Thursday, September 12th, 2019 .

Running a restaurant isn’t the same as it was 10 years ago. Technology has shaped customer expectations around service in all parts of their lives, and people are less willing to put up with unnecessary waiting to get the goods and services they want. Fortunately, there are applications like Waitlist Me that help restaurants and other businesses raise the bar and deliver at a higher level of service that meets modern expectations.

Cut the clutter and stay organized 

A frazzled host and a messy greeting area is a big red flag for guests who come to you for an enjoyable evening out. Forget grease pens and paper planners. Waitlist Me eliminates hostess stand clutter and makes it easy to add and seat dining parties. Your front-of-house staff can see your business’ waitlist in a single glance and add customers to it with a swipe.

Over-deliver on wait expectations

With Waitlist Me, even a rookie host can quote accurate wait times and set the right expectations. The app shows real-time waits next to quoted times to make it easy to improve and know when things are running ahead or slow. Using status colors and notes to organize and keep tabs on waiting customers helps you get them seated more efficiently. You can’t always control the wait time, but you can improve the wait experience by serving customers on time, when you say you will.

Set your guests free

Kids aren’t the best at standing quietly in a restaurant lobby, and adults don’t want to be cooped up either. That’s why Waitlist Me lets guests relax and wander about if they like. The text notification feature does away with diners’ worries about losing their place in queue. No more hovering around your hostess stand, no more long queues stretched around the corner, and no more crowded lobbies turning off new walk-ins. Whether they choose to window shop, walk down the block, or hang out in the car, one quick text lets them know when their table is ready. All you have to do is tap a button. No muss, no fuss, no empty tables.

Give people visibility into their wait

The No.-1 question your host doesn’t want to answer when it’s busy: Is my table ready yet? A close second: Where are we on the list? Waitlist Me keeps customers in-the-know automatically with its popular public waitlist feature. Once they’re added to your waitlist, they’ll receive a text confirmation that includes a link to your public waitlist that they can check in their phone browser (no app download required). In real time, they’ll see exactly where they are in the queue along with their wait time.

Avoid lost reservations

The worst problem customers face on busy nights or big holidays is lost reservations. When your restaurant relies on overstuffed date books and grease boards, though, hostesses get used to saying, “What was the name again? I’m not seeing it in the book.” Your guests deserve better, and Waitlist Me helps you stay organized and manage your reservations in one location that you can access from multiple iPads or Android tablets. You can even login from your home computer or your smart phone to keep tabs on your reservations.

Wednesday, August 28th, 2019 .

If there’s one thing social media has shown us, it’s that skincare, makeup, and hair products aren’t going out of fashion. Everyone wants to look good and feel good in their own skin, and this niche helps them do exactly that.

There’s great news for cosmetics retailers, too. While other industries are beating back e-commerce competition, beauty counters, branded boutiques, and local bath and body shops alike have a major advantage: their customers crave professional advice and want to try before they buy. That advantage keeps shoppers walking through doors rather than logging in online. The best way to keep them coming back, though, is to wow them with stellar customer service.

Want to gain an edge on your local cosmetics store competition? Check out Waitlist Me Pro.

First, let’s talk about waitlists

Waitlists are more common in restaurants than in retail stores, but Waitlist Me is changing that one customer experience at a time.

The thing about waitlists is that they make every situation during which customers might encounter a queue smoother and more positive for everyone involved. Whether they’re in a makeover line or need the help of a sales associate to make a decision about a product, waitlists let stores cut frustration out of the equation (along with the line-cutters that drive customers nuts).

At its most basic level, our app lets businesses add customers to a waitlist and text them when they reach the front of the line. Except with a digital waitlist, there is no line! Guests are free to roam about your store and look at different products they might be interested in, or to walk down the block and return when a sales associate can focus on them one-on-one.

Read more about how cosmetics stores can use waitlists here.

Why Waitlist Me Pro 

Superior customer service is more than a guessing game. To gain insights on how to improve your business, it helps to have data to back up your gut instincts. That’s where Waitlist Me Pro comes in.

The Pro-level app, which is compatible with Apple, Android, and web-based devices, comes with several valuable reports. Just by using the app you’ll be saving information in the background while you and your employees are working. When you’re ready to create new schedules, you can quickly download these reports to see when you need more help and when you can get away with less.

Waitlist Me Pro helps you track your customers from the minute you add them to a waitlist to when they walk out the door. That makes it easy to see where you need to allocate time and resources, and how you can improve your store’s efficiency and productivity.

Wednesday, August 14th, 2019 .

While fine dining might grab more press and shinier awards, fast casual is the largest growing restaurant sector around the world—and has been since 2015.

The name of the game isn’t just speed or price; if it was, fast food will still be earning top honors. Nope, fast casual continues to soar because it offers a superior customer experience. It’s all about serving great food to busy people on a budget.

