Monday, May 14th, 2018 .

Muslims around the world are entering Ramadan, the holiest time in the Islamic calendar. No matter what type of business you run—a big-box retailer or boutique, a restaurant or bar, a gym or studio, a salon, a spa, or a resort— you may see changes in your business traffic during this time.  Here are some tips for using Waitlist Me to improve customer service during the month of Ramadan.

Take walk-ins and reservations

Ramadan observants fast during daylight hours, but once the sun sets, they’re all about big family dinners packed with delicacies. If you run a restaurant that doesn’t usually take reservations, Waitlist Me makes it easy to start—or to take them when you need them, like when a large party is ready to dig in.

Bonus! Our Free-level version lets you take same-day reservations, and our Premium-level app offers more robust reservation features, like a calendar view and a web widget.

Use waitlists to accommodate every client, every time

From haircuts to yoga classes, urgent care visits to mani-pedis, if your business is in a Muslim community, you’ll probably see more foot traffic after dinner. Waitlists can help you keep up with the changing traffic patterns and ensure that you keep all of your customers happy, day-in and day-out.

Bonus! The Premium-level Add Yourself Web Widget lets customers join a waitlist for a particular service or piece of equipment from wherever they are, whether that’s the office, a restaurant, or the next block over.

Post special offers, events, and changes to your hours where everyone can see them

Whether you’re offering celebratory 2-for-1 appetizers or are starting trivia a little later this month to accommodate your Muslim guests’ daylight restrictions, Waitlist Me’s public waitlist view lets you keep all your guests in the know on how busy you are.

Bonus! With Waitlist Me Pro, your public waitlist is completely customizable. Add your brand colors, your logo, even a silly video. It’s up to you!

Manage multiple locations from one account

There’s no need to sign in and out of different accounts, or to check up with your store managers to ensure they’re on the ball. Our Multi-Location Management feature lets you make whatever changes you want to your public waitlist, feedback surveys, and business hours.

Bonus! Curious to see if your changes are making an impact? Multi-Location Management lets you see how your businesses are fairing in real time and check each location’s traffic analytics.

Get feedback in a snap

Are your customers loving your changes? Is there something you could be doing better? Waitlist Me Pro lets you send a link straight to your guests’ smartphones after their visits so they can leave a rating and tell you how much you rock (and what you can do better in the future).

Thursday, May 10th, 2018 .

Mother’s Day is coming up this weekend in the US, so it is a great time for restaurants to use Waitlist Me to manage the surge in families hoping to treat mom to a special meal.  With the recent launch of Waitlist Me in over 60 countries, it is now being used for different holidays at different times.

Interestingly, over 150 countries that celebrate Mother’s Day and the holiday has the deepest roots in the UK, where it is called Mothering Sunday.  Since the 1500s, young apprentices and domestics would walk home on Mothering Sunday, carrying special cakes and picking wildflowers for their mums before going to church.  This year people in the UK already celebrated Mothering Sunday on March 11, and here are some of the ways Waitlist Me is helping businesses in the UK.

Let patrons relax rather than queue

Brits may take pride in their queueing capabilities, but that doesn’t mean they enjoy waiting in queues, especially on holiday outings. Waitlist Me takes the queue out of the equation. Whether customers make a reservation or walk in on the big day, they can drop their name at your hostess stand and get back to enjoying time with their loved ones without fretting about losing their place.

Bonus! One of Waitlist Me’s core features is the public queue list, which lets your guests see for themselves exactly where they are in the queue and how much more time they have kill before it’s brunch time. You can set it up to display on a monitor or telly in your vestibule.

Easily accommodate walk-ins and reservations

Every holiday has its planners and its skivers. Waitlist Me makes it easy to welcome everyone without any fuss or frustration. The app integrates a standard queue with made-in-advance reservations, all on the same screen. There’s no need to panic over squeezing somebody in, and your guests will never see your hosts sweat. Plus you can toss your grease pens, sticky notes, and messy reservation books in the bin. Ta, clutter!

Bonus! Waitlist Me is all about making work easy for you and your staff. The app’s interface was designed to be intuitive and user-friendly. That makes training time minimal for your hosts and helps them stay calm and professional during busy periods.

Set your queuers free

If your restaurant is in an area stuffed with shops or historic landmarks, giving customers the option to wander while they wait is a happy surprise. In the UK, Waitlist Me text notifications are completely optional. It’s a feature that lets you—or your guests—decide when to use it. An example: When you add a customer to your queue, you can let them know they can wait in your lobby or you can text them when their table is ready if they’d prefer to walk around.

Bonus! International text notifications are offered as a prepaid, pay-as-you-go system. Sending a text is as easy as tapping a button on the app, but it’s always your choice to send. Or not—whatever works best for your restaurant.

Impress customers with accurate wait estimates

Sure, your guests might not tell you they’re annoyed by a long queue or a poorly judged queue time, but one bad experience waiting for their turn can keep them from coming back. Waitlist Me shows average wait stats and real time waits next to quoted times, so it is easy for your staff to give more accurate estimates and make guests happier.

Bonus! Waitlist Me’s public waitlist feature makes it easy for guests to check their place in line from their phone, so they worry less about how much longer they must wait.  It also cuts down on repeated questions to your hostess on the remaining wait.

Remember special requests

Birthdays or anniversaries? Food allergies? A highchair? Wheelchair accommodation? A preference for patio seating? Waitlist Me offers a simple Notes feature to help you, your hosts, and your servers keep track of whatever it is your customers want and need to make their meals enjoyable. Input these details when they walk through your door, and you’re set.

