Thursday, February 19th, 2015 .

Want an way for your customers to check their place in line?  Now you can easily display your public waitlist view on any TV screen through a new integration with Enplug. It’s great for your customers, as they can just glance at a TV screen to see their place in line instead of constantly wondering or asking how much longer they need to wait.

enplug-waitlist-me-display

View of public waitlist on TV screen

 

Waitlist-Me-native-app-enplug

View of waitlist managed on Waitlist Me

 

The Enplug device streams digital content onto any TV or display, so businesses can browse through a collection of apps to engage their audience, including Graphics (HD images and videos), Live Social Wall, News, Weather, Directory, Web Page, and now Waitlist Me. Apps and display settings can be instantly managed through Enplug’s web dashboard.  The integration with Waitlist Me is very intuitive, so it is simple for any business to set up and manage.

“Waitlist Me is the first third-party app available to our customers,” said Alex Ross, Chief Operating Officer, Enplug. “They’ve done a fantastic job at integrating their waitlist app software using our SDK. We want to provide our customers with as much great marketing content as possible, and Waitlist Me allows us to do exactly that.”

The integration with Enplug also marks an important milestone for Waitlist Me as the first publicly announced use of the Waitlist Me API.  The Waitlist Me API allows third parties to build Waitlist Me features into their websites and applications.  It can be used to display and customize the public waitlist view appears, add and remove parties, register users and more. For companies interested in using the API, please send an email to support@waitlist.me

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015 .

Where did NoshList go? It is now Waitlist Me. But don’t worry, everything you loved about NoshList is still there, plus a lot more.

As more and more businesses from all types of industries have been signing up to manage their waitlists, reservations, and appointments, we decided having a name that was broader and less tied to food would be better. As Waitlist Me, we are excited about all the opportunities for helping people that are waiting everywhere.

The road to Waitlist Me was paved with a number of features and user experience improvements. It started with enhancements for customized notifications and waitlist views. Table management was made more flexible so customers could also be assigned to people or other resources. Later, more prioritization was put on features such as reservations and appointments that were essential to many businesses. Finally, we invested more resources into making Waitlist Me cross-platform, so it would work on iPads, iPhones, Android tablets and phones, and even computers.

Being truly cross-platform is key to bringing the services to businesses everywhere. Some businesses don’t have Wi-Fi or have concerns using an iPad because of possible damage or theft. Now, even businesses with computers plugged into the Internet can use WaitList Me for their waitlists and reservations. The Android app also runs nicely on Clover, which is revolutionizing the way businesses think about POS systems.

In addition to the name change, we have redesigned and improved our iPhone and Android phone apps, and made a number of usability improvements in our tablet apps and online waitlist. Waitlist Me is also launching with a few powerful new features, such as the post-visit feedback surveys. Premium users can now customize and enable feedback surveys to go out after customer visits. Customers can easily send quick numerical ratings back in text messages or take surveys to rate their experiences in more detail, leave comments, an even request a manager to contact them about their visit.

Waitlist Me is also rolling out its first major API integration with Enplug, a company that helps businesses better engage their customers with smart digital signage devices and software.

More details on these new features will be coming soon.

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014 .

santa noshlist

Memories of sitting on Santa’s lap can evoke strong feelings of nostalgia for many of us, and continuing the tradition of capturing these magical moments can be a must-do for parents and grandparents of younger children.  The problem is that the holiday season is already a very busy time of year, and getting a turn on Santa’s lap usually requires some waiting. In worst case scenarios, it can even take several hours. Santa’s Playground and Santa’s Castle in Calgary have found a way to give back some of this precious time to families this holiday season by using NoshList for their waitlist.

Believe Imaging, an event photography company founded by Shelagh Anderson, photographs children with Santa at two of the busiest malls in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. At each location, employees are tasked with the responsibility of making sure every child who visits gets a turn to tell Santa what they would like for Christmas.

On average, the two centers combined receive upwards of 7,000 visits per week during the holiday season from November 23 through December 24.  To better handle the large number of visitors, Anderson was able to streamline the registration process and improve the customer experience by rolling out NoshList at both locations.

Prior to the launch of NoshList, employees were using pen and paper to take down names and numbers.

“The problem with pen and paper was the constant barrage of customers coming to ask if it was their turn because there was no visual display letting the customers know where they were in line,” Anderson said.

At first Anderson researched paging system, but the high initial and ongoing costs led her to seek an alternative solution.

“Originally in 2013 I sought out pagers, but after speaking to someone who had a system in excess of $3,000 I thought to myself that it didn’t make sense to invest in that archaic technology and there had to be a better way,” she said. “So I started looking on the Internet and came across NoshList in March 2014. This type of concept has been in my head for a number of years, so finding NoshList has definitely helped us realize some of the vision that I’ve had over the years.”

