Wednesday, November 18th, 2015 .

We are happy to announce a number of new resource management features that extend the power of Waitlist Me through the whole customer visit, from checking in to leaving. Whether you assign customers to tables, staff, or other resources, you can serve them better by effectively tracking and managing the assignments with Waitlist Me.  By using a dynamic representation of resources, Waitlist Me simplifies the amount of data needed in different scenarios, so you can make smarter decisions faster.  Here are the details of how it works:

Assigning Customers

Customers can be assigned to one or more resources upon arrival or while waiting.  When choosing assignments, any available resources will show at the top of the list in alphabetical order with a green status.  Resources that are already assigned will have a red status and be sorted in order of how long they have been taken.  So when things get busy you can see what is available or coming available soon much faster, since they will be at the top of the list.

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If a customer is already assigned to a resource from the waitlist or as a reservation, the estimated serving time for that customer will show along with any notes that were added.  Businesses that serve groups of customers can also define resource sizes and view those sizes in the status areas. For example a restaurant hostess seating a party could scan for open table sizes that would seat six or for smaller tables that could be combined.

Assignments – Grid View

The Assignment Grid view provides an intuitive way to get key information on assignments and availability at a glance.  It also has several options for changing the sort order and levels of information displayed.

grid view

 

 

At the simplest level, the colors of the boxes show whether the resource is available or not, so it is easy to do a quick scan and find ones that are open.  Across the bottom of the boxes are the resource sizes and time counters when it is in use.  Depending your preferences and goals the resources can be sorted in a couple ways:

ABC – Sorts alphabetically by name
Time – Shows available resources first and then taken resources by how long they have been in use
Size then ABC – Groups by resource sizes first and then alphabetically
Size then Time – Groups by sizes first, then ones that are open, and then ones in use the longest

The Grid view also has a control for changing the size of the boxes and amount of details displayed. For places with higher number of resources, the small size may work best to avoid scrolling, whereas for places with fewer resources the large or medium size might work better.  The smallest size has all the main information, including the resource names, sizes, time occupied, and estimated times for upcoming customers.  The medium size will also show the names for the customers scheduled and currently assigned to the resource, and the larger size will show any notes on these customers.

Assignments – List view

There is an option for seeing assignments in a list format.  Just press the toggle in the upper right of the Assignment area to switch between Grid and List views.  The resources in the list view are sorted to show available resources at the top and ones that have been taken the longest after that.  In both the assignment views, selecting the assignment gives the option to clear the resource, and more options will be coming soon.

list view

 

Assignments are integrated with the waitlist so that when a customer that has been assigned a resource is checked off the waitlist, that resource will automatically switch to taken in the assignment view.  If a customer was using that resource it will switch them with the new customer without any additional steps.

Assignment Analytics

The more you use Waitlist Me to manage assignments, the more data you will have on how well you are managing your resources, and there are a number of new downloadable reports that can be run in the Analytics section of the Waitlist Me site.  Look for trends over time with the Assignment Overview, do deeper analysis with the more detailed data in the Assignment Logs, and see results split out by assignments and sizes in other reports.

Settings

Resources can be set up in the app settings as well as the online settings.  Add and edit the resources you need and set the size for each resource.  There is an option to require an assignment when adding the customer to the list so you don’t forget.  You can also switch back to the simple resource entry method if you like.

The new resource management features are part of Waitlist Me Pro, which has unlimited usage and all the other features for an introductory price of $39.99.  More feature will be coming soon, so lock in the low rate now, and keep it when the price goes up for others!

Wednesday, May 11th, 2016 .

Let your customers check themselves into your waitlist or reservations from your website or when they arrive at your restaurant.  It is convenient for customers and will save your business time and money.

Waitlist Me makes it as simple as pasting our widget on your website or using a unique page we host for you.  And it is seamlessly integrated into our waitlist and resource management service that has been proven to reduce walkaways and improve customer satisfaction.

We have had our add yourself features available for some time, but we recently added some new features, simplified the customization and settings, and created this new video to show how it all works:

 

Here is an example of how it can be used for self check in at your business

add self ipad kiosk

 

Or it can be easily integrated into a website like in the example below

add self site

 

 

 

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014 .

We are happy to announce the latest version of the NoshList iPad waitlist app along with a host of new features that let restaurants improve their guest experience and their operational efficiencies. Redesigned for iOS 7, the new app makes it easier to organize a waitlist and remember guest preferences with better notes and sortable statuses. Table management has never been easier with customizable table selectors, and the ETA feature lets restaurants keep track of same-day call aheads. There are also a lot of other enhancements to the user experience and look and feel. Check out the tutorial video below to see how it works:

 

With the new Quick Notes feature, restaurants can define as many pre-set notes as they would like to appear when a hostess is adding a party to the waitlist. It’s great for common events, such as birthdays and anniversaries, or popular customer preferences, like dietary restrictions. The notes can be viewed in the waitlist for easy reference and can be synched across all devices a restaurant might have.

quicknotes image

 

A restaurant can also customize the table numbers that appear in a spinner for simple table assignment when customers are seated or added to the waitlist. Table management is a natural extension of running a waitlist, and we have made it much easier to assign and track table numbers in the new NoshList app.

table eta

 

The new app also integrates other features into the main waitlist view in more seamless ways. Seated history shows below the current list and can be toggled on and off. Parties that have an estimated arrival time are grouped below those with a quoted time, and people that add themselves to the list show up at the top with special highlighting to alert the hostess.