Sounds good, right? Well, there’s one way to make it even better—and to ensure that your fast casual restaurant scores top marks on review sites like Yelp: make your guests’ dining experience more convenient.

Here are three ways to increase convenience at your fast casual restaurant starting right now.

#1. Go for mobile notifications

Waiting to pick up your meal at a counter is one of the few downsides to fast casual. Even worse? Perching on the edge of your seat trying to figure out if your name has been called. Hello, anxiety!

With a waitlist app like Waitlist Me, you can now text your guests when their meal is ready for pick-up. That means they can sit down and relax while they wait to nosh. It’ll cut down on noise in your restaurant and decrease customer stress (and the amount of food growing cold on the counter). No more crowding impatiently around the counter? That’s a win in our book!

#2. Take your waitlist online

Sure, the food might be worth the wait, but a wait isn’t what fast casual diners are looking for (see the “fast” in “fast casual”). From breakfast to lunch and dinner through late-night, nobody’s looking to stand around and watch other people scarf down goodies. That’s where an online waitlist comes in handy.

Waitlist Me offers a widget you can easily add to your restaurant’s website. Once it’s there, diners can hop on-line digitally, and walk through your door at just the right time. Bonus? Use our option to let customers join your list straight from their Google search, no website updates required.   

#3. Offer easy take-out and delivery options

Not every diner wants to park it in-house. And you know what? That’s just fine for your bottom line. An emptier restaurant gives newcomers the idea that you’re ready and waiting to serve them without requiring you to sacrifice orders. In their mind, they’ve arrived ahead of the crowd. In yours, you’re still busy fulfilling orders without needing the tables and chairs to accommodate them.

Make this a reality by setting your fast casual restaurant up online for easy take-out ordering. If your area offers delivery options—think: Postmates, UberEats, Seamless, or Grubhub—create special pick-up zone for delivery drivers. That way, they can get in and get out, and your diners can enjoy hot, fresh food from the comfort of their own home.

Remember, every time you make a change, you need to let your customers know! Add it to your website, have employees mention it when guests order, and post it around your restaurant.  

Our favorite way to ensure diners are in the know 24/7 is to post updates on an in-restaurant monitor, along with your waitlist. Waitlist Me Pro lets you do this easily, and there are no limits to what you include! Whether you’re celebrating your 1,000th 5-star rating, are offering a limited-time special, or you’re launching a loyalty program, anything goes. (Hint: funny cat videos work, too.)

Wednesday, July 31st, 2019 .

When using the Add Yourself features, whether through Kiosk Mode or the Web Widget, there are several ways you can display an estimated wait to customers. Simply navigate to the Settings > Add Yourself > Main View. Here you can select the wait time that fits your business best. 

People and Groups – Show the number of parties and the total number of people on the list.

People – Show the number of people on the list.

Minutes By Group – Display an estimated time by multiplying the number of parties by a number of minutes you specify. For example, selecting 5 minutes will multiply the number of groups on the list by 5, and present that result as the estimated wait.

Minutes By People – Display an estimated time by multiplying the total number of people on the list by a number of minutes you specify. 

Last Estimated Time – Report the last estimate given by your staff.

List View – Show the public view of the waitlist, so people can see where they are in line.

Hide – No estimates, just go straight to the Add Yourself part.

Here are a few examples:

Web Widget, number of groups and people
Web widget, last estimated wait
Kiosk mode, full waitlist view

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019 .

One of the features included in the Pro subscription is a Stats page that gives an overview of the shift or day. Quickly see data for each server: how many groups they’ve had, how many total people were in those groups, their average party size, and the average time it took to turn tables. 

You can choose what time frame you would like to see stats for. Pressing on Time in the header bar will let you select from these options:

– Current day – see all of today’s numbers

– Past hours – choose any increment up to 24 hours (for example, view the past 4 hours on a rolling basis)

– Shifts – enter in blocks of hours to coincide with your shifts (for example, 11:00 am to 4:00 pm and 4:00 pm to 11 pm) 

Press on the Stats icon to go to the new analytics view. This page will display each section name, the server assigned, how many groups/people have been served, and averages for party size and time. Pressing on the headers at the top will sort by any of those categories. If you prefer to see things graphically, using the radio buttons at the bottom of each column will display that data in the chart below.  You can also see all these metrics by table or assignment, by clicking on the Sections label at the top.

The data on the Stats page can help hosts know where to seat the next party, so that each server gets their fair share of the work (and the tips!) 

Before getting the most out of the new stats features, you’ll need to set up your tables and sections. Then you can choose a layout, select how you want to view the tables, and assign servers. Sort by Section and use the Labeled mode in order to add server’s names to sections. Use the Edit link in the header row of the first section to enter server names.