To get started, log in to www.waitlist.me and navigate to Account > Settings > Add Yourself. Scroll to the bottom and select Edit to make changes to either the web widget or the kiosk. If you are using both, you can copy changes from one to the other after you’re done setting it up. Or you can edit them independently to make them look and function differently. Leave it toggled to Off until you’re ready to debut your new widget.
You can load one of our default templates to get you started and make changes from there. There are three main steps that can be customized:
Main View – Customize the screen customers start on to greet them with messaging and imagery that fits your brand.
Input View – Decide the important information fields to include and the instructions you provide to customers. There are separate views for Joining the Waitlist and Making Reservations/Appointments depending on what options you allow.
Confirmation View – Finish with your own thank you or welcome message and imagery.
Refer to this documentation for the technical instructions to fully customize your widget.
Over the last decade, the restaurant week concept has found its way to communities across the United States. Conceived by restaurateur Joe Baum and Tim Zagat of the Zagat Survey, restaurant week has led to huge gains for the food and beverage industry. Some restaurants have seen as high as a 40-percent increase in customer volume during the promotional period.
Because many restaurant week customers are first-timers, this period is also the ideal time for dining establishments to capture repeat business. Ready to score some new regulars? Here’s how to wow everyone who walks through your door during restaurant week.
Land a great first impression
In Waitlist Me HQ’s hometown, Charleston, S.C., restaurant week is a twice-yearly event with additional, neighborhood-specific weeks thrown into the mix as well. Many a hidden gem have earned stand-out word-of-mouth rep thanks to excellent restaurant week showings.
Earning that sweet referral business starts the moment your guests walk through the door. Comfortable seating, warm lighting, and plenty of heated or cooled space for guests to stand upon entry are vital. If you’re planning on making any upgrades, do so before the week is set to start—and if you’re painting or doing anything odiferous, schedule your refresh with plenty of time to air out any lingering fumes.
Craft a memorable menu
One restaurant week bummer we hear about regularly is this one: Chefs create delectable special menus, but they’re devoid of house specialties that new customers are hoping to try during the promotion.
Depending on your restaurant’s price-point and the promotional restrictions enforced by your restaurant week’s organizer, it might not be possible for you to offer all the goodies that are must-haves for your regular menu. We encourage you to try to find a way to bring popular picks to this more limited menu, too. Appetizer portions and tasting platters are two possible ways to make this happen.
Get the word out early
Large-scale community events are typically coordinated by a local chamber of commerce or another business-oriented organization. For restaurant weeks, food and wine festivals, and other tasty opportunities, these orgs tend to put together event guides or listings. To maximize your customer volume, it’s essential that your business be included in these publications.
Figuring out what you need to do to get your restaurant on the map, so to speak, is a cinch. Some tech-savvy chambers will offer orientation-style information online for restaurant owners and managers. However, you can always call your chamber to find out what information you need to send to the right people. Remember, they’re there to help!
Upgrade your customer service tech
Of all the bad times to have a waitlist snafu, restaurant week is one of the worst. We created Waitlist Me so that your restaurant doesn’t have to worry about getting your guests from your waiting area to your dining room; our tech helps you quote more accurate times and prevent walkaways.
Waitlist Me is a simple waitlist and reservation app that you can implement today. With a single glance, your host can see how many people are in line, how long they’ve been waiting, and when they’ll make it to their table. You can also easily add our web widget to your restaurant’s website and let your customers hop in line from wherever they are.
‘Tis the season for fresh powder and freezing temperatures. This winter, ski towns across America are riding high on the sort of snowfall that would make Frosty proud. As the inches accumulate—and ski bunnies flock in droves—the small businesses that keep these high-altitude towns running are awash in customers.
How are they turning out consistently excellent customer service? They’re downloading Waitlist Me, the intuitive waitlist and reservation app designed for restaurants, retailers, and all sorts of businesses in-between. The service makes interacting with your customers a cinch from the first day the slopes open to the very last snowfall.
Not sure how your business can use Waitlist Me to improve customer service and make overall operations more efficient? Take a peek at how these winter businesses are leveraging the app to win over customers and boost their bottom line.
