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.

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

Thursday, October 25th, 2018 .

If you listen to the internet’s many critics, millennials are self-obsessed complainers with a penchant for arrogance, an aversion to risk, and some serious Peter Pan Syndrome.

They also eat out five times a week, are looking to make big purchases, and prioritize investments in their mental health and physical fitness. Their spending power is estimated at $3.39 trillion. By 2020, they’ll be the ones paying for one-third of the world’s goods and services.

Millennials are increasingly becoming the customers you need to know inside and out. Who are they? How do they spend their money? What do they want?

Let’s take a closer look.

Who is the millennial customer?

Most people who consider themselves to be “young adults” fit into the millennial category. They were born between the early 1980s and the turn of the century (the generation’s end date waffles between the mid-nineties and the early 2000s, depending on who you ask). Today, millennials range in age from about 16 to 36. They are just now coming into their own as college graduates, young professionals, married homeowners, and parents.

Millennials make up the majority of the workforce in the United States. By 2025, 75 percent of the workforce world-wide will be made up of this one generation. The world is their oyster, and their wallets are open.

How do millennials spend their money?

Millennials pay more for brands and experiences—if the business in question offers them some sort of added benefit. That could mean more convenience, an alignment of their personal values, a better user experience, or greater perceived value.

They’re also incredibly loyal. Once they find a brand they love, whether it’s a store, a restaurant, a hotel, a gym, a salon, literally anything, they’ll stick with it. And, thanks to their penchant for social media, they’ll spread the word. With millennials on your side, referral business can become your new best friend.

What do millennials want?

This generation grew up as the internet was finding its legs. The oldest millennials were computer-savvy before Google was a thing, while the youngest can’t remember a world without YouTube. They’re gamers, emailers, texters, and content-consumers—and they expect the rest of the world to keep up with them.

What does that mean for you?

Eliminate the wait

For millennials, on-demand everything is the norm. A long waiting list is a major drawback. A long line? For those not enticed by hype or the cool-factor, long lines mean finding the next best thing: your nearest competitor.

Waitlist Me shortens lines and makes them invisible to new customers. The app lets you accurately estimate wait times and track your business’ resources, which can help you become more efficient over time. It also frees customers from your waiting area. This gives the illusion of shorter wait times, which makes more people want to stick around.

Be available on your customers’ terms

With the internet comes 24/7/365 availability. Does your small business need to be open all the time, every day of the year? Absolutely not! But to win over a millennial crowd, you need to create a digital presence that is open to customers around the clock.

We make it easy to do just that. Waitlist Me offers an add-yourself widget, which you can easily include on your business’ website. The widget lets customers add themselves to your waitlist, reservations, or appointment schedule from wherever they are. You can also display black-out days, specials, and more.

Go mobile

Just because a millennial doesn’t leave home without a smartphone doesn’t mean they want to dial your number and speak to you one-on-one. This generation infinitely prefers texting over phone calls.

That’s why Waitlist Me built text message notifications directly into the platform. Forget about hollering out names in a crowded vestibule or passing out buzzing pagers. With a single gesture, you can send a message directly to the party next in line. Your guest will get the message on their phone instantly, wherever they are, just the way they like it.

Monday, December 11th, 2017 .

Waitlist Me Pro keeps the balance between your congenial, community atmosphere and top-notch customer service, by keeping things running smoothly and improving the waiting experience.   It is also designed to be intuitive and quick to use no matter how tech-savvy (or not) you and your clientele are.

Here are 4 customer-approved ways Waitlist Me Pro can help your barbershop:

Keep track of who’s busy (and who’s not)

What’s better than flipping through a paper calendar with scribbled-down availability? Honestly: just about anything. Waitlist Me Pro makes it easy to keep track of appointments for each barber at the same time as you manage your highly variable walk-in traffic.

The app allows you to see your upcoming appointments and the walk-in customers waiting for each barber as well as the customers they are currently serving and how long they have been with them. Waitlist Me’s intuitive visual layout shows the barbers who aren’t “in” as grayed out, while those who are busy are highlighted in red and show a time counter of how long they have been busy.  You can also see who the next person waiting for each barber is and what time they were told they would be served.

Run a more efficient business

Having a good time at work is a bonus. Enjoying your colleagues and your clientele? That’s the cherry on top of the sundae. But you are running a business—and that’s a reality you never forget.

