Wednesday, September 28th, 2022 .

Waitlist Me offers several features for scheduling reservations and managing availability with simple business rules and scheduling limitations.

For advanced availability management, we have recently added features in our Platinum service for blocking out tables and setting flexible visit duration rules based on the group size and time of day. Adding more control in defining how long guests stay at tables improves the reliability of finding open tables and helps prevent double booking and other scheduling mistakes. It also makes it easy to see availability and the estimated times guests will be scheduled in the calendar view and when adding and changing reservations.

These new features can also be used in other industries to manage appointments and availability of staff, spaces, and other resources. Here’s how it works.

Settings – Duration rules work with the Business Hours features to allow different default durations to be set by group size and by time of day. To turn on Duration rule features go to Settings > Add Yourself > Business Hours and tap on Duration Rules at the top.

Creating a rule – Define the average times you’d expect guests to stay at your business and whether there is a difference by party size. The size groupings and times are customizable.

Managing rules – You can set up multiple rules if the amount of time customers may stay at your business varies by day or time. For example, you might have different rules for lunch and dinner. You can then apply the rules to different time periods in your business hours. Setting a default rule makes it easy to use the same rule for any time that you haven’t set an individual rule. In the example, a rule for regular hours is the default and there are different dinner and brunch rules for when visit times are different on the weekends.

Calendar view – When using the duration rules and custom durations, you can easily see your availability in the calendar view. The tables that are occupied are blocked out in red for the times occupied. Pressing on an existing reservation allows you to edit the details or reschedule.

Scheduling guests – Press on an open area in the calendar to schedule a customer for the time and table of the area selected. Or press the plus button at the top and select a time and table. In both cases the duration will automatically be displayed based on the duration rules for the time and party size. This duration can also be changed manually.

In the table selection view, tables that already have reservations at the time selected will display in red along with a time. If you try to schedule at an overlapping time a warning message will be displayed but can be ignored if needed in some circumstances.

These new scheduling features are designed to help businesses that have heavier scheduling needs and want more control over which tables and resources are booked. Businesses that have more walk-in customers may find some of our other table management features work well for them. And of course, these feature sets can be used together to optimize service for both walk-in and scheduled customers.

Monday, February 7th, 2022 .

In addition to robust waitlist features, Waitlist Me offers scheduling features for reservations and appointments. View and manage your schedule anywhere from the Apple or Android app, or by logging into the website.

Making changes to future reservations is even easier with our new search feature. Now if a customer contacts you to change their reservation, you can simply search by their name, phone number or email address. This option is available on all platforms by using the search icon on the main reservations page. From the search results, press on the customer’s row to open the desired booking and make any changes needed.

A toggle switch at the top of the page will also allow you to simply search for a specific customer, whether or not they have an upcoming reservation. You can use this to see past visits and upcoming reservations as well as to edit the customer’s information. For example, if the customer’s name was spelled incorrectly or if they changed their phone number, you could update those details. When you use the auto-remember names feature, that customer’s information (name/email/phone number) will populate as you are creating bookings. That feature can be found in the app settings under Customization > Adding Customers.

To view other recent reservation enhancements, check out this page on new sorting options available and this page on email confirmations.

Wednesday, December 15th, 2021 .

Waitlist Me offers the Add Yourself Web Widget to make serving customers quick and easy, whether you prefer they reserve a time in advance or simply join the list if there’s a wait. Advanced scheduling just got even easier with our new email reservation features. 

If your business wants to send automated reminders or needs additional information from customers before they arrive, then emails can be a great option. Also, they are not counted towards the bundled notification limits included with each subscription (US & Canada) or charged separately (all other international users/plans).

Enabling email notifications – To enable, navigate to the Notification settings for reservations (Settings > Customization > Notifications > Reservation). The Usage options let you choose whether the messages go out manually (by pressing the notification in the customer row in the waitlist view) or automatically (“Scheduled” option in the settings). In either case, the waitlist view notes and customer visit area of the edit view will show you when emails have been sent.

Customizing email notifications – Every email notification will automatically include the scheduled time of the reservation along with location information. In addition, it will include a customizable “Intro Message” that appears at the top of the email and can be used as an introduction or used to include basic instructions. Please note that there is a limit of 160 characters for the text in this area as it is intended to be simple. Pro Users can use the “HTML Display option”  to customize the body of the email to include images, provide more detailed instructions and more. Below is an example of these parts of the email.

