Monday, December 10th, 2018 .

We’ve added some new features and UI improvements to help manage customer requests made from your website or social media page if you are using the Waitlist Me web widget. When a request is received, you’ll be able to see more information in the waitlist view about what it is for and where it came from. The entries appear at the top of the waitlist and will flash orange. If you’re on the Reservation or Resource Management view, a quick pop up will alert you to the new request.

For waitlist requests, you can see all the key information about the customer request such as name, group size, and any notes the customer added. Simply press on the row to accept the request, and move through the same steps you’d normally take to add customers to the list, but with the information the customer entered already pre-populated. You can also change the status color, assign a resource, and add any notes you need for your own reference. Then chose an estimated wait as the final step. Accepting reservation requests work similarly, with the added benefit of when you press on the row, it will show the request in the context of that day’s list of reservations to see if you have availability.

If a request was accidentally rejected, you can still see it in the History section by tapping on the “Show History” bar at the bottom of the waitlist. The History section also has some filters on the right side that can be used to show customers that have been served and removed from the waitlist in addition to rejected requests. Use the return arrow button on the right to accept a previously rejected request.

Saturday, December 15th, 2018 .

As you deck the halls and adjust your playlists, you should seriously consider giving your waitlist and table management system an update, too. With holiday parties a-plenty, this is no time for clutter and inefficiency!

You need to reboot your hostess stand and kick that datebook-and-grease-board duo to the curb. We have a shiny digital solution that will keep your season truly merry and bright—and save you plenty of woe (and money) to boot. We’re talking about a waitlist app that brings your queue, your reservations, and your resources together on one easy-to-use interface. It’s called Waitlist Me Pro.

Why do you need it? Let us count the ways:

#1. You need an intuitive way to balance walk-ins and reservations

What’s worse than losing a reservation fora twosome on date night? Losing a reservation for a 12-top the week before Christmas. Yikes. Still, it happens.It’s easy to forget a group—yes, even a big one—when you’re struggling to handle the nightly dinner rush.

When you upgrade your restaurant to a digital waitlist and reservation system, you say “goodbye” to misplaced reservations.With Waitlist Me Pro, you can use our flexible reservation views to see what your restaurant has in store for the holiday season and beyond. Plus, we built the app to incorporate reservations and walk-ins seamlessly. That makes it a cinch to navigate your guest list, no matter what.

#2. You need to visualize the best places to seat parties in your restaurant

Forget about peering behind the hostess stand to survey available seating options. Your hosts won’t even have to squint at hard-to-decipher grids anymore, either! With simple, digital table and resource management, confusion over where to seat your large and small parties is a relic of yesteryear.

Waitlist Me lets you view your tables indifferent ways, including by availability, by size, and by server. They’recolored coded so that you can immediately tell what’s open and what’s not. The Pro-level version of the app also gives you access to our layouts and sections feature, which allows you to build more detailed floor plans that are still easy to read.

#3. You need to keep bringing in foot traffic, no matter how busy you are

A wall of waiting guests in your lobby is intimidating to newcomers. To them, one large group waiting for a few tables to be pushed together can look like a dozen parties—and that’s enough to make anyone want to try the restaurant down the street rather than risk a queue.

Technology can transform your vestibule and the way you run your restaurant. With Waitlist Me’s text notification feature, you can set your guests free. Instead of lingering around your hostess stand, waiting for their name to be called, they can hang out at the bar or wander around the area without worrying about losing their table. When they’re next in line, you can let them know, no shouting necessary.

#4. You need to ensure that all your guests have a great experience

With a paper waitlist and reservation system, you’re constantly flipping back and forth and scrabbling around for notes. It’s unprepared and unprofessional, and that’s frustrating for your hosts and for your customers. And ETAs? Let’s not even go there.

Our app brings a new level of sophistication to eating out. We designed it to be easy to use from the get-go,which will decrease employee training time. And because Waitlist Me is so simple, hosts can focus their attention where it should be: on the guests,rather than on the paper they use to keep track of them.

Friday, September 28th, 2018 .

Customer experience is one very important thing you can’t afford to skimp on. That five-star review you’re looking for starts as soon as guests walk through your front door.

The good news: Customer experience is the easiest thing for restaurants to fix. Still, scads of otherwise-awesome spots lose stars before diners take their seats!