With the busiest days bringing over 700 kids to see Santa, children and their families can wait up to an hour for their turn.  While there is a play room in each location to ease the boredom, having a waitlist system like NoshList gives parents and families the ability to do other things while waiting for their turn.

“In terms of improving communications with our customers and allowing them the opportunity to roam the shopping center rather than stand in line, NoshList has been extremely well received by both mall administration and customers,” Anderson said. “Mothers are thrilled because they can register and know their kids are going to see Santa, while they have the freedom to go get a drink, use the restroom, continue shopping, or do other things.”

Registration is handled by three employees who are each armed with an iPad to start the waitlist process.Customers can see their places in line by clicking on a link to the public waitlist view and get a better estimate of how much longer it will be before their turn. The company also encourages their customer service desks to also log on to www.waitlist.me/n/believe_mm to accurately convey to customers who phone in asking about the wait times.

But the best part is that employees can also take down the children’s names and ages so Santa is prepared even before the child makes it to his lap.

“The elf standing next to Santa can relay the names of the next kids to him, and it adds that extra level of magic to the experience,” Anderson said. “If you’re a child and you round the corner and Santa calls you by name, that’s pretty awesome.”

believe imaging

Monday, November 24th, 2014 .

NoshList continues to be used by more industries beyond restaurants. From urgent care centers to educational businesses and bowling alleys, the wait list app is forever changing how businesses interact with their customers. To make the experience even better, WaitList has just released a number of new features for customizing the waitlist and notifications process.

Customized Waitlist View

Many places serve individual customers rather than large groups or parties, so we have included an option in the settings that will simplify the waitlist view and flow for adding customers to not show party size. Similarly, many places will assign customers to a person or something that isn’t numerical like a table number, so we have made it easier to add and display longer descriptions. For example, a salon can assign customers to the name of a salonist rather than a number. There is more space in the waitlist view to display names and you can enter all the people or resource names you want to assign customers to in the “Manage Assignments” part of the settings. We still have the old view for any restaurants or places that track group sizes, and you can change this in the “Customize Waitlist” part of the settings. You can also change the display of the “Reservations” section if your business makes appointments rather than reservations.

Example of waitlist for individuals, with no parties column and more room for assignments:

Example of waitlist for parties, with group size column:

Customized Notifications

We have had the ability to customize text and phone notifications from the NoshList website, and now we have also added that to the settings in apps. Just go into the Settings and choose the “Manage Notifications” option.

View for customizing text notifications:

View for customizing phone call notifications:

Simpler Waitlist

Instead of having separate buttons to seat and remove customers, we have combined these into a single check button for checking people off the list. When pressing on that you can choose to “Check off” the people that have been seated or served or you can choose to “Delete” them if they canceled or walked away before it was their turn. To make the waitlist history easier to find, we have changed the toggle for displaying history to appear below the waitlist, where the history will actually appear rather than in a button in the upper left that was often missed in our user testing.

All of these updates are currently in the latest version of the NoshList Waitlist app and in the online waitlist on www.Waitlist.me and the customizable waitlist is in the Android app. Changing the notifications and the new history view will be coming to Android soon.

Monday, October 27th, 2014 .

10 park lanes logoBowling is a great form of entertainment for for those times when we’re one-on-one or with a group of friends. But waiting for a lane can deflate even the most enthusiastic crowd. Using NoshList to manage their waitlist, the team at 10 Park Lanes found a way to make it easy for guests to eat, drink and play.

When 10 Park Lanes first opened in Charlotte, N.C., the venue consisted of bowling lanes and not much else. However, a renovation nearly three years ago included the addition of several restaurants and bars, and is considered a premier entertainment center.

Prior to NoshList, 10 Park Lanes staff wrote each name down using pen and paper, and often lost customers as a result of long wait times. The bowling alley has now been using NoshList for two years to handle the more than 2,000 people that walk through its doors every weekend. With such a high volume of clientele, waits can last anywhere from three to five hours.

The NoshList app was easy to install and easy to use for both staff and customers.

“Our demographic is people who are used to using technology like this,” said Jeff Burns, 10 Park Lanes bowling manager. “They really had no issues with this sort of communication.”

It also has given people the ability to put their name on the waitlist, leave and come back when their lane is ready.

“We have a 3-hour wait and we needed a way to track people down,” said Aaron Sheets, 10 Park Lanes director of operations. “We’re in a trendy area in Charlotte with a series of bars surround the street so we use the app to tell people their lanes are available. If we’re busy, customers can walk next door or go outside and still be able to receive our texts.”

10 park lanes

 

The app is used across two iPads and the company uses it to track not only waiting customers, but also where they’re from. Using the QuickNotes feature, 10 Park Lanes staff can input customer zip codes and uses the information for marketing purposes.

The system works fantastic,” Burns said. “It does what it is definitely supposed to do. It allows us to track people, page them and get them back into the building when their lane is ready.”

– By Valerie Killifer, special to NoshList