Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014 .

When we launched NoshList in 2012, we began with a very targeted focus on the restaurant industry and a mission to solve the challenges many restaurants face in managing long wait lines. And it worked. Customizable, easy-to-use and affordable, our wait list app enhanced the customer experience and quickly replaced the antiquated pen and paper lists for our customers.

Over the past two years, NoshList has been used to seat more than 45 million diners, and the new reservations feature helps with a whole new set of scheduling challenges that restaurants face.

Along the way though, we realized that NoshList can be used in a host of other industries. Other types of businesses started using NoshList in ways we hadn’t originally expected, and as they did they asked us for ways to better customize the product for their situations. So little by little we started adding more customization features, and now all kinds of businesses are using NoshList to improve their customers’ wait experience.

Since NoshList can be used on iPads, iPhones, Android tablets, other mobile devices, and even computers, the app can be used just about anywhere. All that’s needed is an Internet connection and a desire to make waits more bearable for customers.

Afterall, when a customer is waiting on anything — from a lane at the bowling alley to a rented boat — the wait can be like an extreme lesson in patience. NoshList works as a way to communicate with waiting parties that their lane, boat or other item is ready.

How about waiting in line for a dressing room? With NoshList, shoppers can simply add their name to the list and then continue to shop while they wait for their dressing room. Once it’s ready, they will receive a text notifying them they’re next in line. It’s the ultimate win-win.

The same ideas apply to anywhere there might be a wait — at the pharmacy, the automotive repair center, the doctor’s office or hair salon and spa.

There are few simple things businesses in other industries can do to best use NoshList. The main thing is to customize the texts that go out when a person is added to any type of wait list and when they are notified. NoshList users can also choose from a number of automated call options. Then for more personalization a business can pre-define the list of the most common notes to appear in the app with the QuickNotes feature. Finally, table numbers can be modified to represent what makes sense for a business. These numbers could represent a salesperson, chair number, rental ID or whatever resource is assigned to your customers.

other businesses

 

To learn more, check out our new page on how NoshList is being for different business waitlists across the country.

Wednesday, November 14th, 2018 .

It’s a retailer’s dream to boast a line long enough to wrap around a city block. A lot of the promos and products you dream up might even be designed to attract these 6-o’clock-news-worthy waits. Think: Black Friday doorbusters, innovative croissant-donut hybrids, and once-in-a-lifetime bear-stuffing deals.

But the reality? Well, it’s not as dreamy as it seems. In fact, it’s kind of nightmare. The history of long lines is plagued with stampedes, riots, and heat stroke victims. Yikes!

And that’s just for the people who join those long lines. For every customer that’s willing to wait, there are tens to hundreds that won’t be. Think about it this way: What would you wait hours for? What would make you want to camp out on a sidewalk?

If you did it at all, it would have to be for something truly incredible. A dinner at a new-to-the-neighborhood restaurant? Not likely. A shopping spree at a boutique? No way. An after-work drink? Forget it. A pilates class? Never.

How a long line hurts your business

A long line might get you a few dozen customers who are willing to wait in exchange for a first look or a door prize. But at what expense? That line might stretch wayyy down the street, but when hundreds of other passersby see it, they’re going to think that your business is the last place they want to be.

Sure, they might stop and ask what the line is for. Sure, they might talk about your establishment. Most of that conversation may be negative, though. Many of those on-lookers are going to be saying, “Some people waited 3 hours for a burger. How dumb is that?!” rather than: “The line for the best burger in town was 3 hours long yesterday. I’m going to go get one tonight!”

The truth is that long lines alienate customers. They dissuade people from giving you a chance. Potential customers have long memories. They will remember one or two long wait times, and forever associate you with inconvenience. Those customers are going to go somewhere else.

Why? Because…

* They don’t want to hop on the next-cool-thing bandwagon. Some customers instinctually rebel against hype. They’ll opt for a just-as-good competitor, instead. And because they didn’t have to wait, they’ll perceive your rival as being better than you are simply due to that lack of a long line.

* They’re worried the customer service stinks. Long lines can indicate efficiency problems. Guests encounter them and assume that someone at the front is lollygagging or that you’re understaffed. That’s ding No.-1 against your reputation for a top-notch guest experience.

* They aren’t interested in hanging out in a crowd. Some folks love feeling like sardines packed in a tin, but most don’t. A crowded business creates unnecessary pressure on the customer to hurry through their experience, regardless of whether they’re shopping, eating, or doing something else.

* They’re concerned something is wrong. Have you run out of the product you’re running a promo for? Are the cash registers down? Are you understaffed? Is this whole waiting-in-a-crazy-long-line thing all going to be for naught? Cue customer anxiety.

A better alternative

It is great when you have something everyone wants, but you don’t have to make them suffer in a long crazy line to get it. Waitlist Me makes it easy to manage a line virtually rather than physically. Add people to your waitlist so they know they have a spot in line and have visibility into the wait process, while allowing them the flexibility to walk around or do something else while they wait. Then simply press a button to notify them with a text message when it is their term. It is simple, and effective.

 

 

Saturday, March 1st, 2014 .

