Friday, September 28th, 2018 .

Customer experience is one very important thing you can’t afford to skimp on. That five-star review you’re looking for starts as soon as guests walk through your front door.

The good news: Customer experience is the easiest thing for restaurants to fix. Still, scads of otherwise-awesome spots lose stars before diners take their seats!

Read on to find out where they’re going wrong—and one so-easy-we-can’t-believe-not-everyone-is-using-it way to wow guests, garner top-notch reviews, and keep customers coming back for more.

5 signs your waiting area is turning off your diners

Could your waitlist use an upgrade? If your restaurant is facing any of these five dining experience problems, it’s time to revamp the way your customers wait.

It’s cramped. If it’s tough to squeeze in a party of four between your entry way and your hostess stand, you’re setting your guests up for discomfort right off the bat. The longer they stand there—and make way for new arrivals and passing busboys—the less they’ll enjoy their dining experience.

It’s crowded. Packing guests in like sardines sounds great in theory, but it’s really a disaster waiting to happen. When hungry guests walk in and see a crowd ahead of them, they’re liable to walk right back out—and go to the restaurant across the street.

It’s noisy. A little chatter and some mood music? Totally fine. Guests straining to hear their names being called? Absolutely not. No one should have to miss out on conversation with their tablemates because they’re afraid of losing their spot in line.

It’s dull or dingy. Thanks to smartphones and Instagram feeds, diners arrive at your door with spotty attention spans and high expectations. There’s lots of leeway between busting your budget and giving them a chance to be unimpressed from the get-go.

It’s nonexistent. We’re all for small spots maximizing their floor space. A hole-in-the-wall hideaway is a fantastic find…until we have to park ourselves behind another diner’s chair because there isn’t room to wait anywhere else. Awkward.

The easy fix for your waiting area

You don’t have to invest in fancy chairs or a swanky patio or even a fresh coat of paint. All you need is a  waitlist app called Waitlist Me.

Waitlist Me allows you to set your diners free. Thanks to optional text message alerts and a waiting list with estimated wait times that they can check on their smartphones, they don’t have to worry about missing out. These simple features mean…

– Guests can wander around the area, eliminating the need to accommodate and entertain them inside your restaurant

– Your visible queue will be shorter and more attractive to newcomers

– Diners can enjoy quality time with friends and family without worrying that they’ll miss their name being called

– Your host will be free to provide excellent service because they won’t need to keep answering “how much longer?” questions (or avoid frustrated glares)

 

The app is simple to learn and flexible to use. Making it work for your dining space is easy, and training your front of house staff to use it takes mere minutes. It works on most tablets, mobile devices, or a desktop computer, and you can sync it to multiple devices at once so that multiple staff can use it at the same time. The more you use Waitlist Me, the better you’ll be at giving accurate wait times, which reduces walkaways and improves the customer experience as well as the bottom line.

Tuesday, September 18th, 2018 .

Peanuts and Crackerjacks are just scratching the savory surface of food and beverage offerings available at ballparks this summer.

With everything from craft beer and swanky cocktail bars to gourmet hot dogs and full-service restaurants, baseball stadiums are redefining what it means to take in a ballgame with family and friends. Fans don’t have to splurge on box seats for a VIP experience—and with Waitlist Me on tap at your hostess stand, you can treat every guest to a top-notch experience, guaranteed.

Here’s how a waitlist and reservation app can help you hit this summer out of the park.

Let customers shop, wander, and snap selfies while they wait

Your diners have better things to do than to tap their toes outside your restaurant or give your host the ol’ stink-eye. With our signature Text Notification feature, Waitlist Me sets them free. They can stroll through the concourse, take pictures with players, try on new snap-backs—it’s all fair game. When they hit the top of your list, you can let them know with the push of a button. How’s that for easy?

Attract new diners despite long lines

Because our app lets you alert guests by text when it’s their turn to take a seat, there’s no reason for them to cool their heels in the 10 feet waiting area surrounding your restaurant’s entrance. While your waitlist grows, the line outside your door doesn’t have to. That means new customers can hop on your list without being deterred by other diners.

