Sunday, June 15th, 2014 .

Want to better remember seating requests for waiting customers? Or note which visitors are celebrating special events? NoshList lets you enter any notes you like, and they can be easily scanned from the waitlist view so you can better stay on top of things. They can also be viewed in the customer history view and the downloadable reports.

With the new Quick Notes feature, you can define as many pre-set notes as they would like to appear when a party is added to the waitlist. It’s great for common events, such as birthdays and anniversaries, or popular customer preferences, like dietary restrictions. They can even be used for tracking popular items people might order or specific things you may want to track in analytics.

quicknotes image

 

The nice thing about QuickNotes is they speed up the process of adding parties because they can be selected from a list rather than typed out. Also, they make it easier to standardize how people enter important information across time and people.

You can edit QuickNotes in the app settings individually:

quicknotes app

 

Or you can update them all at once in the settings on the WaitList 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.

quick notes web

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014 .

We are happy to announce that we have lowered our NoshList Premium price with unlimited texts and calls by 59% from $49/mo to $19.99/mo. For existing NoshList Premium users, no action is required, and the new lower rate will automatically be applied with the next billing cycle.

As part of the pricing update we will be changing our free service, which will be limited to 100 parties a month starting July 1, 2014. The hundred party limit will be based on each calendar month, and when the limit is reached, further parties will not be able to be added until the beginning of the next month.

NoshList Premium gives every restaurant unlimited usage of all these features:

– Unlimited text messages and phone call notifications to diners
– Add, remove and seat any number of parties quickly and easily
– Integrated table assignment and management
– Customizable notifications and public waitlist page
– Powerful analytics and downloadable reports
– Customizable quick notes and statuses
– Multi-device syncing
– Guest loyalty tracking
– Multi-place and multi-user management

If you haven’t already, sign in and get the upgrade here for $19.99/mo. to start getting all these features.

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014 .

NoshList was excited to return to this year’s National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show (NRA) in Chicago from May 17-20, marking the company’s third year as an NRA exhibitor. There are a number of trends that are changing the way restaurants manage their businesses better with technology, and NoshList has been at the forefront of these innovations.

booth2

 

Since last year’s event, NoshList has tripled the number of people seated through the NoshList waitlist app. The NoshList wait list app closed out 2013 with more than 22 million diners seated across 4,000 restaurants. In the first quarter of this year, NoshList seated another 10 million diners, as growth continues to accelerate. We also were one of the first apps to integrate with the award-winning Clover POS device.

NoshList got a chance to show off several design improvements and new features in its new iOS 7 and Android apps, and gave a special preview of its new reservations feature for the first time at NRA. Adding reservations to the NoshList app is another way the company is building the simple and intuitive tools that restaurants need to improve their guest experience and operational efficiencies. The reservations feature will be live in the App Store and Play Store within a few weeks.

booth1

 

We had a great time at the event, spoke to a lot of interesting potential customers and technology partners, and were thrilled to have a chance to be interviewed by Turn & Burn on the NRA Media Stage.

turn and burn

 

 

We also had a couple Armor Active stands, which work great with NoshList. Here is a blog post on how they looked.

Saturday, May 17th, 2014 .

We announced an exciting new integration in January with Clover that puts our NoshList waitlist app directly in front of restaurant operators across the country. NoshList was one of the first apps to appear in Clover’s newly developed app marketplace. This is new and exciting for us because technology such as the Clover POS is leading the way for restaurant operators to efficiently update and integrate their front-of-house and back-of-house operations. Never before have waitlist apps been able to sync up with a restaurant POS, providing sales analytics based on waitlist names and phone numbers. Now, they can.

Clover, owned by First Data, is going after restaurant operators with modest businesses in an effort to treat them like large brands by giving them what they’re asking for: something more from a technology provider without the high price tag to match.

Clover is answering this call is by offering a merchant-driven technology tool based on the Android operating system. It’s smarter, more flexible and secure than what many of these operators have been using, and the fact that NoshList is featured as a tool within this technology makes what Clover is doing that much better.

For Clover users, the toolkit is future proof and includes a printer, cash drawer and credit card terminal. Additionally, it includes preloaded apps such as ours intended to give restaurant operators the ability to control and customize the tools best suited to their needs.

Additionally, we have recently made several new enhancements to our NoshList waitlist app. These updates let restaurant owners and management define pre-set notes, such as dates of birthdays and anniversaries, in the Quick Notes feature. The notes can be viewed in the wait list for easy reference and can be synced across each device used in the restaurant. The new app features a seating history display below the current list and people that add themselves to the list show up at the top with special highlighting to alert the hostess.

In addition to the new app features, the NoshList website now has several powerful analytical reports for paid premium users. The reports include an activity overview that highlights diner trends seated by the day, week or month, a visitor breakdown by age and gender, activity logs for custom analysis and loyalty metrics comprised of guests who visit your place when, how often, and their average length of wait.

The NoshList and Clover technology is based on flexibility and is a valuable tool restaurant operators can leverage to make their operations more efficient. And integration is easy!

When someone installs NoshList from Clover, it immediately pulls their merchant account information and links table orders directly to the table numbers entered into the POS. Restaurant staff can then view the customer’s name, order and visit history, giving them an opportunity to elevate the guest experience through rewards and direct marketing campaigns.