Public Waitlist in settings – The public waitlist page can be customized in the “Settings” area of the “Account” after logging into www.noshlist.com. In addition to being able to customize the link of the public waitlist and change the settings on how guests can add themselves to the list, you can customize the page itself by clicking on the “Customize page” link

settings

 

Customize page – You can add text or any HTML to the bottom of your public page and preview it on the customize page. When you want to push it live, just click “Publish”. In the example below simple HTML has been added to reference an image (which would be hosted on another website) and add a link to that image

custom page

 

Customized page example – Below is an example of how the public waitlist page would look with the above example, and you can link to this page from your restaurant website as an easy way for people to see the current waitlist and add themselves to the list. You can also see this example live here: http://www.noshlist.com/n/brianscafe

public waitlist page

 

When a person adds themselves to the list the hostess will see a notification on their NoshList app and can choose a wait time and add other information through the regular flow for adding parties. The information the person submitted will automatically be pre-populated in this flow and the customer will get a confirmation message when they are added to the list. You can also choose in the settings to have the person automatically added to the list.

 

Customized public page on the phone – Whenever a person is added to the waitlist with the NoshList application they get a text message confirming that they have been added to the list if they have given their phone number. There is also a link to the public waitlist so the customer can check their place in line from their phone, and their initials will be highlighted in the list. This makes it easy for people to estimate their remaining wait without finding and bothering the hostess. By customizing the public waitlist page, you can also give customers information about daily specials, coupons or your loyalty program that they can check out while they wait

public waitlist phone

 

Default notifications in settings – You can also customize the two text messages that customers receive while they wait. The first message confirms the person has been added to the waitlist and gives them a short link to check their place in line. The second message notifies the customer that their table is ready and gives them a couple simple options for replying whether they need more time or if they have decided to go somewhere else. These will appear in the NoshList app so the hostess can see the customer’s response. Here is what the default messages look like:

default

 

And this is how the default messages look on the phone

phone default

 

Customized Notifications – NoshList Premium gives the ability to customize both of the messages in the settings. In the example below the first message has been changed to give an additional prompt to check out a coupon while they wait on the public waitlist page, and the second message gives another reminder to check out other online offers, which could go to the loyalty program

 

customized

 

And here is how the customized messages would look on the phone

phone custom

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014 .

NoshList was excited to return to this year’s National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show (NRA) in Chicago from May 17-20, marking the company’s third year as an NRA exhibitor. There are a number of trends that are changing the way restaurants manage their businesses better with technology, and NoshList has been at the forefront of these innovations.

booth2

 

Since last year’s event, NoshList has tripled the number of people seated through the NoshList waitlist app. The NoshList wait list app closed out 2013 with more than 22 million diners seated across 4,000 restaurants. In the first quarter of this year, NoshList seated another 10 million diners, as growth continues to accelerate. We also were one of the first apps to integrate with the award-winning Clover POS device.

NoshList got a chance to show off several design improvements and new features in its new iOS 7 and Android apps, and gave a special preview of its new reservations feature for the first time at NRA. Adding reservations to the NoshList app is another way the company is building the simple and intuitive tools that restaurants need to improve their guest experience and operational efficiencies. The reservations feature will be live in the App Store and Play Store within a few weeks.

booth1

 

We had a great time at the event, spoke to a lot of interesting potential customers and technology partners, and were thrilled to have a chance to be interviewed by Turn & Burn on the NRA Media Stage.

turn and burn

 

 

We also had a couple Armor Active stands, which work great with NoshList. Here is a blog post on how they looked.

Tuesday, July 25th, 2017 .

It is easy to customize Waitlist Me to your business needs.  You can streamline the process of adding customers to the waitlist by choosing the level of information you need and by removing unnecessary steps.  Just tap on the gear icon in the app to get to the settings, then go to Customization and Adding Customers. The options include:

Assignments: These are used by businesses that assign resources to customers. For example, a stylist in a salon, a table in a restaurant, or an exam room in a medical center. If you don’t assign resources to customers or you don’t want to see the options when adding customers to the waitlist or reservations, you can hide this option.

Group size: This is helpful when the number of people in a party varies, such as in a restaurant. For a business such as a car detailing facility where group size doesn’t matter, this option can be turned off.

Demographics: In some businesses, it’s important to know if the group includes children, or whether the clients are male or female. The simple demographic tracking lets you choose between adults/children/seniors, while the full demographics also gives options for gender. Choosing the Off option will remove this completely.

Image: Full Demographics, Simple Demographics, and No Demographics

Category colors: Category colors can be used as a simple way to identify and sort different groups in the waitlist. A restaurant might choose to use the color green for groups that request outdoor seating, while a spa may assign colors for different services. This option can be turned off and would no longer show up when adding names to the list.

Notes: The notes field lets you record important information, such as the service the client is requesting. The option can be switched off if the notes field will not be used.

Image: The streamlined look of removing the Group Size, Demographics, Category Colors, and Notes.

History: If it’s important to see some stats on past customer visits, leave the History field turned on.

Wait Time Quotes: For those businesses who do not give an estimated time, the wait time could be switched off. For those who do give a time, there are two options. Normal will be 5 minutes, while Last Time will show the last wait time selected.

Image: Choose to have the spinner default to 5 minutes or to the last wait time quoted.