Wednesday, July 8th, 2015 .

As people flock to tourist destinations throughout the Northeast for their summer vacations, local restaurants are using Waitlist Me to handle the surge in demand. According to the National Restaurant Association, New York, Massachusetts, and New Jersey are expected to hire a combined total of 100,000 new employees this summer to address the rush of seasonal customers, and restaurants are turning to technology to help manage it.

Many are using this new text-based app to increase customer satisfaction and improve business results. By using the Waitlist Me app, available on Android and iOS tablets, restaurants can track waiting guests and send them text notifications when their table is ready. This gives customers the freedom to explore the surrounding area while waiting for a table, which leads to fewer walkaways and greater customer satisfaction.

A little ways up the coast from Boston, the Portland Lobster Company is known for its award-winning Lobster Roll that customers can enjoy while sitting outside by the water. Open from May to October, they get about 70% of their traffic from tourists, and run waits of 30-35 minutes per night.

Portland Lobster Company

 

“We use Waitlist Me on a 10-inch Android tablet at the front for the hostess to add people to the list and estimate wait times, and the person bussing the tables has a 7-inch tablet to notify people that their table is available,” said Ethan Morgan, general manager at Portland Lobster Company. “This saves us a few minutes on each table, which adds up to shorter wait times and happier customers.”

With its open-air gazebo and large deck overlooking the Genesee River in Rochester, New York, Schooner’s Riverside Pub is another seasonal restaurant that has a perfect location for summer dining.  “We are slammed during the summer when people are enjoying the nice weather on our dock,” said manager Jake Clawson. “Waitlist Me has been super easy for us to use, our customers really like it, and it saves us a lot of time from having to walk around and track people down,” added hostess Liz.

Schooners Riverside Pub

 

“With nearly 70 million customers served, we continue to see strong growth among restaurants and other businesses, because Waitlist Me is easy to learn and use without any complicated contracts or training processes. It just works,” said Brian Hutchins, head of product and marketing for Waitlist Me. “We are always excited to see the way businesses are using our service to give their customers a better experience and Waitlist Me at summer hot spots is another great example of using tech to make customers happier.”

Friday, May 15th, 2015 .

We are happy to announce some exciting new ways waitlist technology is being used to help restaurant operators better serve their customers.  Through the use of the Waitlist Me API, these new solutions will be on display for the first time during the National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show. The app will be showcased during the show, May 16-19 in Chicago, through partnerships with BrightSign and Clover.

brightsign

 

With BrightSign, the global market leader in digital signage players, restaurants can now display a public view of their waitlist on their digital signage so it is easy for customers to check their place in line without needing to bother the hostess. The flexibility of the BrightSign integration lets restaurants fully customize the look and feel of their waitlist so it looks like a natural extension of their menu board or other digital signage.

bsn_home_banner2

 

Restaurants operators can also tailor their customer-facing experience to their brand while using the Waitlist Me apps and service to easily manage their waitlist and page customers with text and call notifications.

It is exciting how well the BrightSign integration empowers restaurants to create displays with designs limited only by their imagination. We are very happy to be working with a company like BrightSign that shares our values of building scalable and reliable solutions that are easy to use and maintain.

Clover is another Waitlist Me partner that will have new things to show off at this year’s NRA Show.  The new Clover Mobile device, announced in April, lets businesses add customers to the waitlist right at the door as well as allowing status updates to be made from other parts of the store or restaurant.

Clover is at the forefront of creating better and more elegant POS hardware and solutions for businesses, and has a robust App Market for third-party developers. Because of the deeper integration Clover allows, Waitlist Me is able to offer more efficient tools for businesses and better experiences for their customers on the Clover platform.

Waitlist Me just recently announced its API earlier this year with Enplug as the first partner, and has several more projects in progress.

We want to help improve wait experiences everywhere, and integrations with companies like BrightSign and Clover highlight the power of the Waitlist Me platform.  By extending our waitlist management features and best-in-class text and phone notification infrastructure to work in other products, we can solve a wider set of needs together than with our service alone.

For more information on partnership opportunities, contact support@waitlist.me

Monday, April 13th, 2015 .