Here is a summary of the latest features that will be on display:

New Free features available to all:

  • Quick Notes – Easily create a list of common notes to use when adding and seating parties.
  • ETA – Choose an estimated arrival time for same-day reservations and larger parties.
  • Seated View – View notes and parties seated in the main waitlist view.

 

New Premium features:

  • Rich Analytics – Download activity, demographics, party size, and loyalty reports.
  • Table Management – Customize and assign table numbers when adding and seating parties.
  • Customizable Public Waitlist – Add information on daily specials, loyalty programs, coupons, and more to the public waitlist that guests can check from their phones while waiting.

 

With partners such as Clover, we will continue to push the boundaries of waitlist technology because we believe in doing things differently. We are a team of professionals focused to innovate an antiquated aspect of the industry,one we understand, appreciate and are passionate about.

Thursday, May 15th, 2014 .

scottys brewhouse

When Scott Wise launched Scotty’s Brewhouse in 1996, he was 22 years old with little restaurant operating experience. He had graduated with a degree in marketing and public relations from Ball State University and had just returned home to Muncie, IN, after a stint as a copywriter in Houston.

“I had always waited tables and bartended, and after college, hated my 9-to-5 job. I came back to my hometown and was drawing up the idea of what I wanted to do when I heard there was a bar for sale,” Wise said. “The owners asked me to put a business plan together. Then, months later, I went to the owner and bought the business.”

That business was Mugly’s Pub & Eatery, a local Ball State University student hang out with a pool table, three beers on tap and a burger on the menu.

For the next three years, Wise worked on the restaurant’s revitalization, changing the name to Scotty’s Brewhouse and eventually hiring enough staff to handle the growing clientele. That’s when he decided to open a second location. He was only 25, and already was building a restaurant chain.

Well, maybe not.

“I got the food service bug and just loved what I was doing,” he said. “But at 25 I thought it was easy and the second restaurant failed miserably.”

Undeterred, Wise decided to take the equipment from his second endeavor and open another Scotty’s Brewhouse location in Bloomington, IL. The year was 2011. The restaurant was a hit. A franchise was born.

Today, Wise and his executive team operate eight locations throughout Indiana. Their biggest store, in downtown Indianapolis, holds 450 guests.

The technology solution

With locations throughout the state and a continuous rise in customer visits, Wise was looking for a way to increase operational efficiencies while reducing costs. This led Wise and his team to NoshList, a waitlist app designed to simplify restaurant operations and improve the guest experience. The app runs on iPad and Android tablet and mobile devices and replaces old-fashioned paper lists and expensive buzzer waitlist tools.

“For the majority of restaurant operators who use our waitlist app, the switch was made because of the ease of our technology and its ability to cut down costs while improving the guest experience,” said Craig Walker, founder of NoshList. “Our tool gives restaurant operators the ability to seat guests faster, which increases table turns and improves restaurant profitability.”

NoshList, available as a free or paid Premium service, works by sending guests text messages to their mobile devices alerting them that their tables are ready. If a guest doesn’t have a mobile phone, they can still be added to the waitlist and the host can locate them once their table is ready.

More importantly, however, is that NoshList’s Premium users can utilize the app’s ability to collect analytics based on diner history. Additionally, Premium users have access to a two-way communication system for dine-in guests, so customers can let a restaurant’s host know if there are changes to the party.

“The ability to gain consumer insights based on visitor history is a huge step forward for users of our NoshList app,” Walker said. “And the ability for two-way communication further enhances our restaurant support.”

Wise had long been considered an early adopter of restaurant technology, a reputation that placed him on the industry speaking circuit for many years.

SWBar

 

 

Scotty’s Brewhouse first started using tablets at the table in 2010. The move was a premature one in regard to customer acceptance. While the tablets didn’t work for his customer base he continued to look for new and emerging technologies that would push the brand forward.

“With the use of technology, you don’t do something that you think is cool or looks good. It has to save an operator time and money,” Wise said. “The reason why I got into tablet waitlist technology was because I was frustrated with how many pagers got stolen, or broken or lost.”

After the failed tablet experiment, Wise decided to use NoshList as a way to increase sales and reduce operational costs even though he wasn’t sure customers would give out their cell phone numbers.

“In the beginning I was nervous,” he said. “I don’t believe in text marketing and I wasn’t sure if people would give us their cell phone numbers. We had a little pushback from customers, but it wasn’t enough to stop using the technology because we were saving money on broken pagers and streamlining our seating capacity,” Wise said.

To date, WaitList has seated more than 34 million diners through its free and Premium versions and in May launched an updated version specifically for iOS 7.

“The app continues to ramp up and is proving to be a great technology. With some of the bigger software companies, they are so slow in incorporating new technology that by the time they do it the next wave is out,” Wise said. “For my staff, the reaction was initially ‘how do I do this?’ But once they got it, they loved it. This is one technology that I didn’t have to push at all and was not too difficult to put in place.”

Additionally, Wise and his team were concerned that customers would walk away once their names went on the waitlist because there was no buzzer that would tether them to the restaurant.

“We worked with NoshList on a number system that let staff know if customers had gone somewhere else,” Wise said. “And if people are wondering about their wait, they can now look at their phone and see how much time they have left. This lets the hostess focus on other things and it doesn’t make guests feel like someone forgot about them.”

Over the past six months, Scotty’s Brewhouse guests have embraced the NoshList technology. And because it’s an app-based system, the waitlist keeps running even if internet connectivity is lost.

“The best thing is we don’t have pagers anymore. That cost was huge for us,” Wise said.