Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014 .

When we launched NoshList in 2012, we began with a very targeted focus on the restaurant industry and a mission to solve the challenges many restaurants face in managing long wait lines. And it worked. Customizable, easy-to-use and affordable, our wait list app enhanced the customer experience and quickly replaced the antiquated pen and paper lists for our customers.

Over the past two years, NoshList has been used to seat more than 45 million diners, and the new reservations feature helps with a whole new set of scheduling challenges that restaurants face.

Along the way though, we realized that NoshList can be used in a host of other industries. Other types of businesses started using NoshList in ways we hadn’t originally expected, and as they did they asked us for ways to better customize the product for their situations. So little by little we started adding more customization features, and now all kinds of businesses are using NoshList to improve their customers’ wait experience.

Since NoshList can be used on iPads, iPhones, Android tablets, other mobile devices, and even computers, the app can be used just about anywhere. All that’s needed is an Internet connection and a desire to make waits more bearable for customers.

Afterall, when a customer is waiting on anything — from a lane at the bowling alley to a rented boat — the wait can be like an extreme lesson in patience. NoshList works as a way to communicate with waiting parties that their lane, boat or other item is ready.

How about waiting in line for a dressing room? With NoshList, shoppers can simply add their name to the list and then continue to shop while they wait for their dressing room. Once it’s ready, they will receive a text notifying them they’re next in line. It’s the ultimate win-win.

The same ideas apply to anywhere there might be a wait — at the pharmacy, the automotive repair center, the doctor’s office or hair salon and spa.

There are few simple things businesses in other industries can do to best use NoshList. The main thing is to customize the texts that go out when a person is added to any type of wait list and when they are notified. NoshList users can also choose from a number of automated call options. Then for more personalization a business can pre-define the list of the most common notes to appear in the app with the QuickNotes feature. Finally, table numbers can be modified to represent what makes sense for a business. These numbers could represent a salesperson, chair number, rental ID or whatever resource is assigned to your customers.

other businesses

 

To learn more, check out our new page on how NoshList is being for different business waitlists across the country.

Monday, August 11th, 2014 .

While most of the places that use NoshList are restaurants, we have seen more and more businesses from different industries use NoshList to manage customer waits. The addition of our new reservations feature has made NoshList even more appealing to any business that schedules future appointments, whether they have a walk-in waitlist or not.

Not all businesses have WiFi or want to get an iPad or Android tablet though, so it is great for those businesses that NoshList also runs on any computer right from the browser and also on Clover. So we were thrilled to be able to join First Data in their booth at the RetailNow conference highlighting Clover and some of the top apps running on Clover.

Here are some shots from the event:

noshlist retailnow

 

 

blog retailnow

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014 .

Tired of writing down reservations on paper? Now you can keep track of reservations in the same place as you manage your wait list. In May, we announced our new reservations feature for iOS at the National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show. Now we have added reservations to our Android and Clover apps. You can now use our online NoshList waitlist from any browser.

Taking reservations through NoshList is great for any customer reservation call in because it works just like our same-day estimated time of arrivals (ETAs) feature that restaurant staff enter when adding parties. The only difference is that you can choose a future date in addition to a time.

Reservations are also grouped in their own section that you can view by pressing on the calendar icon so you can get an overview of the number of reservations and people by day as well as the details of the individual parties for each day.

reservations overview

Then any reservations for the current day will automatically show up in the ETA section of the waitlist. So, it is easy to get an integrated view of the walk ins waiting and expected people coming in with reservations.

reservations detail

“The new Reservations feature opens up the use of our NoshList app to restaurants and retailers who take advance bookings, and is the first app that offers this type of functionality for multiple industries across iOS, Android, and the web,” said Craig Walker, NoshList founder and CEO. “By continuously updating our wait list app, we are answering the call to create the only wait list platform restaurants and retailers should consider.”

Thursday, July 24th, 2014 .

BL Sign

Little Star Pizza took San Francisco by storm in 2004 by quickly becoming one of the best pizzerias in the city. Known for its Chicago-style deep-dish pizza with cornmeal crust, Little Star quickly garnered five-star customer reviews and a loyal following among local residents. There are now three Little Star Pizza restaurants in operation throughout the urban San Francisco region and another four Blue Line Pizza locations, owned by the same company, in the surrounding suburbs.

