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

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015 .

Want a better idea of how well you are serving your customers? There is a new Waitlist Me feature that will allow you to send quick surveys to your customers after their visit. Customers can rate easily rate their overall experience in a few seconds or have the option to send more detailed feedback or even request a manager contact them. It is a great way to get insights into what your customers are thinking and to respond quickly when there are questions or problems.

To enable the survey feature, log into www.waitlist.me and go into the Settings, which are in the Account area. Click on the link in the Customer Feedback Surveys section to go to the page. When you turn on the surveys so they go out to your customers after they have been checked off the list, you will see a variety of options for customizing the surveys.

In the Survey notification area, you can edit the text that is sent to the customer and how long after they are checked off the list that it is sent. The surveys are designed to be as simple as possible for customers to send a quick rating, so they can just reply with a number from 1 to 5 in a text message and we will record that response automatically. There is also a link where they can follow if they prefer to visit a webpage on their phone to leave their rating.

feedback - settings1

 

If the customer does choose to visit the web page and leave an overall rating, they will also be presented with the option to rate a couple more specific questions, and you can change these questions to whatever you like in the settings.

feedback - settings2

 

Here is an example of how it looks for the customer. First they would receive a text message like this:

feedback - notification

 

If they choose to click on the link, they will go to a page like this:

feedback - survey1

 

If they fill out the first question, they will be given an option to rate more specific questions. They can also request to be contacted by the manager, and if they do an email will be sent to any users you have associated with your account.

feedback - survey2

 

The details for any surveys completed will be included in the weekly summaries that are sent out, and you can also download the data on the responses in the Analytics section of the Waitlist Me site.

feedback - reports

 

The Feedback Surveys are currently available to all Waitlist Me Premium users.

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.