Allow guests to hop in line from their seats

Whether their stomachs are growling before the first pitch or they get the munchies at the bottom of the fifth, Waitlist Me’s Add Yourself feature lets diners join your waitlist from wherever they are, whenever they want. Thanks to our app, there’s no need to for customers to beat the crowd. They can eat on their own time, without missing a single play.

Ditch constant ETA questions

When’s the table going to be ready? Is it our turn yet? Where are we on the list? We don’t have to ask if you’re tired of these questions. We know you were done with ‘em a couple seasons ago! That’s why we built a Public Waitlist feature—so that guests can check their spot in line straight from their smartphones or from a handy monitor or TV display you can set up in a snap. Phew!

Eliminate clutter and confusion at your hostess stand

Trash your mess of sticky notes and dog-eared memo books and say buh-bye to the grease pen. Waitlist Me is an intuitive, easy-to-use solution to losing reservations and keeping track of your waitlisted parties. Our app is designed to give your front-of-house staff the information and tools they need to manage your guests’ dining experience with just one glance.

 

Thursday, September 13th, 2018 .

The Public Waitlist page, which allows customers to see where they are in line while they wait, is also a great branding touchpoint.  When you add a customer to the list a link to the public waitlist is included in the confirmation text they receive and allows them to easily see where they are in line from their phone browser.  Waiting is less painful when customers have visibility into the wait process and the flexibility to leave the waiting area without worrying about losing their place in line. For your business, it helps cut down on walkaways

as well as repeated questions regarding how long until it’s their turn.

An important set of benefits that is often overlooked, however, includes the opportunities to provide more customized messaging on the public waitlist page at different stages in the wait: while they are waiting, when it is their turn, and after they are served.  Pro users can further customize these touchpoints.

Waiting – While customers are waiting and checking their place in line from the public waitlist, customizing the bottom part of the page is a great way to give them something to do while they wait. You can highlight specials, encourage people to join a loyalty program, and more.

Ready – When you notify customers that you are ready for them, the screen changes to highlight it is their turn with a new message and image along with options for them to communicate whether they are on their way or need to cancel. If you have any special instructions for when they arrive, this is a good place to include those as a reminder to customers.

Served – After a customer has been served, they don’t need to check their wait any longer, but the public page provides a final opportunity to say thank you.

There is a simple message and image by default, and with a Pro subscription, you can make it more personal and customized to your brand.  You can add a picture of your team, show a thank you message from your owner, invite people to join your loyalty program, suggest leaving a review, or other things you might want to add as part of your thank you. 

 

 

Friday, August 31st, 2018 .

It is pretty universal that people don’t like waiting, and that businesses can serve customers better by improving wait experiences. But as we have seen a wide range of different businesses across multiple industries and countries use Waitlist Me, we have also learned that there is a good degree of variation among the types of customers or groups waiting and the level of information needed to best serve them.

To add to many of our other customization features, we have recently added more options for the main waitlist view. It’s easy to streamline the views of your waitlist by choosing the level of information you need and removing unnecessary details. You can customize the columns shown, the information displayed in each row, and what type of stats you’d like to see.

You’ll find these settings in your app by tapping the Gear icon > Customization > Waitlist View.

Columns – Choose the Waitlist Info option to edit the information you want to see in each column. You can display the status colors or hide them. Show the group size, or get rid of it if you serve individuals. Hide the Assignments column if you don’t assign customers to tables, staff or other resources.

Rows – Also in the Waitlist Info section there are options for the level of information to display in each customer’s row. Would you like their phone numbers displayed on the main page? Do you need to see how many kids and/or seniors are in each group? How would you like to see wait time quotes – as minutes, ETA, or both? Choose what works best for you.

 

Statistics – From the Waitlist View section of the Settings, the Wait Estimates and Totals options allow you to customize the display of the analytics bar at the bottom of the screen. Use the Wait Estimates > Display Groups to set 3 ranges of group sizes for calculating average wait estimates.

 

The Total Settings will allow you to display the number of people waiting, the number of groups waiting, or both. Also, choose how many hours you want to see Total Served stats for (a full day, or less than 24 hours so you can see stats by shift).

Tuesday, August 21st, 2018 .

Still using a paper waitlist or reservation book? Clinging to outdated paper-based solutions can be a drag on a restaurant. Here are six reasons to switch to a digital waitlist and reservation app like Waitlist Me. Read more at Restaurant & Cafe