Wednesday, December 11th, 2019 .

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.

Monday, September 6th, 2021 .

Due to significant fee increases from US mobile operators for sending text messages, we will no longer be including unlimited notifications in the subscription prices of US plans. Instead, we will include a bundle of notifications each month and the ability to pay separately for messages sent above this monthly allotment. These changes will affect all new signups from September 6, 2021 and apply to existing customers from Oct 4, 2021.

Our goals continue to be to offer the best value in waitlisting and scheduling services, while providing the flexibility for different businesses to send as many notifications as they need. It is important to note that the increases in mobile carrier fees affect all services sending text messages, and we believe that even with our latest plan updates that Waitlist Me will continue to be the price and value leader in its category.

The Premium plan includes 1,000 notifications per month, Pro includes 2,500 and Platinum 5,000. For businesses with heavier messaging needs, additional text and call notifications can be sent at a rate of $0.02 per notification, deducted from a prepaid balance. 

Monthly notifications reset when monthly subscription payments are processed. For users on annual plans, they reset every 30 days starting from the original payment date. Payments for adding to the prepaid balance can be made from the Account area of the Waitlist Me website, and there are settings to make it easy to auto-refresh the balance when it gets low.

Most businesses currently using our services would not hit these notification limits, and thus would not be affected by this update. Waitlist Me has several settings and options for sending notifications, so businesses can control when they don’t need to be sent. There are ways to monitor the usage of both the notifications that are included in the plan each month as well as the ones that are charged separately. The number of monthly text and call notifications sent can be viewed in the Settings area of the apps or in the Account area of the website. The website also shows a record of messages sent and the associated costs in the Messaging Costs area of the Billing History. 

Thursday, September 13th, 2018 .

The Public Waitlist page, which allows customers to see where they are in line while they wait, is also a great branding touchpoint.  When you add a customer to the list a link to the public waitlist is included in the confirmation text they receive and allows them to easily see where they are in line from their phone browser.  Waiting is less painful when customers have visibility into the wait process and the flexibility to leave the waiting area without worrying about losing their place in line. For your business, it helps cut down on walkaways

as well as repeated questions regarding how long until it’s their turn.

An important set of benefits that is often overlooked, however, includes the opportunities to provide more customized messaging on the public waitlist page at different stages in the wait: while they are waiting, when it is their turn, and after they are served.  Pro users can further customize these touchpoints.

Waiting – While customers are waiting and checking their place in line from the public waitlist, customizing the bottom part of the page is a great way to give them something to do while they wait. You can highlight specials, encourage people to join a loyalty program, and more.

Ready – When you notify customers that you are ready for them, the screen changes to highlight it is their turn with a new message and image along with options for them to communicate whether they are on their way or need to cancel. If you have any special instructions for when they arrive, this is a good place to include those as a reminder to customers.

Served – After a customer has been served, they don’t need to check their wait any longer, but the public page provides a final opportunity to say thank you.

There is a simple message and image by default, and with a Pro subscription, you can make it more personal and customized to your brand.  You can add a picture of your team, show a thank you message from your owner, invite people to join your loyalty program, suggest leaving a review, or other things you might want to add as part of your thank you. 

 

 

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2020 .

When a customer who is on the waitlist or has a reservation sends you a text, you are able to see their text reply.  This helps you know when a customer decided not to come so you can remove them from the list, if they are on their way so you can hold their table, or if they have something else to ask or tell you.  With a Pro subscription, you can send open text replies to customer texts for more flexible communications.

Another Pro feature we have recently added is the option to enable an audio alert or visual highlighting when customers send you text messages.  Normally you would see a note in the customer row when they send you a text, and the full details of texts sent and received when tapping on the customer row.  The new alert features make it easier to know when a customer replies and which customer replied by playing a sound and flashing the area of the notes to attract your attention to the right spot to look.

Here’s how to set these up. If you use Waitlist Me in a computer browser, make sure you’re using the new version (there’s an option at the top of the waitlist to switch to the new version). Then on the top right of the main waitlist page click on the Settings gear icon  and go to Custom Behaviors > Receiving Texts. Here you can turn on options to play a sound and/or highlight the section of the waitlist that has the text response alert for a customer. These settings will apply to any devices using the web version.

In the Waitlist Me apps, the Custom Behavior settings are device-dependent, so you can choose whether to have them on or off for each different tablet or phone you’re using. In the app, go to the gear icon > Customization > Custom Behaviors > Receiving Texts to edit these options. Once turned on, you would hear a chime and see the highlighted area when you have the app open on your device.

Monday, October 15th, 2018 .

Did you know there’s a way to make the world better—to make your community better—just by giving your restaurant a tiny upgrade? We’re talking about making your business more accessible and welcoming for guests with a variety of needs and abilities.

The best part is you can started today, right here and right now, with a few minutes of your time. Here’s how a simple app called Waitlist Me can help you upgrade your restaurant’s accessibility, no contractors necessary.

Let customers wait where they’re most comfortable

Some guests need more space. Others need a comfortable place to sit or room to walk or air conditioning. When your restaurant is jammed with customers jockeying for waiting space, you don’t leave them with many options.

Waitlist Me changes that. The app sets customers free from whatever space you’ve set aside for your queue. They can relax in the car, they can explore the area, or they can kill time in a more comfortable environment—all without losing their place in line.

Notify waiting guests by text

We’ve all been there: standing in a too-loud vestibule wondering if there’s a better way to get guests’ attention without shouting, relying on vibrating devices, or requiring them to crowd around the hostess stand.

It turns out there is. Waitlist Me lets you send customers a text when their table is ready. That means they can get the word ASAP in a way that works best for them.

Allow guests to make reservations (or join the waitlist) online

Speaking on the phone doesn’t work well for everyone, which is why it is important to have simple options for guests to add themselves to the waitlist or send reservation requests online. That way, all your customers can jump on line from wherever they are, regardless of their abilities.

The add yourself web widget is one more feature that makes life easier for everyone. It’s simple to pop it on to your website and allow your customers to send requests from their computer or phone. Then you just approve them in the Waitlist Me app when they pop up.

Keep track of every customer request

Anyone with special needs, from wheelchair-accessible seating to dietary restrictions, gets to used to repeating themselves. However, just because it’s the norm doesn’t mean it’s not a hassle. Impress these customers with your ability to asks once and remember always with Waitlist Me’s notes feature.

It’s simple for your host to access and add details to, and because the app can sync to multiple devices, employees who are preparing tables and running the kitchen can keep track of these requests, too.

Give more accurate wait time estimates

The most frustrating part of waiting in line is when the ETA keeps changing. You and your staff know this better than anyone! From stink eyes to toe tapping to the constant “how much longer?” refrain from hungry guests.

Our app helps you do away with all the fuss. Waitlist Me gives wait estimates and helps your team make more accurate wait times by seeing actual waits next to quoted times for each customer. Plus, the customer waitlist view feature lets guests check on their wait time from their smartphone. That gives them visibility into the waitlist so they don’t have to ask several times about the wait and can be sure to be nearby when it is close to their turn.