Thursday, July 24th, 2014 .

BL Sign

Little Star Pizza took San Francisco by storm in 2004 by quickly becoming one of the best pizzerias in the city. Known for its Chicago-style deep-dish pizza with cornmeal crust, Little Star quickly garnered five-star customer reviews and a loyal following among local residents. There are now three Little Star Pizza restaurants in operation throughout the urban San Francisco region and another four Blue Line Pizza locations, owned by the same company, in the surrounding suburbs.

 

The two restaurant concepts do not take reservations, which means Little Star diners wait anywhere from 90- 120 minutes for a table on weekends, said founder Angela Pace.And wait times at sister chain Blue Line Pizza run anywhere from 60-to-90 minutes.

“Not taking reservations was a conscious decision because, for us, the community does so much for us that we don’t want anyone to not get served because we’re booked with reservations,” Pace said. “We want to make sure our dining room is always there for our neighbors and neighborhoods.”

In order to make customer wait times easier to manage, the company enlisted the help of WaitList, the country’s fastest growing wait list app available for iPad, iPhone and Android devices. The app was launched in 2012 and has seated to date nearly 40 million diners.

“The use of technology is unique to a place like Blue Line because we really want to focus on the guest,” Pace said. “We’ve always been very open to technology and willing to embrace it as an organization.”

Pace said the company chose NoshList from a variety of options because of its ease of use for customers and staff.

“We tried so many different things that all had their own little merits. Ultimately, we had to find a solution that we knew would work for us. Not just me personally but for our entire staff,” Pace said. “It boiled down to NoshList being so easy to use and straightforward, and the user interface is very simple and direct.”

BG Upper Patio night

 

One concern with the app was if customers would be hesitant to give out their cell phone numbers in order to interact with the app; however, adoption has been widely accepted.

“We even created an explanation of how the system works for our hostess to use on hesitant customers, but our hostess doesn’t even get to it. We’ve had no pushback,” Pace said.

The company’s philosophy toward the use of technology has been to use it as a tool to improve the guest experience. By replacing pad and paper or buzzer seating systems, waitlist apps are changing one of the most arguably antiquated seating systems in the industry.

The NoshList wait list app also does what other systems cannot: such as automatically calculate average wait times for guests. This takes the guesswork out of estimating seating times for restaurant patrons. It also frees up restaurant staff to focus on other areas of the customer experience.

“Much of today’s wait list application technology can support two-way communication between restaurant staff and guests. This two-way communication system is great because it gives guests the freedom to decide whether they want to sit and wait at the restaurant or walk around the area knowing they won’t be forgotten when their table is ready,” said Craig Walker, founder of NoshList. “Obviously we think our NoshList app provides the best wait list app functionality available today.”

In addition to the core seating and management features, NoshList enables restaurant staff to customize the notifications and public view of the waitlist that users can check from their phone or from anywhere. Customers can even add themselves to a wait list from wherever they may be if a restaurant turns on this feature. The company also recently unveiled a reservations feature which opens the door for continued innovation in waitlist technology.

“Now, restaurant operators don’t have to rely on web sites or single-use apps to handle reservations and manage a wait list. In this way, technology such as ours will continue to integrate into it as much functionality an operator needs to run their businesses better on the back end while improving the guest experience on the front,” Walker said.

Functionality was another key driver behind Blue Line’s decision to implement and use NoshList.

“We found that a lot of other technology had a lot of bells and whistles that ultimately did not get used,” Pace said. “NoshList has bells and whistles as well, but it truly is functional. We feel that NoshList in particular has made it so much easier to manage and track our wait list and now people can walk down the street and know they’re going to get paged when their table is ready. From the customer standpoint, it has really come down to peace of mind.”

tumblr deep dish

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014 .

NoshList was proud to be a sponsor of the 18th Annual Restaurant Industry Conference put on by UCLA Extension in collaboration with world-leaders in brand development, food services, design innovation, operations excellence, market analysis and customer satisfaction.

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Having recently launched our new waitlist app for iOS 7, the conference was a great place to show how NoshList continues to innovate in helping restaurants improve their guest experience and operational efficiencies. We also plan to be at the big National Restaurant Association conference on May 17-20 in Chicago.

The UCLA event was a great place to network and learn, as it brought together a number of honored speakers and panelists to discuss current industry issues and trends. Conference topics included brand development, food service, design innovation, operations excellence, market analysis and customer satisfaction. The leaders of Yelp were there along with emerging restaurant concepts panel speakers. BrightLocal said that 95% of consumers are turning to the internet to find local businesses.

One of our favorites was the presentation by Chef Thomas Keller (The French Laundry), Innovation Award Winner. He has won multiple awards, including “America’s Best Chef,” though the interviewer (Pres of the Culinary Institute of America) also called him the most important chef in American history. He was interviewed by Dr. Tim Ryan, President of the Culinary Institute of America (CIA). Dr. Ryan won the award last year and came back to interview Thomas Keller this year, partly because they are very good friends, which gave the interview a different perspective. Keller had a very interesting story and presented a lovely lunch.

It was also fun when the UCLA singers came in at the beginning and sang the itinerary for the day to the group.