Wednesday, July 31st, 2019 .

When using the Add Yourself features, whether through Kiosk Mode or the Web Widget, there are several ways you can display an estimated wait to customers. Simply navigate to the Settings > Add Yourself > Main View. Here you can select the wait time that fits your business best. 

People and Groups – Show the number of parties and the total number of people on the list.

People – Show the number of people on the list.

Minutes By Group – Display an estimated time by multiplying the number of parties by a number of minutes you specify. For example, selecting 5 minutes will multiply the number of groups on the list by 5, and present that result as the estimated wait.

Minutes By People – Display an estimated time by multiplying the total number of people on the list by a number of minutes you specify. 

Last Estimated Time – Report the last estimate given by your staff.

List View – Show the public view of the waitlist, so people can see where they are in line.

Hide – No estimates, just go straight to the Add Yourself part.

Here are a few examples:

Web Widget, number of groups and people
Web widget, last estimated wait
Kiosk mode, full waitlist view

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019 .

One of the features included in the Pro subscription is a Stats page that gives an overview of the shift or day. Quickly see data for each server: how many groups they’ve had, how many total people were in those groups, their average party size, and the average time it took to turn tables. 

You can choose what time frame you would like to see stats for. Pressing on Time in the header bar will let you select from these options:

– Current day – see all of today’s numbers

– Past hours – choose any increment up to 24 hours (for example, view the past 4 hours on a rolling basis)

– Shifts – enter in blocks of hours to coincide with your shifts (for example, 11:00 am to 4:00 pm and 4:00 pm to 11 pm) 

Press on the Stats icon to go to the new analytics view. This page will display each section name, the server assigned, how many groups/people have been served, and averages for party size and time. Pressing on the headers at the top will sort by any of those categories. If you prefer to see things graphically, using the radio buttons at the bottom of each column will display that data in the chart below.  You can also see all these metrics by table or assignment, by clicking on the Sections label at the top.

The data on the Stats page can help hosts know where to seat the next party, so that each server gets their fair share of the work (and the tips!) 

Before getting the most out of the new stats features, you’ll need to set up your tables and sections. Then you can choose a layout, select how you want to view the tables, and assign servers. Sort by Section and use the Labeled mode in order to add server’s names to sections. Use the Edit link in the header row of the first section to enter server names.

Thursday, June 20th, 2019 .

True or false: Customers hate waiting.

Answer: False.

No, really: Customers don’t hate waiting. At amusement parks, they’ll wait all day. What customers hate is where they do all the waiting. Stick them in a bland doctor’s office waiting room and they’ll get twitchy in 2 minutes flat. Give them an area to explore, a space that’s an experience in itself? Well, then the wait becomes part of the ride. And you don’t have to run a theme park to tap into that kind of magic.

Why your waiting room is terrible

Most queueing areas are like purgatory. They’re awkward spots your customers dread sitting around in while they await the main event. They’re a no man’s land. They don’t look or feel particularly like your business, and they don’t look or feel like any place your customer wants to spend time in.

That’s not good for your bottom line. The moment your guests begin feeling uncomfortable or unhappy is the exact time you start losing money. They become frustrated, and they take that frustration out on you and your staff. Sometimes, they walk out the door without giving you the chance to win them over.

Why?

Because whether you intend to or not, a bland, uncomfortable waiting area signals that your business doesn’t prioritize the experience of your customers. The waiting room is the first chance you have to wow them. And right now, you’re squandering it.

How to make your first impression a good one

Forget about hiring an interior designer and picking new paint colors. We have a different change in mind, and it doesn’t have to cost you a penny.

Waitlist Me is an app that handles waitlists and reservations for all sorts of different businesses, including restaurants, retail stores, and doctors’ offices.

How can a waitlist app transform your waiting area, win over customers, and help you make more money? Easy: by improving the first interaction they have with your business and making the time they spend waiting better.

Here’s how Waitlist Me changes your customers’ waiting experience for the better:

Wait from anywhere

Your customers are busy. With Waitlist Me’s same-day reservations feature and add-yourself web widget, they can jump on line without wasting time.

Set them free

Untether your guests from your hostess stand or check-in desk thanks to our text notifications feature. It lets them window shop or run errands without losing their place it line.

Make your business more attractive

Fewer customers standing around in your waiting area means fewer walk-outs due to long, visible lines and a less cramped, more inviting space for those who do prefer to wait inside.

More flexibility

Running behind schedule is stressful enough. With our simple response feature, guests don’t have to worry about missing their spot. When you notify them by text, they can respond and let you know they’re on their way.

Smarter wait times

What’s worse than a long wait? A wait that’s even longer than the estimate. As hosts use Waitlist Me and can see their quoted times next to actuals, it becomes easier to quote more accurate waits.  

Contact us for a free trial and see how Waitlist Me can help improve your customers’ waiting experience today!

Wednesday, June 5th, 2019 .

Rates of stress, depression, and anxiety have only increased across the globe thanks to a variety of factors, from work to politics to personal matters. And guess what? Most people aren’t actively working to alleviate the causes of their symptoms. That means that on a good day, one out of every two people walking through your door is one big stress mess. Yikes.

