO of BetrSpot Drew Rollert told WBZ's Matt Shearer. Betrspot brings other seating exchanges to the table too, including treadmills at the gym and poolside lounge chairs, which Rollert says has the longest dwell-time of any seat, with people claiming them at nine or ten in the morning and staying all day.

Rollert says Boston's seating problem is something visible at prominent businesses around the city.

"It's Flour [Bakery & Café], it's Thinking Cup, it's Starbucks, it's an endemic problem around Boston, like adult musical chairs. We're relying on luck? It's the 21st century, that's ridiculous. My reward amount is five bucks— if you were to stand up and give up that seat in the next five minutes, you've earned that five bucks," Rollert said.

Read More: Boston's Coffee Debate Blazes On: Hot Or Iced?

Rollert says the app is for people who need a place to sit with those who may be overstaying their welcome. An added benefit, Rollert says, is that business owners see more foot traffic, as more new customers successfully find a place to park themselves.

"It's really a win-win-win if you ask me," Rollert said.

Last year, Startup Boston named BetrSpot the most innovative business model.

WBZ's Matt Shearer (@MattWBZ) reports.

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