Bonus! Waitlist Me offers real-time sync across multiple iOS, Android, and web-enabled devices. That means everyone on your front-of-house staff and your management team can be clued in 24/7.

Wednesday, April 25th, 2018 .

Waitlist Me makes it easy for your customers to let you know with a quick text response whether they are cancelling or on their way, so you know whether to expect them or not and can plan accordingly.  We are now combining that simplicity with more flexibility for handling other types of text responses, so you have more visibility into what your customers are thinking and can make smarter decisions faster.

Customers can send two pre-defined responses to text messages to let you know whether they are coming or not. If a customer texts back a “2”, you will see a “coming soon” message in the notes area of the waitlist view. If they text back a “3” the message will say “not joining” and the row will flash. The default notification that is sent to customers when you press to notify them explains these options and looks like this (you can always edit):

Text received

 

If people text back something other than a 2 or a 3, you’ll see “text reply” in their row on their waitlist.

Text response waitlist

 

Tapping on their row will open up the Edit Party screen, which will show their text. You can see things like if they mentioned how long they would be, if they had a quick question, or didn’t understand whether to use a 2 or a 3 and just replied back with something like “Cancel”. You can also see other important details in the Customer Visit section, such as when you notified them it was their turn, how long they were quoted, and how long they have been waiting.

Text visit history

 

Pro users have the additional feature to send custom text responses to texts received, up to three times per customer visit. The point is to keep things simple for you and your customers rather than get into a long chat with them that could be time consuming.

Text response Pro

 

If a customer tries to call the assigned phone number in response to the text or call coming from that number, they will hear a message explaining that the number is only used for notifications and it will provide them your regular business number to call. Pro users have the option to create a custom text-to-speech message for handling these inbound calls.

Here is more on customizing notifications.

Friday, April 20th, 2018 .

At Waitlist Me, we are always working on making the service better. We aspire to help more businesses improve wait experiences and customer service, and ultimately improve their business results. And we hope to help more of their customers save time, have a better day, and be happier.

It is a challenge for any company developing software or apps to know and execute on the most important ways to build a great product and service. There is no single correct path to take, but for us we think it takes a talented team, a focused mission, a lot of passion and hard work, some luck, and a few other things.

For a peek into the history and culture of Waitlist Me, check out this article. Waitlist Me CEO, Brian Hutchins, was recently interviewed as part of The Charleston Digital Corridor’s Leadership Profile Series, which is focused on the individuals who are driving the Charleston tech scene forward.

Monday, March 26th, 2018 .

The countdown is officially on. For Lent observers, 40 long days of fasting are almost over. But for you and your restaurant, Sunday marks the beginning of a brand-new holiday season.

Push away those last-minute worries, boss, because everything really is gonna be all right. Waitlist Me is the app you need to ensure your holiday brunch, lunch, and dinner services run smoother than a hand-dyed egg rolling down a grassy hill.

Go ahead and put on your Easter best. We’ve got your holiday rush completely under control. Here’s how we’re helping you improve your customer service today:

Nixing MIA reservations

The worst problem customers face on big holidays like Easter Sunday is lost reservations. When your restaurant relies on overstuffed date books and grease boards, though, hostesses get used to saying, “What was the name again? I’m not seeing it in the book.”

Your guests deserve better, and Waitlist Me Premium helps you stay organized and manage your reservations in one location that you can access from multiple iPads or Android tablets.  You can even login from your home computer or your smart phone to keep tabs on your reservations.

Setting guests free

Kids stuffed into khakis and sun dresses as the sun rises on Easter morning aren’t the best at standing quietly in a restaurant lobby. And with spring in full bloom and sun in the forecast, adults don’t want to be cooped up, either.

That’s why Waitlist Me let’s ‘em run wild. The text notification feature does away with diners’ worries about losing their place in line. Now, they can wander. Whether they choose to window shop, walk down the block, or hang out in the car, one quick text lets them know when their table is ready.

Decluttering hostess stands

Remember those high school presentations where you stood at the front of the class and fumbled through your speaking points? Yep, that’s what it feels like to be a host who is drowning in sticky notes and chicken scratch while a hungry crowd looks on.

Luckily, those days are behind us. Waitlist Me’s intuitive interface makes adding and seating dining parties a cinch. With just a single glance at the app’s home screen, hosts can see who’s waiting and what reservations are walking through the door, no squinting or second-guessing required.

Offering on-the-go waitlists

For every lucky duck that slips in your door ahead of the rush, there’s the slew of folks behind them grumbling about why they didn’t leave sooner. Now, bad traffic or treks from far-flung parking lots don’t have to impact wait times.

By adding the Waitlist Me widget to your website or social media page, you can allow your guests to add themselves to your waitlist on their own time. It doesn’t matter if they’re just leaving church or hunting down one last Easter egg. In a few quick swipes, they can hop on line from a pew, a parking lot, or a park.

Distracting guests while they wait

There’s something about pulling out a smartphone while waiting with the family on Easter Sunday that’s a little bit awkward. But that doesn’t mean your diners want to stare at the floor until their name is called.

Waitlist Me lets you put your business on display, right in your lobby. It offers a completely customizable public waitlist feature that can show your brand colors, logo, upcoming events, or current holiday specials, while they check their place in line. You can even include graphics and videos. Pull it up on any TV or monitor, and you’re good to go.  Guests can also check it from their phones, through a link in the confirmation notification.