Waitlist Me Pro keeps track of your resources, helping you focus a little more on the work you love and a little less on management. The app helps you keep track of many things: the amount of time your barbers spend on each client, how long customers wait before they hit the chair, who works the most and who works the least. You can run reports whenever you want and use the knowledge they impart to make decisions about staffing, expansion, business hours—anything and everything.

Customize your online waitlist and appointments tools

You know your business better than anyone. That’s why we built Waitlist Me Pro to give you as much freedom as possible over how you set up your waitlist and your appointments.

The pro-level app allows you to set your business hours as well as blackout days for appointments. Clients leave notes for you on their preferences or any accommodations they require. Have a regular client bringing a child in for his first cut? Prefer a certain style that might add on more time? All of that can be added as a note, allowing you to provide top-notch customer service, every single time.

Promote your loyalty program or current special offerings

Waitlist Me Pro offers the highest level of personalization. Whether you want to bring your brand colors and logo to the “add me” website widget or to a public waitlist you display online or in-store, Waitlist Me Pro lets you add custom HTML, change colors, and customize the wording.

If you offer a loyalty program, discounted products, or a new service, the public waitlist is a great way to let your clientele know. You can change the HTML to include graphics, videos, or plain text that keep your customers up-to-date on everything that’s going on in your shop.

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.

Wednesday, October 30th, 2019 .

The demise of fast fashion darling Forever 21 might have you reaching for a Xanax, but should it? Not necessarily. After all, while one empire has fallen, some fast fashion brands are thriving.

Look at Target! Their private label pivot in 2018 has been hugely successful. Look at Old Navy! The Gap, Inc. brainchild plans to open 800 stores in the next decade. Look at Gymboree! The beloved clothing brand for babies and toddlers is making a comeback as a pop-up shop concept within The Children’s Place retail outlets.

See? There’s no need to panic. From new merchandising tactics to rebooted branding and marketing initiatives, there are all sorts of ways to keep a fast fashion business profitable. One of our favorite ways to keep your retail venture in the green is to improve your customer experience.

Not sure how to wow your customers? Keep reading for our favorite strategies.

Make customers feel welcome

One prominent reason many consumers turn to online shopping: pushy sales tactics that make them feel uncomfortable. While you should always greet walk-ins with a smile and a cheery “hello,” it’s time to reconsider retail standards that feel like the opening of a sales pitch. Instead of, “Can I help you with anything in particular?” try deploying friendly small talk. A comment about the rainy weather or a compliment on the cute sweater they’re wearing will make the customer’s experience feel more conversational than transactional.

And speaking of conversation, there’s no reason for your employees to avoid it. We’ve all been the only customer in an otherwise-empty shop, shrinking under the microscopic gaze of associates. Awkward! While private conversations should be kept off the sales floor, bantering about TV shows, sports teams, and other harmless topics can make customers feel at ease in your store. Remind them, though, that their body language is important: They need to look approachable 24/7 and they should always be paying attention to customers, ready to offer help on finding a size or snagging a dressing room.

Eliminate long lines

Online fast fashion retailers like Amazon and ASOS struggle with shopping cart abandonment. Brick-and-mortar retailers should be concerned about a similar situation: long waits for fitting rooms and cash registers. 

Lines have the tendency to intimidate rather than to encourage. Many shoppers will load up their arms with potential purchases, then turn to the line for the changing room and wonder if all these goodies are worth the interminable wait. One solution is to use a waitlist and appointment management app like Waitlist Me, which makes long lines disappear by taking them digital. Retail staffers can hold on to the merchandise customers are interested in and let them continue browsing while they wait. A quick text lets shoppers know when they reach the front of the line.

Improve staff productivity

Top-notch customer service starts with staffing. If your sales associates are overrun by to-dos or traffic, they’ll be too frazzled to show the level of service that results in sales and customer retention. Adding an app like Waitlist Me to your toolbox can help retail store managers make smarter real-time decisions based on how busy the store is.

Waitlist Me allows managers to easily view things like how many customers are waiting for help or a fitting room, and how long fitting rooms have been occupied. Keeping tabs on traffic patterns means that they know where bottlenecks are emerging so they can direct employees accordingly before customer experiences start to suffer.