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

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.