Food and beverage businesses
From fine dining to dive bars, American ski towns are awash with excellent eateries. Here’s how businesses are using Waitlist Me to score customer service points:
– Wrangling the queue for a popular downtown bar
– Managing the constant waitlist at a teensy locavore dining hot spot
– Arranging behind-the-scenes tours and tastings at a brewery
– Letting guests sip wine while they wait for a table
– Squeezing in a pre-run breakfast
Resorts and hospitality-focused establishments
No matter how visitors are spending their days, they all have one thing in common: They require some serious rest-and-relaxation. Here’s how an assortment of hospitality businesses use the app to help their guests chill out:
– Booking private, slope-view hot tubs at a resort spa
– Scheduling a moment of zen with yoga classes
– Offering walk-in appointments for chair massages
– Reserving luxe recovery amenities
Retailers and recreational outfits
Niche small businesses are what turn tiny towns into delightful vacation spots. Waitlist Me enables business owners to deliver spectacular service to their customers and clientele. Here’s how they’re using it:
– Prep for incoming customers at a bike rental shop
– Arranging private tours for parties large and small at a historical site
– Booking beginner spots in ski school
– Saddling up for sleigh rides
– Scoring space on a slopes-bound shuttle
– Fitting skis and gear on newbies at a shop
Want to see how your business can benefit as well? Contact us for a free trial and see how Waitlist Me can change business-as-usual for you today!
If you’re just getting started with Waitlist Me Pro or Platinum, you’ll want to go through these steps to set up your tables, sections, and layouts.
Set up tables – In the settings, navigate to Assignments. (In the app this will be under the gear icon > Manage Assignments.) Enter in the names of all of your tables, as well as their sizes. Each account defaults with assignments 1 – 30; delete any you do not need.
Name sections – When you’re done with the Assignments, go back to the previous screen and then choose Sections. Add the names of every section you will be using in any layout.
Name layouts – Enter the name of all the layouts you have. For example, Weekday Dinner & Weekend Dinner, or 4 Servers, 5 Servers & 6 Servers. If your sections never change, simply create one layout and name it something like Main or Dinner.
Set up layouts – For each layout you’ve named, press Edit to set it up. Put a check in the box for each table that belongs to your first section. Then press the +Section in the middle of the row, and assign that section. If you want to use the color coding for your sections, choose the color at this time too. Continue this process until you’ve assigned all of the tables to the sections that belong in that layout. (You don’t have to use every table in every layout.) Then go back and repeat the process for other layouts.
Once finished, Pro users can see more on how to utilize the grid view for table management here.
Place tables in rooms – With a Platinum subscription you’ll be able to create a spatial floor plan. To do this, go back to the main waitlist screen and then press the circle with the line in it on the upper left. From here, follow along with this video tutorial to set up your room(s) and place your tables:
With the floorplan features in Waitlist Me, it’s easy to visualize your tables and manage your sections and staff.
In Floorplan view, you’ll see all of your tables, arranged however you like. Green tables are open; red tables are occupied. You can also see how long a table has been occupied, or if it’s been reserved for a particular time. And you can tap on a table to open the action bar, where you can see details about the party, update their table’s status, clear the table when they’re done, and more.
You can also see your sections, marked with colors, dividing lines, or both. You can create custom layouts, and change these sections on the fly. Perhaps three sections is enough for a quiet lunch, but you need more for a busy evening. You can see which employee is working each section, and how many groups, and how many people, they’ve served today. You can zoom in for a closer look, and scroll across your floorplan. You can even see floorplans for other parts of your restaurant—for instance, for your patio or an upstairs meeting room. It’s all up to you.
To start building your own floorplans, just tap on the round icon to access the table management section.
Notice: Here in Grid view, you can see that I’ve already set up some basic tables. Each one has a name (in this case, the table number), and a size: the number of people it can seat. And I’ve divided those tables into sections. If you need any help with tables and sections, please see our video on “Managing Tables.”
Now, tap the button on the right, and switch to Floorplan view.
