Tuesday, November 29th, 2022 .

Waitlist Me was one of the first integration partners for Google’s integrated waitlist features, and these features continue to be popular with Waitlist Me customers and their guests. Businesses using Waitlist Me can easily turn on these features with the press of a button to allow their customers to join their waitlist right from Google.

Google released a couple new settings for further improving the guest experience, and these are now available for Waitlist Me users in the “Add From Google” area of the settings when logged into the Waitlist Me website.

Waitlist Policy – Often businesses want to set the right expectations for what to expect after joining the waitlist from Google or give some simple instructions about how to use the feature. For example, they may want to let people know not to use the feature to make reservations or let them know to look for a confirmation after joining. Now there is a setting that can be used to display some simple text to customers when they join the waitlist from Google.

Max party size – The ability to set a maximum party size has been a feature to help avoid cases where a business might not be able to accommodate a larger party or set the right expectations. Previously though the customer wouldn’t be given any additional instructions on what to do in those cases. Now there is a setting where businesses can display a message to give them a call for party sizes over the maximum.

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.