Wednesday, June 5th, 2019 .

Rates of stress, depression, and anxiety have only increased across the globe thanks to a variety of factors, from work to politics to personal matters. And guess what? Most people aren’t actively working to alleviate the causes of their symptoms. That means that on a good day, one out of every two people walking through your door is one big stress mess. Yikes.

What does all that mean for you and your business? Nothing good. Stress, anxiety, and depression…

  • Encourage customers to stay home
  • Turn people into penny-pinchers
  • Make them put off maintenance-type appointments, like healthcare and car servicing appointments
  • Prevent guests from enjoying themselves when they do go out

Sure, you can’t eliminate the sources of their stress. However, you can make your place of business into more of a refuge from the stress of their everyday life. Keep reading for tips on how you, as a business owner or manager, can help your customers stress less.

Rearrange your space

No one wants to be in the way. Unfortunately, if you haven’t thoughtfully designed your waiting area layout with your waiting customers in mind, chances are someone will be.

To solve this problem, spend some time watching the way your guests use the space you’ve given them. Where do they tend to stand? Where do they most frequently sit? What space isn’t being utilized? When do people look awkward or uncomfortable? Then, change up your waiting room’s layout based on those observations.

Offer up directions

The momentary panic of walking into a new destination and having no clue where you should go or who you need to check in with or what the heck is going on is real. That same panic sends adrenaline coursing through your veins, which elevates your stress levels and dings the effectiveness of your immune system—all because there was no clear signage!

Forget that. Ensure your guests know what to expect and where to go when they arrive if there isn’t someone to greet them. A sign on the door or on a placard placed in the entranceway or by a check-in desk or kiosk is an excellent improvement.

Turn down the volume.

You don’t have to run a spa to provide your guests with a calmer experience when they walk inside. If your business is in a busy area, consider window coverings that will dampen the sound of outside traffic. If you receive a lot of phone calls, try switching your desk attendant to a headset or using flashing lights rather than a loud ringer.

Also: ditch clocks that audibly tick, oil squeaky door hinges, and put felt pads on the feet of screeching metal chairs.

Change the channel

If your waiting area includes televisions, select programming that’s more likely to take your customers’ attention off whatever is worrying them. Instead of news, finance, or health-related shows, go with lighter fare. Think: home design, cooking shows, or sitcom reruns.

Radio more your style? The faster the music is, the more stress it will cause your guests. Instead of more jarring pop hits or dance beats, go with oldies, singer-songwriters, or classical music.

Rework your waiting system

Want your guests to enjoy every minute in your place of business? Looking to prioritize their needs and prove that you’re really listening to them? Seeking to cut walk-outs and improve the overall efficiency of your enterprise?

We developed Waitlist Me to help you hit all these goals. Waitlist Me is a free app that lets you manage your waitlist and reservations better. It lets you notify guests by text when they’ve reached the front of the line, eliminating the fear that they’ve missed their moment. It also lets you take notes on their special requirements or concerns, so you can make sure they aren’t forgotten.

And that’s just the beginning! Our full set of Premium and Pro features are crafted to give your customers the best experience possible, all while helping you run a better, faster, more cost-effective business. Decrease customer stress, make more money—how does that sound? Answer: Awesome!

Thursday, October 26th, 2017 .

For customers who can’t tell a carburetor from a catalytic converter, it’s customer service that makes an automotive retailer or service business shine. Your under-the-hood expertise lets them trust you. But the way you treat the folks walking through your door? That’s what’s gonna keep them coming back when they’re shopping for a new vehicle, replacing a flat tire, or detailing out their investment.

Waitlist Me is an app that ensures your customers are treated like VIPs every time they’re in your waiting room. Here’s how it could help your business get a jump on your competition.

Keep customers on your lot

Car shoppers want to go from browsing to trying to buying on their time, not yours. Watching later arrivals jump the line? That’s a definite no-no—and so is tapping their toes on the sidewalk while they wonder when it’ll finally be their turn. Waitlist Me keeps things more orderly (no skipping!). Add shoppers to it when they first arrive to show them you care, and let them browse your inventory while they wait for the next available sales associate.

Bonus! When you use Waitlist Me, you can allow your customers to add themselves to your list from wherever they are. That means they put their name on the waitlist while they’re in transit—and you’ll be ready to help them the minute they pull up to your curb.