Read on to find out where they’re going wrong—and one so-easy-we-can’t-believe-not-everyone-is-using-it way to wow guests, garner top-notch reviews, and keep customers coming back for more.

5 signs your waiting area is turning off your diners

Could your waitlist use an upgrade? If your restaurant is facing any of these five dining experience problems, it’s time to revamp the way your customers wait.

It’s cramped. If it’s tough to squeeze in a party of four between your entry way and your hostess stand, you’re setting your guests up for discomfort right off the bat. The longer they stand there—and make way for new arrivals and passing busboys—the less they’ll enjoy their dining experience.

It’s crowded. Packing guests in like sardines sounds great in theory, but it’s really a disaster waiting to happen. When hungry guests walk in and see a crowd ahead of them, they’re liable to walk right back out—and go to the restaurant across the street.

It’s noisy. A little chatter and some mood music? Totally fine. Guests straining to hear their names being called? Absolutely not. No one should have to miss out on conversation with their tablemates because they’re afraid of losing their spot in line.

It’s dull or dingy. Thanks to smartphones and Instagram feeds, diners arrive at your door with spotty attention spans and high expectations. There’s lots of leeway between busting your budget and giving them a chance to be unimpressed from the get-go.

It’s nonexistent. We’re all for small spots maximizing their floor space. A hole-in-the-wall hideaway is a fantastic find…until we have to park ourselves behind another diner’s chair because there isn’t room to wait anywhere else. Awkward.

The easy fix for your waiting area

You don’t have to invest in fancy chairs or a swanky patio or even a fresh coat of paint. All you need is a  waitlist app called Waitlist Me.

Waitlist Me allows you to set your diners free. Thanks to optional text message alerts and a waiting list with estimated wait times that they can check on their smartphones, they don’t have to worry about missing out. These simple features mean…

– Guests can wander around the area, eliminating the need to accommodate and entertain them inside your restaurant

– Your visible queue will be shorter and more attractive to newcomers

– Diners can enjoy quality time with friends and family without worrying that they’ll miss their name being called

– Your host will be free to provide excellent service because they won’t need to keep answering “how much longer?” questions (or avoid frustrated glares)

 

The app is simple to learn and flexible to use. Making it work for your dining space is easy, and training your front of house staff to use it takes mere minutes. It works on most tablets, mobile devices, or a desktop computer, and you can sync it to multiple devices at once so that multiple staff can use it at the same time. The more you use Waitlist Me, the better you’ll be at giving accurate wait times, which reduces walkaways and improves the customer experience as well as the bottom line.

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018 .

Renting shoes and perfecting the art of bowling-without-bumpers is a favorite memory of Waitlist Me’s app developers, and we’re thrilled that our favorite outing of old is back in favor with everyone from teens to millennials to families with kids.

Seeing a surge in your clown shoe-clad customers? Waitlist Me is a waitlist and reservation app that can help you smoothly manage the increase in traffic—and turn new customers into loyal fans.

Here are 3 ways our app can help any bowling alley gain new business (and improve customer service) today.

Prevent walk-outs when there’s a wait

A line at the door can make any strike-happy group turn tail and hit up a pizza parlor or movie theater, instead. Waitlist Me helps you keep customers regardless of your wait time. How? By making that line disappear.

Thanks to unlimited text notifications for users in the U.S. (and pay-as-you-go texting for Waitlist Me’s international plans), you can add groups to your waitlist and then let them roam free until a lane becomes available. They could grab cheese fries and a pitcher of beer at your snack stand, shoot pool and play PAC-MAN in your arcade, or window-shop their way down the street. When they’re first in line, you can send them a heads-up via text.

Perfect for:

– Bowling alleys with limited staffing (or a small waiting area)

– Checking in large groups during peak business hours

– Bowling alleys facing lots of local competing attractions

Give large groups a great time

You brought in snacks and arcade games to serve your bowlers better. But those add-ons don’t have to be after thoughts. Now, with large groups looking for impromptu hang-out spaces, your bowling alley is primed to offer a variety of fun options for everyone, including the non-bowlers in the bunch.

You can use Waitlist Me to give everyone a chance to do whatever it is that floats their boat…without making ‘em stand around in long lines by themselves. How? Waitlist Me is flexible enough to be used for people waiting for lanes, your in-house food area, or even popular games like air hockey.  Text ‘em when it’s their turn, ensuring that they’re never sacrificing quality time with friends and family to hold their place in line.  You can manage lines for different activities with status colors or even set up a separate waitlist for areas that have regular waits.

