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AutoFill, created by waitress, Maya Solano, sought out to create an easy refill solution for drinks at local restaurants. This product refills drinks and charges customers automatically at their table. AutoFill is a flat circle tray that is installed into each table at a restaurant and takes up little space. A cup is placed on the tray where the drink is refilled from the bottom. The customer has plenty of beverage options that can range from juice, soda and alcohol. The purpose of AutoFill is to give waiters and waitresses an easier time at work and this also is an attraction for many families. The mechanics of AutoFill are very simple which makes it easy to install.

 

Although Maya came up with her idea back in 2012, it took her five years to find the right people to invest into her product. She was working at a restaurant in downtown where it was always overcrowded. This gave her the opportunity to think of ways, like AutoFill, to make the waitressing process quicker.  In 2015, Maya took AutoFill on air where a television series called “NVEST” shot down her ideas, calling it “unconventional”.  However, a year later she tried again and received praise from her new model of AutoFill. Finally, in 2017, AutoFill took the United States by storm, every restaurant bought AutoFill and attracted many customers.  

 

Design

AutoFill was originally designed by Maya’s father who is a mechanical engineer professor at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. The first prototype they created was in their garage where it failed due to incorrect pressure calculations. Six models later, Maya and her father created a simplified and easy to create AutoFill model. Today, AutoFill is modified by other engineers who they called on the project so it is better compatible with restaurants.  

The design from a customer’s point of view is very simple and aesthetically pleasing to most. A circular metal tray is installed in the center of a table and a notch is there to grasp the cup. Tubes are connected to the tray that connect to the main drink filling station in the kitchen. These tubes take a day to install into the restaurant since they run from the side of tables. People can view the tubes but, Maya claims they are safe to touch since of thickness of the tubes and additional encasing gives it durability. All the pipes are created with the right amount of pressure so refilling cups is a clean and simple process.

A touch screen is also installed with the tray that gives people access to whatever drinks are available to order at a restaurant. Payment is also very easy since Maya knows the behind the scenes of waitressing. She made sure that AutoFill can track the amount of drinks and refills customers order which can be transferred to the check.

 

Rise in Popularity

The first AutoFill machine was installed into a local “Friendly’s” in Boston Massachusetts. Friendly’s is a chain in the east coast popular for its diner foods and creative desserts. Many children, adults, celebrities are often seen at the chain which is why Maya chose to install AutoFill there. After A- list celebrity, Dean Heather posted videos of Maya’s AutoFill, the product gained a lot of publicity. People now wait in lines just to experience the simple device and Maya has made millions from AutoFill. There are still restaurants waiting to install AutoFill in 2017 but have not received confirmation yet.

 

NIKKI HAIDER