Wednesday, March 20th, 2019 .

Any diner can appreciate black-and-white tile and chrome fixtures. Retro is always in, baby! But there’s a line between old-school cool and remarkably outdated.

Wondering where your restaurant falls? One easy way to tell is to check what’s waiting for queuers at your hostess stand. Is it a mobile device with a waitlist app, like Waitlist Me? Totally this-century. Is it a grease board and a dirty rag? A little grody looking, but still sitting on the fence. Is it a basketful of buzzers? Time for an overhaul!

Don’t believe us? Listen in to what your customers have to say when they’re handed a buzzer and told to wait ‘til it goes off.

I’m not holding it.”

At 5, a buzzer is a novelty. It vibrates! It lights up! You get to be the first to know when it’s your turn! Unlike watching a cat chase a laser pointer, though, it’s a novelty that grows stale with age. While many customers are totally down for coloring alongside the kids—um, if you’ll upgrade that crossword puzzle, please—they’re ready to leave the buzzers to the grade schoolers.

“Gross! I don’t want to touch it.”

When was the last time you cleaned those greaseballs? Even though customers get them before their food, buzzers tend to be streaked with dust, grease, and who-knows-what else. In the age of germaphobia and a rising spate of super-bacteria, customers would really rather not come that close to a buzzing petri dish, thanks.

“Darn, what if I don’t hear it buzz?”

You’d think a hand-held buzzer would be easy to notice but often times, they aren’t. In fact, if customers set them down on the bar or slide them into a jacket pocket, the flashing lights and rattling plastic are easy to miss. To prevent this, one or more guests will disengage from the social atmosphere you’ve worked hard to create, all to ensure that they don’t miss out on their table.

“Someone needs to hold my drink.”

Short of a menu taller than a toddler, there’s nothing clunkier than a restaurant buzzer. Customers either need to set them down (where they tend to be forgotten), balance them on a limb (where they tend to fall), or hold them in one hand (where they take up much-needed real estate). For those that are keeping tabs of coats, bags, children, phones, or beverages, this becomes a nuisance they quickly resent.

“How close do you think we need to be?”

Will a buzzer work outside the lobby? How far from the front doors can customers wander? Being handed a buzzer on a crowded evening puts guests in a precarious situation: They need to pinpoint a space where they can comfortably wait and where the buzzer will still work. For long wait times, this can create anxiety. With every minute that ticks by, they wonder if maybe they missed their table. Cue constant check-ins with your staff, which defeats the purpose of the buzzer in the first place.

A better solution

Replace those outdated, expensive buzzers with a more up-to-date solution. Waitlist Me is so simple you can get started in a few minutes, and your guests will appreciate receiving a text instead of a clunky buzzer.

Wednesday, March 13th, 2019 .

Make your table management more efficient by viewing the waitlist on the same screen as table assignments. Split screen mode, currently available for iPads, will allow you to handle the waitlist while simultaneously managing table turnover.

Press the circle icon on the top left of the waitlist to go to the table management or assignments view.

Press Open in the footer bar to show the waitlist in the bottom half of the screen.

The waitlist, as well as today’s reservations, will now be visible. Drag the bar up or down to adjust the height of the waitlist to fit your needs.

From this view you can still add parties to the list, notify guests when you are ready for them, and check parties off the list. All of the waitlist view features are available without leaving the table management view.

Waitlist Me makes table management simple and effective. Our unique approach to section and resource management provides an intuitive tool that restaurant staff can pick up in a few minutes and enjoy using.  If you haven’t set up your sections yet, you can see how to do that here.

Check out more ways to get the most out of Waitlist Me by visiting our Knowledge Base.

Tuesday, January 15th, 2019 .

For businesses looking to automate more of the reservation acceptance process, Waitlist Me has new ways to restrict how many reservations you accept by day and by hour. With a Waitlist Me Proo subscription, you can set reservation limits on the number of groups and people that you’d like on an hourly and daily basis. For example, if you don’t want any more than 4 groups to schedule themselves per hour, you can quickly set up that rule.

Simply press the gear icon in the app and head to Add Yourself > Scheduling Rules. Choose a day and you will be able to set the maximum number of people and groups you’ll allow by day and by hour.  There are four different options, but you can pick and choose the ones that work for your goals in managing capacity at your business. You can avoid having too many people schedule at the same time without all the work of tracking the usage of every single table at your restaurant or resource at your business. You can use the Copy Rules button at the bottom to apply these rules to every day, or set up each day separately.

That’s it! Your rules will apply to self scheduling done through the Web Widget and Kiosk, where customers will see a message when there isn’t availability for a particular time or day.  They wouldn’t be able to book that time, but could still check other times.

The rules will also trigger warnings within the Waitlist Me app if you try to schedule above the limit to make it easier to know when you might be overbooked.  Though it won’t block you from scheduling above the limits for cases where you know you can handle the booking.

Thursday, January 10th, 2019 .

Got, say, 15 minutes to kill before your train pulls in? How about a couple hours while you wait for the new donut bakery’s latest flavor? Or maybe an easy 5 for the next available operator?

Whether you’re waiting to talk to a manager or to grab a table, these 27 factoids about the lists we love to hate will keep you occupied. Happy toe-tapping!

You’ll spend an average of 2 years of your life waiting in line. Sorry in advance. https://www.therichest.com/shocking/15-weird-and-depressing-facts-about-waiting-in-line/

You’ll feel less anxious if there’s a single line rather than multiple lines. It feels fairer that way, but you’re still going to worry about line-cutters. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/11/27/what-you-hate-about-waiting-in-line-isnt-the-wait-at-all

Americans hate the DMV the most. Honorable mention: customer service hotlines.