Earlier this month, Clover added two new devices to their Point of Sale solutions, Clover Mini and Clover Mobile. As an early app developer for Clover, we are very excited about this launch because it opens new ways for businesses to use Waitlist Me for their waitlists and reservations.  Clover Mobile is a perfect fit for Waitlist Me because it lets businesses add customers to the waitlist right at the door as well as update statuses and check people off the list from other parts of their store or restaurant.

clover-mobile

 

Clover Mobile is a wireless device, so merchants can do a variety of activities from anywhere. They can place orders, take payments, scan inventory, manage employee hours, sync sales data with accounting software, and other activities from where it is most convenient. The Clover Mini is designed to be a simple but powerful replacement to the traditional credit card terminal, so it does the core credit card processing and receipt printing needed for payment transactions, plus a lot more.  Both devices have the sleek designs Clover is known for and the flexibility of customizing functionality through their integrated App Market.  Waitlist Me is available and optimized for both of the new devices.

POS terminals have changed over the course of several years, and Clover is at the forefront of creating better and more efficient hardware and solutions for businesses in this category.  Because of the deeper integration Clover allows, Waitlist Me is able to offer more efficient tools for businesses and better experiences for their customers on the Clover platform.

 

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015 .

Have a Kindle Fire at home?  Now you can run your waitlist and schedule reservations for your business on your Kindle. Just go to the Kindle app store and search for Waitlist Me to get started.

kindle waitlist me

 

Waitlist Me has been on the Android platform for a while, but historically the Kindle has been more of a consumer rather than a business device.  Recently though, we have seen businesses start to use Kindles more in work environments, and decided to make our app available in the Kindle store. Amazon has added a number of security and IT-friendly features to Kindles including Mobile Device Management Compatibility, Device Encryption, VPN, Single Sign-On, and more, making them more enterprise-ready for businesses.

Running Waitlist Me on a Kindle Fire, with its more portable form factor, can be a nice option extra device for managers that might be walking around the restaurant.  By logging into the same account, it will automatically sync with other devices the business may be using.  The 6 inch Kindle Fire is also very cost effective at only $99 dollars.

Thursday, March 19th, 2015 .

wiggleworks

WiggleWorks kids is a popular destination for children and their families, being the only indoor playground that caters strictly to kids who are 48-inches tall or less. Weekends can be very busy, and Waitlist Me helps WiggleWorks kids reduce wait times, increase the number of kids they serve, and make parents happier.

WiggleWorks kids provides soft, moveable, interactive play equipment for children at its two Washington State locations, one each in the towns of Bellevue and Puyallop. The equipment is used to help children build motor skills and the unstructured play area gives them an opportunity for social interaction with children their own age.

“We limit the number of children who can play at one time and we are first come, first serve. There was no way for someone to get on the waiting list unless they called in or came into the store,” said Bellevue store manager, Kristen Deskin. “We had a lot of complaints about our wait list system because there were opportunities for a lot of user error and it often got confusing.”

That confusion was compounded by the fact that employees were responsible for taking down names and phone numbers, which were sometimes misprinted or missing key letters or numbers. Troubled by the many customer complaints, Deskin and her team looked for a better way to manage their waitlist. In 2013, they turned to WaitList Me.

“When we launched Waitlist Me we immediately felt more in control of our waitlist and felt like we had more opportunities to serve the public. This is because we could accommodate the number of people wanting to get on the list,” Deskin said. “It also has freed up an employee because they are no longer tied to taking names.”

Deskin likes how WaitList Me is easy to use and provides a simple way to keep track of store waitlists and whether customers walk in or add their name from home through the WiggleWorks kids website.  Since making the switch, customers have been happier and are more excited to come into the locations.

“We have had wait times of up to two hours in the past and WaitList Me has reduced those times so no one waits now for more than 45 minutes to an hour,” Deskin said. “I also use it to see and track how many children are coming back into play after waiting compared to how many names we are having to delete. That was one big improvement I was able to track that enabled me to make some good business decisions with the owner.”

– By Valerie Killifer, special to WaitList Me