Perfect for:

– Booking birthday parties, office outings, and other celebrations

– Special events, like trivia nights and karaoke

– Attracting big crowds for bowling league competitions

Make it easy for customers to choose your bowling alley

Who wants a hassle for what should be a fun happy hour outing? Not your guests! That’s why it’s essential to make it a cinch for your customers to decide to shoot the breeze at your business rather than another spot down the block. A parking lot and food specials are a great way to get ‘em coming in your door. Another tool to have in your back pocket: Waitlist Me.

The app is built to handle waitlists and reservations side-by-side, so you can forget about that mess of sticky notes cluttering up your front counter. Customers can call before they come, walk right in, or even add themselves to your waitlist or make a reservation online. And, thanks to the public waitlist feature, they can check your ETA from wherever they are, whether that’s the water cooler, the bar next door, or the parking lot.

Perfect for:

– Catering to the after-work crowd

– Offering pop-up events

– Handling holidays and rainy summer afternoons

Tuesday, September 19th, 2017 .

You run a sale to get people in the door. That’s what the circulars are for, the TV spots, the radio ads, the email blasts, the social media posts—it’s all to get eyes on your business and cars in your parking lot.

But what happens when all that promo works better than you’ve dreamed, and you’re overrun with customers eager to snap up whatever it is you’re selling? You lose them…unless you have a plan in place to handle the high customer volume.

Don’t wait ‘til it’s too late. Plan now to turn your biggest sales into massive success stories. Here’s exactly how to use a waitlist app like Waitlist Me to capitalize on sale day foot traffic.

 

Tip #1: Greet every guest as they pass through your doors

Station a greeter near the entrance and task that person with setting the tone for each customer’s visit: Be warm, inviting, and helpful. Let them know what specials you’re running. And, if your greeter can’t help them right away, they can add them to a waitlist so that the next associate can help them pick out the perfect item for their wants and needs.

The big plus: Waitlist Me makes adding customers to your list a cinch. Your greeter is one tap away from adding a new name and number and sending that customer into the store to browse—no muss, no fuss, no toe-tapping frustration. When it’s that customer’s turn for attention, they’ll get a text to let them know. Simple!

 

Tip #2: Make customer service your No.-1 priority

Just because a customer understands why staffers are booking it around the sales floor on Columbus Day or Black Friday doesn’t mean that a customer will accept anything less than top-notch service. Encourage your team to spend time with shoppers, to answer their questions fully, and to remain focused on the customer in front of them, despite the busier-than-usual atmosphere. To ensure that they’re able to do that, use Waitlist Me to delegate different areas of responsibility to each of your associates. Assign individuals to different departments, divvy up cash wrap and changing room responsibilities, and task someone with restocking shelves or manning the stockroom.

The big plus: Creating assignments means that your sales associates can focus exclusively on individual customers rather than keeping their eyes peeled for empty shelves, messy displays, and new shoppers walking through the door. And because Waitlist Me lets customers see where they are in line right from their smartphones, there are none of those “is it my turn yet?” interruptions to deal with, either. No more splitting attention means better service, which improves your bottom line every time.

 

Tip #3: Make more sales from your sale

One great sales day is fantastic. One great sales day that converts foot traffic into loyal customers? Even better. A single top-notch shopping experience can turn browsers into buyers and buyers into VIPs—and that starts with service. Waitlist Me lets you build trust through customer service by quoting accurate wait times and ensuring that your shoppers remain visible to your sales floor staff. And trust leads to sales.  You can’t always eliminate waits, but you can show you care about your customers’ time and make the waiting more bearable.

The big plus: Waitlist Me helps you track the actual time each customer has been waiting next to the estimate you told them, which improves your quote accuracy.  That means that when you tell a customer that an associate will meet them in the home entertainment department in 10 minutes, it’ll really be a 10-minute wait. Setting the right wait expectations reduces walkaways, and delivering on those wait estimates boosts customer satisfaction.

Plus, when customers don’t have to worry about losing their place in line or how long the wait will be, they can relax and continue browsing through yours store, making it more likely they’ll find more things to buy. That’s a win for everyone!