 

The two restaurant concepts do not take reservations, which means Little Star diners wait anywhere from 90- 120 minutes for a table on weekends, said founder Angela Pace.And wait times at sister chain Blue Line Pizza run anywhere from 60-to-90 minutes.

“Not taking reservations was a conscious decision because, for us, the community does so much for us that we don’t want anyone to not get served because we’re booked with reservations,” Pace said. “We want to make sure our dining room is always there for our neighbors and neighborhoods.”

In order to make customer wait times easier to manage, the company enlisted the help of WaitList, the country’s fastest growing wait list app available for iPad, iPhone and Android devices. The app was launched in 2012 and has seated to date nearly 40 million diners.

“The use of technology is unique to a place like Blue Line because we really want to focus on the guest,” Pace said. “We’ve always been very open to technology and willing to embrace it as an organization.”

Pace said the company chose NoshList from a variety of options because of its ease of use for customers and staff.

“We tried so many different things that all had their own little merits. Ultimately, we had to find a solution that we knew would work for us. Not just me personally but for our entire staff,” Pace said. “It boiled down to NoshList being so easy to use and straightforward, and the user interface is very simple and direct.”

BG Upper Patio night

 

One concern with the app was if customers would be hesitant to give out their cell phone numbers in order to interact with the app; however, adoption has been widely accepted.

“We even created an explanation of how the system works for our hostess to use on hesitant customers, but our hostess doesn’t even get to it. We’ve had no pushback,” Pace said.

The company’s philosophy toward the use of technology has been to use it as a tool to improve the guest experience. By replacing pad and paper or buzzer seating systems, waitlist apps are changing one of the most arguably antiquated seating systems in the industry.

The NoshList wait list app also does what other systems cannot: such as automatically calculate average wait times for guests. This takes the guesswork out of estimating seating times for restaurant patrons. It also frees up restaurant staff to focus on other areas of the customer experience.

“Much of today’s wait list application technology can support two-way communication between restaurant staff and guests. This two-way communication system is great because it gives guests the freedom to decide whether they want to sit and wait at the restaurant or walk around the area knowing they won’t be forgotten when their table is ready,” said Craig Walker, founder of NoshList. “Obviously we think our NoshList app provides the best wait list app functionality available today.”

In addition to the core seating and management features, NoshList enables restaurant staff to customize the notifications and public view of the waitlist that users can check from their phone or from anywhere. Customers can even add themselves to a wait list from wherever they may be if a restaurant turns on this feature. The company also recently unveiled a reservations feature which opens the door for continued innovation in waitlist technology.

“Now, restaurant operators don’t have to rely on web sites or single-use apps to handle reservations and manage a wait list. In this way, technology such as ours will continue to integrate into it as much functionality an operator needs to run their businesses better on the back end while improving the guest experience on the front,” Walker said.

Functionality was another key driver behind Blue Line’s decision to implement and use NoshList.

“We found that a lot of other technology had a lot of bells and whistles that ultimately did not get used,” Pace said. “NoshList has bells and whistles as well, but it truly is functional. We feel that NoshList in particular has made it so much easier to manage and track our wait list and now people can walk down the street and know they’re going to get paged when their table is ready. From the customer standpoint, it has really come down to peace of mind.”

tumblr deep dish

Sunday, June 22nd, 2014 .

Want to improve how efficiently you do table management? NoshList makes it easy to assign parties to tables, either when they are first added to the list or when they are seated. The table numbers are displayed in the waitlist view, so you can scan the list at a glance and know which parties go where.

table eta

 

Table numbers appear in a spinner for quick selection, and by default the numbers will be from 1 to 50. Most restaurants will want to change these numbers to match what they use in their restaurant, and this can be done individually in the app, or all at once on the NoshList website.

If you aren’t a restaurant, you can even change table numbers to represent what makes sense for your business. Think of them like a resource that can be assigned to a customer. They could represent the initials of a salonist or salesperson, a number for a barber chair or bowling alley lane, a rental rental ID or code, among others.

You can edit Tables in the app settings individually:

tables app

 

Or you can update them all at once in the settings on the NoshList website. If you have multiple devices the changes will synch so they are the same across all devices, but you will need to just go to the settings page on the other devices to trigger the sync.

tables web