Changing and cancelling – Email notifications also include a link for your guests to “Change or Cancel” their reservation/appointment. This link opens a browser window on their phone or computer where they can select a different time or cancel their existing reservation altogether. A standard email confirming any change will go out automatically.

Monday, December 6th, 2021 .

As you deck the halls and adjust your playlists, you should seriously consider giving your waitlist and table management system an update, too. Reboot your hostess stand and kick that datebook-and-grease-board duo to the curb. We have a shiny digital solution that will keep your season truly merry and bright. We’re talking about a waitlist app that brings your queue, your reservations, and your tables together on one easy-to-use interface. It’s called Waitlist Me Platinum.

Why do you need it? Let us count the ways:

#1. You want an intuitive way to balance walk-ins and reservations

What’s worse than losing a reservation for a twosome on date night? Losing a reservation for a 12-top the week before Christmas. Yikes. Still, it happens. It’s easy to forget a group—yes, even a big one—when you’re struggling to handle the nightly dinner rush.

When you upgrade your restaurant to a digital waitlist and reservation system, you say “goodbye” to misplaced reservations. With Waitlist Me Platinum, you can use our flexible reservation views to see what your restaurant has in store for the holiday season and beyond. Plus, we built the app to incorporate reservations and walk-ins seamlessly. That makes it a cinch to navigate your guest list, no matter what.

#2. You want to quickly see the best place to seat parties in your restaurant

Forget about peering behind the host stand to survey available seating options. With simple digital table management, confusion over where to seat your large and small parties is a relic of yesteryear.

Set up a spatial floorplan, including saving different layouts and sections, so you can quickly adjust by time of day or day of the week. If you do a server rotation, we’ve got that option covered too. You can also flip to the grid view to see your tables in efficient ways, including by availability, by size, and by server. They’re color coded so that you can immediately tell what’s open and what’s not. 

#3. You want walk-ins in addition to reservations scheduled

A wall of waiting guests in your lobby is intimidating those looking to avoid a crowd. To them, one large group waiting for a few tables to be pushed together can look like a dozen parties—and that’s enough to make anyone want to try the restaurant down the street rather than risk standing in a line.

Technology can quickly clear out your entryway when you use Waitlist Me’s text notification feature to set your guests free. Instead of lingering around your hostess stand waiting for their name to be called, they can grab a seat at the bar or wander around nearby shops without worrying about losing their table. When they’re next in line you can let them know with a text, no shouting necessary.

#4. You want to ensure that all your guests have a great experience

With a paper waitlist and reservation system, you’re constantly flipping back and forth and scrabbling around for notes. It’s unprepared and unprofessional, and that’s frustrating for your hosts and for your customers. 

Our app brings a new level of sophistication to eating out. We designed it to be easy to use from the get-go, which will decrease employee training time. And because Waitlist Me is so simple, hosts can focus their attention where it should be: on the guests, rather than on the paper they use to keep track of them.

Monday, September 20th, 2021 .

Waitlist Me makes reservations and appointments simple with intuitive calendar and list views. It’s easy to schedule and manage your customers in our iOS and Android apps or from a browser on our website.   

The Pro & Platinum levels of our service offer greater flexibility and control over scheduling rules, including setting business hours, adding party limits, and blocking off whole days, among other features. We recently added a few more customization options to these calendar views to increase the efficiency of some activities.

Now it is even easier to find openings by room and by group size. You can choose to view this information next to the table names for quick reference by pressing the people and the room icons in the header bar. The group size and room name will then be visible in the column headers under each table name.

You can also sort the order of the table columns by these new dimensions using the ‘Sort by’ option on the top left. Choose to sort by rooms if you know you want to fill one room before moving to another. Sort by size to quickly find all the tables large enough for each party as you’re entering reservations. Use the ‘More’ option on the upper right of the sorting menu to add a secondary sort criteria and whether to display in ascending or descending order.

One additional improvement is being able to see the names of scheduled customers in the daily calendar view time blocks. If more than one customer is scheduled for a given time and table, just tap the box to see the details.

If you haven’t updated your reservation settings recently, we would also recommend going through this page to see some of the other features and personalization options.