Using a paper floor plan has been common in the restaurant industry for a long time, and many software applications have incorporated spatial floor plan concepts into their designs. Floor plans are deceptively complex to use, however, and can cost you time and money in ways you may not expect. Waitlist Me CEO, Brian Hutchins, was recently featured in an article published on RMagazine, and goes into detail about 5 main reasons that floor plans are more complicated than they seem.
1) Key information is scattered in different directions
2) Comparing apples and oranges is difficult
3) Tables are static, but demand is not
4) Bad decisions lead to unhappy customers and frustrated employees
It is probably not a surprise that Valentine’s Day is one of the busiest days of the year for restaurants. According to the Statistic Brain Research Institute, Valentine’s spending tops 13 billion dollars, and of the people that celebrate the holiday, more than a third of them head out to restaurants. When you’re making the special preparations to set the right ambiance for your restaurant, don’t forget about the experience your customers will have before they make it to their tables. For those guests who didn’t call ahead to make a reservation, take the pain out of waiting with Waitlist Me.
Customers are happier when they can check their place in line and have the freedom to leave the hostess area, which translates into less walkaways and higher customer satisfaction. Waitlist Me can also speed up table turns so you can seat more people each day. So you win on both sides, being better able to manage the surge in visitors on Valentine’s Day and offering superior customer service in the process.
In search of something romantic, many guests will try someplace new on Valentine’s Day instead of their regular hangouts. Make a great first impression that will keep these first timers coming back. Let Waitlist Me help you today.
Waitlist Me makes it simple to know the best place to seat your next customer. Our unique approach to section management blends psychology, data science, and cutting-edge design principles to create an intuitive tool that restaurant staff can pick up in a few minutes and enjoy using. See how it works in this video:
The old way of scribbling on a laminated floor plan with a grease pen is messy and inefficient. It’s hard to estimate wait times and optimize table assignments without seeing key information like how long tables have been occupied.
Most apps that try to use data to improve on the grease pen approach make the mistake of clinging to the old-fashioned floor map diagram, which is deceptively complex. Why? Searching the whole map for the information you need is slow. Comparing different clusters of shapes, colors, and symbols is complicated. And interpreting a bunch of unordered data, like little progress bars, spread across all the tables, is very difficult. To name a few reasons.
All this extra complexity is unnecessary. Wait staff shouldn’t need a map to find tables after a couple days on the job. What they need is a fair, easy, intuitive way to know where to seat the next customer.
Look how much simpler it is when you group tables into a framework where the data can work for you, and you can read key information naturally like a book, in ordered lines, from top to bottom and left to right.
Tables are grouped by sections, and sorted by availability to make comparisons and decisions simple. The open tables for each section stand out in green on the left. Tables that have been occupied the longest show first, with the time displayed in the lower left. So it is easy to do a quick scan within a section to see how busy it is, as well as compare across sections.
Tapping on a table will bring up an action bar for adding customers to tables, clearing tables when done, changing table statuses, and more. This page has a good overview and video of the other table management features.
If you organize your tables and sections differently by day or time, Waitlist Me also gives you the flexibility to switch between different layouts. For example, you might divide tables into 6 sections for a busy weekend night, but only need 3 for a regular weekday night. By tapping on the Layouts link in the top right, you can choose from among your saved layouts and regroup your tables and sections on the fly.
Creating and editing sections layouts can be done in the app settings under Manage Assignments. There you can also choose to have different colors represent different sections or special tables within a section or layout as well.
With Waitlist Me’s table management features, your customers will get better service, with less waiting. Your employees will get their fair share of the work, and the tips. And you’ll have a more efficient restaurant, and a more profitable business.
Stop struggling with floor maps. Take control of your tables, and your business, with Waitlist Me.
In 2017, don’t get another paper appointment book. Waitlist Me’s appointment management options can help you manage your time and customers better than pen and paper ever could. Whether it’s a salon, barber shop, or similar business, you can leave your scheduling nightmares behind and make managing appointments simple. With a quick set up and easy to learn interface, we can help you start the new year on the right foot.
When the phone rings, instead having to look everywhere in an appointment book, Waitlist Me lets you see your availability at a glance in an intuitive digital calendar. Monthly and weekly views show counts of your scheduled customers so it is easy to see the big picture on when you have availability. Then in the daily view you can see appointments broken out by time and stylist. When scheduling appointments for a team of employees, simply check one screen to see who has an opening. You can easily find the best appointment times for your clients and send them text confirmations and reminders.
When a potential client walks in without an appointment, you don’t need to scramble to figure out if you can fit them in. Quickly see your availability for that day and give them an accurate estimate of how long it would be until you can help them. You can even give them the freedom to walk around while they wait and text them when you are ready for them. Waitlist Me will help you improve your guest’s experience and make smarter business decisions faster.
Another great benefit of going digital with Waitlist Me is the flexibility to check your appointment calendar from any computer, tablet, or smartphone. So if a valued client calls when you aren’t at the salon and asks when you can squeeze them in, you don’t need to head back to look at your appointment book. Or if one of your stylists calls in sick on your day off, you can do all the rescheduling from home. With Waitlist Me, you won’t have to worry anymore about carrying around your appointment book, driving back to the salon, or even worse, losing your appointment book. Try it out for free today.
Add more magic in the holiday season by giving your customers the precious gift of time. Lines are always longer this time of year, and painful waits just frustrate customers. You can improve the waiting experience for your customers by using Waitlist Me. This simple to use app can not only track who is on the waitlist, but also helps employees to give more accurate wait time estimates than a paper list.
Waitlist Me is being used successfully to drive more revenues across many retail segments.
Selling phones and setting up calling plans take a lot of time, tying up service representatives and frustrating customers who are waiting to be helped. Don’t lose those customers. Greet them and add them to Waitlist Me, so they can roam the store to choose phone cases, screen protectors, and other items while waiting. It’s a smart way to reduce walkaways while increasing sales.
Businesses selling electronics have customers that may need more personalized service to help them choose the right television or computer, yet they don’t always know who to ask for help. Don’t let them walk out the door frustrated. Make sure to get an idea of what they need and assure them they will be helped soon. Customers have more patience when they are given an accurate quote of how long it will be until the right person is available to help them.
Shopping for clothes can involve a different type of waiting frustrations, and long lines for dressing rooms and checking out can scare away customers. Add them to a waitlist, so they can continue shopping and grab more items to try on and buy. This is a really easy way to drive incremental sales.
Waitlist Me can improve customer shopping experiences in all kinds of retail environments, from shoe stores to jewelry counters to children waiting to see Santa. Providing exceptional service means happier customers. Plus, more time to shop while waiting means more sales. Do your part to reduce stress and make the holidays brighter for your customers. Use Waitlist Me!