What does all that mean for you and your business? Nothing good. Stress, anxiety, and depression…

  • Encourage customers to stay home
  • Turn people into penny-pinchers
  • Make them put off maintenance-type appointments, like healthcare and car servicing appointments
  • Prevent guests from enjoying themselves when they do go out

Sure, you can’t eliminate the sources of their stress. However, you can make your place of business into more of a refuge from the stress of their everyday life. Keep reading for tips on how you, as a business owner or manager, can help your customers stress less.

Rearrange your space

No one wants to be in the way. Unfortunately, if you haven’t thoughtfully designed your waiting area layout with your waiting customers in mind, chances are someone will be.

To solve this problem, spend some time watching the way your guests use the space you’ve given them. Where do they tend to stand? Where do they most frequently sit? What space isn’t being utilized? When do people look awkward or uncomfortable? Then, change up your waiting room’s layout based on those observations.

Offer up directions

The momentary panic of walking into a new destination and having no clue where you should go or who you need to check in with or what the heck is going on is real. That same panic sends adrenaline coursing through your veins, which elevates your stress levels and dings the effectiveness of your immune system—all because there was no clear signage!

Forget that. Ensure your guests know what to expect and where to go when they arrive if there isn’t someone to greet them. A sign on the door or on a placard placed in the entranceway or by a check-in desk or kiosk is an excellent improvement.

Turn down the volume.

You don’t have to run a spa to provide your guests with a calmer experience when they walk inside. If your business is in a busy area, consider window coverings that will dampen the sound of outside traffic. If you receive a lot of phone calls, try switching your desk attendant to a headset or using flashing lights rather than a loud ringer.

Also: ditch clocks that audibly tick, oil squeaky door hinges, and put felt pads on the feet of screeching metal chairs.

Change the channel

If your waiting area includes televisions, select programming that’s more likely to take your customers’ attention off whatever is worrying them. Instead of news, finance, or health-related shows, go with lighter fare. Think: home design, cooking shows, or sitcom reruns.

Radio more your style? The faster the music is, the more stress it will cause your guests. Instead of more jarring pop hits or dance beats, go with oldies, singer-songwriters, or classical music.

Rework your waiting system

Want your guests to enjoy every minute in your place of business? Looking to prioritize their needs and prove that you’re really listening to them? Seeking to cut walk-outs and improve the overall efficiency of your enterprise?

We developed Waitlist Me to help you hit all these goals. Waitlist Me is a free app that lets you manage your waitlist and reservations better. It lets you notify guests by text when they’ve reached the front of the line, eliminating the fear that they’ve missed their moment. It also lets you take notes on their special requirements or concerns, so you can make sure they aren’t forgotten.

And that’s just the beginning! Our full set of Premium and Pro features are crafted to give your customers the best experience possible, all while helping you run a better, faster, more cost-effective business. Decrease customer stress, make more money—how does that sound? Answer: Awesome!

Tuesday, May 28th, 2019 .

With Memorial Day Weekend in our rear-view mirror, we are psyched to see what summer has in store. While all of us at Waitlist Me are enthusiastic about not waiting—and making every wait as painless and speedy as possible—we have to admit that we get a kick out of seeing what folks are itching to see and do, no matter how much time they have to spend in line.

What’s cracking us up, making us scratch our heads, and inspiring us to buy tickets this season? Here are the top-five crazy (and crazy-awesome) things people are waiting for this summer:

#1. A bucket of cookies at the Minnesota State Fair

Nearly 2 million people visit the Minnesota State Fair in the Twin Cities every year. The massive fair grounds have everything you could want in a fair, from giant sculptures made out of butter to an ax-throwing contest. They also have Sweet Martha’s famous chocolate chip cookies, available by the bucket-full. Last year, the line for these cookies was 45 minutes long.

#2. A ticket to see Shakespeare

Much ado about nothing? Not so say the theatre fans who wait (and wait and wait) for tickets to see Shakespeare in the Park in New York City. Each year, New York’s Public Theater puts on two shows outside in Central Park, soften starring big-time actors like Morgan Freeman and Anne Hathaway. How long is the wait? Who knows! Some line up the night before the free tickets are distributed.

#3. Exclusive merch at Comic-Con

With so many celebrities making it to San Diego for Comic-Con, you don’t have to be a certified geek to geek out over this event. It’s four days of panels, signing events, screenings, and, of course, all sorts of merchandise you can only get your hands on here. The lines themselves have taken on legendary status. Some of them even have their own Twitter accounts (we’re looking at you, Hall H)!

#4. To watch a little match play at Wimbledon

This summer, we’re certain of exactly one thing: There is no event that takes its lines more seriously than Wimbledon. While the Brits are certainly well-known for their queueing style, only this pinnacle of fastidiousness offers up a 30-page guide to lining up for tickets. Some wait all night (hear ye, hear ye: tents larger than a 2-person are forbidden). Some show up just before dawn, their fingers crossed that they’ll be among the first 500.  

#5. To leave the Nevada desert

If you’re looking for an experience this summer, you can surely find it at Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. In late August, that’s where the Burning Man festival sets up camp. After the titular man is burned—don’t worry, he’s not an actual person—it can take 6 to 8 hours to get out of Black Rock and even longer to get to the nearest city. This annual leaving is so massive that it has its own name: the Exodus.

Is your business ramping up this summer?

Use a waitlist and reservation app like Waitlist Me to manage your queues better and make your customers happier campers, no matter where, when, or why they’re hanging out in line. You can get started for free today and access features including text notifications, smart ETAs, and multi-location management.