The first time you visit this page, you’ll be prompted to add a room—for instance, your main dining room. Just give your room a name, choose a portrait or landscape orientation for your floorplan, and then tap “Add.” You can add additional rooms if you like. Then, tap “Back,” to save. You can tap on the name of your room at any time, to see a different room, or to add additional rooms.
Now, tap “Edit,” to start building your floorplan. If you have not yet created your tables, just tap on the gear icon to access the table management settings, where you can manage your tables, sections, layouts, and more. Or, if you’re ready to proceed, just make sure you’ve selected the room you want to design. And then, tap “Add.”
You can choose an existing table from the list—or, add a new table at the top. (Simply give your new table a name, specify how many people it can seat, and tap Save.)
You’ll be prompted to choose the physical size, and the shape, for this table.
Now, just tap where you want your table to go. The table appears on your floorplan, along with a set of tools. You can tap and drag, to adjust your table’s position. Drag the arrows to stretch the table in a single direction. Use the double arrow to stretch your table in both directions at once. Tap the round arrows to rotate your table, by 45 degrees at a time. Tap the copy icon, and then choose an existing table or set up a new one, to make it exactly the same size and shape on your floorplan. Or, tap the dots, to edit the table’s name and size, or to delete it entirely. When you’re ready, tap anywhere else on the screen to hide these tools.
You can add as many tables as you need.
If you like, you can also use your floorplan to work with any sections and layouts you’ve defined for your restaurant. (For help setting up sections and layouts, please see our video on “Managing Tables.”)
Choose a room, and a layout. And then, tap “Add,” and choose “Element.”
You can add a dividing line—just tap to give your line a starting point, and an ending point. You can drag either of these points to adjust the angle of your line, or move the whole line to a new position. And again, tap anywhere else when you’re done.
Or, you can tap “Add,” choose “Element,” and then pick “Label.” Just choose which section this label is for. And tap on the screen to choose its position.
When your floorplan is complete, tap “Exit.” Then, tap “Yes” to save your changes.
Once you leave Edit mode, your section labels are automatically updated to show helpful details—by default, the name of the server in each section, and how many groups and individual customers they’ve served today.
Of course, you can come back to Edit Mode at any time, and update your floorplan. Or, you can modify your floorplan for another layout—for instance, to set up this same room for a different shift. Your tables remain where they are, but your lines and labels disappear, so you can set up a different set of sections for that shift. Then, you’ll be able to change your sections on the fly, as you move through your day.
Remember, you can tap the gear icon to access the settings pages for your tables, sections, and layouts.
For more options, tap “Display,” and then choose “Floorplan.” For instance, you can change the size of the text in your section labels, and decide what information those labels should include. By default, the label shows any notes for the section (for instance, the name of the server), and the total number of parties, and individual customers, who’ve been seated in that section today. But if you like, you can show the current number of open tables (and/or occupied tables) in each section, instead.
In the same way, you can decide what information should appear directly on your tables. By default, you’ll see how long each table has been occupied. But you can hide this information—or show the name of the section, instead. And if you’ve assigned colors to your tables, you can use these colors to highlight the table name (in this case, the table number), or highlight the name of the section, or not.
You can also come back to Grid view, tap “Time” at the top, and decide how to calculate the totals that will appear in the section labels on your floorplan. Would you like to see how many parties, and how many individual customers, you’ve served in each section all day, or just during the current shift? Or, would you like to see your totals for the past so many hours—from the past 1 hour, to the past 24?
Now, you’re ready to start using your floorplans. At the beginning of each shift, simply choose the appropriate layout, to instantly update your sections. Then, tap on any section label, for a list of all of your sections, and your notes on each one—in this case, the name of the server assigned there. Tap “Clear All,” fill in the servers for the new shift, and then save your changes, and you’re ready to get to work.
And remember, you can tap “Open” at the bottom, to enter split-screen mode, where you can see your floorplan, and your waitlist, at once. You can drag the handle to show more or less of the waitlist—or tap “Close” to hide it entirely and only see your floorplan.