But Americans love waiting for some things. Like event tickets, delicious food, and Splash Mountain.

And the more something costs, the longer people are willing to wait. See: iPhones, Hamilton tickets, and Splash Mountain.

The key to keeping waitlisted customers content: Distract them. Give them something to do, watch, or read while they wait.

In New York, you wait “on line.” Sorry, grammar nerds. http://mentalfloss.com/article/82257/12-impatient-facts-about-waiting-line

It takes a lifetime to get Green Bay Packers season tickets. Only 90 or so are released every year. With a waitlist of over 130,000 fans (many of whom were added by their parents when they were born), you’re talking about decades of playing wait-and-see. https://247sports.com/nfl/green-bay-packers/Bolt/Green-Bay-Packers-season-ticket-wait-list-at-133000-people–113926844/

Good news: approximate wait times make lines seem shorter! It gives you something concrete to look forward to.

Bummer: Statisticians have noticed an increase in “waiting culture.” Trendy neighborhoods and affluent cities are seeing an influx in no-reservations policies at hip new restaurants, which means waits are becoming the norm in some areas. https://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/22/upshot/the-upside-of-waiting-in-line.html

You’ll always see waitlists hit the nightly news on Black Friday. Throw a gaming system in the mix, and all bets are off.

The Netflix queue was created by chief product officer Neil Hunt. He’s British. In August 2013, Netflix ditched it’s infamous “instant queue” in favor of the “my list” feature. https://newrepublic.com/article/116996/netflix-queue-and-history-british-word-america

The Netflix thing makes sense when you know that the word “queue” is super British. It’s so British, it’s included in citizenship tests.

Well, the actual word “queue” is French. It was defined to mean “a line” in 1837 by Thomas Carlyle, who likened the line-up of people he saw outside shops in France to a man’s ponytail, which the French called “a queue.”

The most iconic British queue is at the bus stop. Forget about snapping selfies in front of a phone booth. Pull up a piece of pavement, instead. http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-23087024

The politest queue of them all is for Wimbledon’s final matches. Tennis whites suggested but not required. http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-23087024

You’re least likely to see a queue at the local pub. And, alas, it’s probably where it would most come in handy, too. Anyone for a pint?

The quintessential queue joke: “What is this queue for?” “I don’t know, but I’ll find out when I get to the front!” Seriously, people say this.

There’s also a legend about the people who study the psychology of waiting. It goes something like, “a lawyer, a secretary, and an ad exec are waiting for an elevator…”

Canadians use the term “lineup.” Turns out they kick butt at merging in traffic.

And Canucks are better than Brits at some queues—er, lineups. When waiters need to organize their own lineups, like at building entrances or street-front ATMs, Canadians are the champs.

If you want an even more polite lineup than those found in Canada, head to Japan. http://nationalpost.com/news/canada/everyone-line-up-canadas-tradition-of-orderly-queuing-foreign-and-strange-to-many-newcomers

Also: Canadians hate line-cutters. Tourists beware!

If you cut in line, you stand a 10-percent chance of getting shoved. Don’t say we didn’t warn you. http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20170320-we-hate-to-admit-it-but-brits-arent-the-best-at-queuing

Australians wait the longest for new iPhones—and they get them first. That’s because the sun rises in the east, of course. In 2015, Lindsay Handmer camped for 2 days to get the iPhone 6, and he did it to bring awareness to the homeless who sleep on the streets nightly. YouTube star Mazen Kourouche camped for 10 days…and then the launch event was delayed. Whoops! https://www.pymnts.com/apple/2017/iphone-release-iphone-sales-news/

You have to wait in line on Mount Everest! So much for that “alone at the top of the world” feeling. Also: Sometimes people die in line. Yikes.

The longest line in the world is the Haaj. This religious pilgrimage to Mecca takes place every year in Saudi Arabia.

Saturday, December 15th, 2018 .

As you deck the halls and adjust your playlists, you should seriously consider giving your waitlist and table management system an update, too. With holiday parties a-plenty, this is no time for clutter and inefficiency!

You need to 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—and save you plenty of woe (and money) to boot. We’re talking about a waitlist app that brings your queue, your reservations, and your resources together on one easy-to-use interface. It’s called Waitlist Me Pro.

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

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

What’s worse than losing a reservation fora 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 Pro, 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 need to visualize the best places to seat parties in your restaurant

Forget about peering behind the hostess stand to survey available seating options. Your hosts won’t even have to squint at hard-to-decipher grids anymore, either! With simple, digital table and resource management, confusion over where to seat your large and small parties is a relic of yesteryear.

Waitlist Me lets you view your tables indifferent ways, including by availability, by size, and by server. They’recolored coded so that you can immediately tell what’s open and what’s not. The Pro-level version of the app also gives you access to our layouts and sections feature, which allows you to build more detailed floor plans that are still easy to read.

#3. You need to keep bringing in foot traffic, no matter how busy you are

A wall of waiting guests in your lobby is intimidating to newcomers. 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 a queue.

Technology can transform your vestibule and the way you run your restaurant. With Waitlist Me’s text notification feature, you can set your guests free. Instead of lingering around your hostess stand, waiting for their name to be called, they can hang out at the bar or wander around the area without worrying about losing their table. When they’re next in line, you can let them know, no shouting necessary.

#4. You need 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. And ETAs? Let’s not even go there.

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.