Tuesday, October 27th, 2015 .

We all know kids love Halloween.  But many may not realize how hugely popular the holiday is with adults as well.  Over three quarters of adults aged 18 to 44 plan on getting in on the spooky fun and celebrating Halloween, according to the Statistic Brain Research Institute.

With all the people wanting to get their thrills, chills, or perfect scares, businesses that cater to Halloween experiences are in top demand.  The rush of customers during this season, however, often results in long lines.  That’s why many smart businesses are turning to new technologies like Waitlist Me to improve the waiting experience and serve more customers.

Grandpa Grimm’s KneeKnocker Woods is a haunted attraction that is located in rural Nebraska.  This unique animatronic Halloween experience is set along an old wooded river that snakes through a corn-planted agricultural land. On any given night in October, KneeKnocker Woods draws upwards of 1,000 people, and there are usually long waits for the main attraction.

“This year, instead of people waiting in line, they go into Waitlist Me and then get a notification alerting them of how long they have wait. Once they are in the system they can mingle around and play games, shop or use the concession stand,” said Daniele Vohland, one of the owners of KneeKnocker Woods. “We have a lot of outside activities they can enjoy while they wait, and can check their phone to see where they are in line. It eliminates a lot of confusion for people and they can have more fun during their visit.”

kneeknocker-woods

Vohland also noted how the app had helped the employees be more efficient, since there were far fewer customers asking how much longer they would have to wait. Plus, when they did ask, it was easier for employees to estimate their wait with Waitlist Me.  Several customers had even commented on how they liked the new system.

“It is great that Waitlist Me can help businesses better handle the Halloween crowds, so customers can get their scare from the attraction rather than the wait times,” said Brian Hutchins, Waitlist Me CEO.  “Businesses of all kinds use Waitlist Me on a regular basis to serve millions of people a month, and the fact that it also works for seasonal businesses with surges in demand is a testament to its simplicity and flexibility.”

According to America Haunts, there are an estimated 1,200 haunted attractions charging admission fees during the Halloween season. This is in addition to the more than 300 amusement facilities featuring haunted attractions or events and another 3,000 charity attractions open on Halloween day or throughout October. The organization estimates that 90% of all U.S. households with children will participate in at least one Halloween attraction this year.

By Valerie Killifer

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015 .

The new web widget makes it easy for customers to add themselves to your waitlist from your website and have their waitlist requests appear in the Waitlist Me app.  The widget has two main views and is simple to customize and add to your site in a few quick steps.

Customers can view estimated wait times or people waiting:

widget1

 

Customers can then submit their info for adding themselves to the list:

widget2

 

Creating the widget is as easy as switching the toggle to “ON” from your widget settings page on the Waitlist Me website. A unique widget will be created and all you need to do is copy the line of code onto your website where you’d like the widget to display.

The widget can be customized at any time, and you will see how it looks in the preview section at the top of the page. Press “Save” to keep changes and automatically update the widget on your site. Here are some of the options:

Titles – Change the text that appears on the two different screens of the widget. The first screen shows the estimated wait and the second screen appears after customers click to add themselves and enter their information

Colors – Match the widget to your website the way you like with the flexibility to change the colors of the text, background, borders, and links.

Display types – There are a couple options on what you may want to display to give people a feel of how long the wait might be, or if you choose “None” it will not show the view of the wait estimate at all and just have the fields for people to add their information.

Also, if you want to go back to the default settings after you can always click the Reset link at the bottom.

widget-settings

 

The web widget is a Waitlist Me Premium feature and adds another option beyond using the public waitlist page for customers to add themselves to the waitlist.

Thursday, August 27th, 2015 .

Taking advantage of new technologies can have a big impact on your bottom line. Here are a few pro tips:

Crush Your Rush

No one likes to wait, but when things get busy you can reduce walkaways by improving your customers’ wait experience. Waitlist Me is an app that helps you provide better wait estimates and send customers text notifications when their tables are ready. You can even display a dynamic view of the waitlist for customers to check on a digital sign or TV with solutions like Enplug and BrightSign.

Businessman with cloud computing concept

 

Leverage the Cloud

As the quality, price, and usability of hosted technology have improved dramatically in recent years, businesses are dumping old hardware for cloud-centric solutions. Clover is a new all-in-one POS system with an elegant design that replaces the cash register, payment terminal, receipt printer, and barcode scanner and has an app market for easily customizing features. Another example, Switch, is a cloud-based business phone system you can set up and customize in minutes, and
provides the type of features you’d want from a PBX at a fraction of the price.

Work Digitally Like a Pro

Just as email revolutionized regular mail for many of our communications, there are now more online documents, apps, and tools that can improve your business productivity. Google for Work is a powerful set of apps that let you communicate, create, share and collaborate, from any device with ease. Evernote is a popular consumer app that has recently added more team and admin features to help businesses manage digital workspaces. Finally, UberConference is a simple way to make unlimited conference for free from a computer or a phone.

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