Flanders Make helps hospitality industry and many other sectors to restart with OptiSeats

Even when the terraces reopen tomorrow and other relaxations follow step by step, social distancing and get-togethers in limited circles will continue to dominate our lives for quite some time. In order to facilitate the reopening of the hospitality, event and other sectors, research centre Flanders Make developed "OptiSeats". This is a brand new free online programme that calculates how to optimally use seating space. 

OptiSeats automatically calculates safe seating distance

It is often difficult to estimate how to arrange a room correctly for a given number of guests, taking into account the one-and-a-half metre rule. That is why we developed a simple website that calculates how to arrange your chairs and tables to make optimal use of any indoor or outdoor space. All you have to do is fill in how many guests you want to seat, how many people can sit together per "bubble" and what your space and furniture look like.

"We based this new development on technology that we already use successfully in industrial applications," says project manager Emma Claeys. "So we are very pleased to be able to support the relaunch of the hospitality and event sector with this. In addition, schools, hospitals and companies can also use our website to calculate how to furnish their refectories, waiting rooms or meeting rooms." 

Relaunch hospitality sector

Bert Vandeurzen, owner of gourmet restaurant De Victorie in Linden, was one of the first to test the tool. "The tool is a great help in setting up our restaurant according to the applicable regulations," says Vandeurzen. "The system is very flexible. It can easily respond to any changes in the regulations and you can quickly make adjustments so that you can easily and optimally arrange different rooms."

Digital guide for schools

Katholiek Onderwijs Vlaanderen (Catholic Education Flanders) has also started working with our tool to optimise their meeting rooms and be ready to organise their meetings physically again. "The tool offers a digital guide to schools to follow the applicable Covid regulations and to organise rooms in a safe and functional way," says Filip Vlaminck, Staff member Infrastructure Catholic Education Flanders.

We offer this simple online tool free of charge to support all sectors in this difficult period. During the development, we mainly focused on functionality. We provide short online sessions to introduce interested parties to OptiSeats, after which they can start using it themselves. More information about these interactive sessions can be found on our website.

Flemish Minister of Economy and Innovation Hilde Crevits: "Innovation is essential to help us return to normal life. The social distance alarms on the shop floor have already proven that. OptiSeats' is now another example of Flanders Make's clever innovation and a very concrete tool to help, for instance, the hospitality and events sector, but also schools, to completely restart their business. In the coming months, we will continue to focus on innovation in order to safely pick up the thread of our lives again."