Let customers escape your waiting room

It doesn’t matter if they’re waiting for the finance department or for a patched tire: Nobody likes to hang out in a waiting room. Waitlist Me’s text notification feature sets your customers free. The app allows you to send them a quick text when it’s their turn. If they’re farther away than the water cooler, it lets them notify you that they’re on their way.

Bonus! Drop-offs keep you busy without packing your waiting room. Waitlist Me makes drop-offs better for everyone, thanks to our public waitlist feature. Customers can check their place in line to get a better idea of how much longer the wait will be, so they don’t have to keep asking about it.

Easily manage appointments and walk-ins

Most systems let you schedule appointments or walk-ins. Waitlist Me lets you do both. The app’s simple visual interface lets you scan your day’s bookings and quickly figure out where you can squeeze in drop-in customers. You can even color code different types of appointments—say, an oil change or a detail—to help you better manage your resources.

Bonus! Your employees should spend time working, not fumbling through difficult computer programs or messy appointment books. We designed Waitlist Me with ease in mind, making it a cinch to train new staff members and use every single day.

Thursday, May 11th, 2017 .

With the biggest eating-out day of the year upon us, the big question is this: How are you going to make Mother’s Day a big success for your restaurant?

It’s not just about getting people in the door. It’s not even about serving the best food in town. It’s about giving your customers the best overall experience possible—one that will keep them returning long after Mother’s Day ends. And that experience starts the minute they walk through the door.

Here are 3 ways Waitlist Me wows customers while they wait for their table

Accurate wait time estimates make you look like a pro

Shuffling through loose papers doesn’t inspire confidence. Neither does the look on your host’s face when she’s guessing when that table in the corner will turn.

Waitlist Me takes the guesswork out of time estimates. The app shows estimated waits by table size, so you have your answer with a quick look, whether it’s a table for two or ten.  Plus, it tracks how long customers have been waiting in real time, right next to the time they were quoted, so you can better adjust for surges and lulls in visitors to fine tune your quote accuracy.

Text alerts let customers relax while they wait

No one wants to be tethered to a restaurant lobby—and a cluster of hungry people waiting for a table can be a turn-off for walk-ins.

Waitlist Me lets you text guests when their table is ready, which means they can wander freely without worrying that they’ll miss their name being called. We’ve even made it easy for them to let you know they’re on their way, or that they need to cancel with a simple text response.

A public waitlist allows customers to see where they are in line (and plan accordingly)

An out-the-door line keeps you busy enough. Add the inevitable “how long will it be?” grumbles to the mix, and you’ve got mayhem on your Mother’s Day menu.

When you add a customer to your waitlist, Waitlist Me sends them a confirmation text automatically. That text includes a link to your public waitlist, empowering them to check on their place in line wherever they are, whenever they want.  The less time your team has to spend providing updated estimates to the people waiting, the more time they can spend greeting and making guests feel welcome.

A 5-minute fix? You bet.

You can start using Waitlist Me now on any iOS, Android, or web-accessible device. Getting started is easy, and you can get it up and running in less time than it takes you to fire up your restaurant’s most popular dish. Now that’s a win!

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.

Friday, March 9th, 2018 .

College students might be coffee-gulping their way through mid-terms, but it’s not exams you’re worried about. Nope, it’s the week after exams that’s got you crossing your fingers and double-checking your inventory. Spring break is almost here, and if you manage a hotel in any of the United States’ many sun-soaked destinations, making it through the rowdiest 7 days of the year is all you can think about.

Take a deep breath, though, boss. Waitlist Me is here to help you make everything go according to plan. Here’s exactly how you can put it to work when the college kids descend.

Cater to your millennial crowd with free texting features

Why talk when you can text? That’s the millennial mindset. You get it, and so do we.

Waitlist Me Premium offers unlimited texting that allows you to notify your guests when you’re ready for them.  It also lets them text back simple replies to let you know if they’re on their way or need to give up their spot on the list. It’s simple and it’s already set up for you, making it your no-brainer communication method of choice this spring break.

Juggle walk-ins and reservations at property restaurants

Go ahead and toss your grease pen and reservation book in the trash—Waitlist Me is all you need. Booking ahead can be touch-and-go, but your younger guests might just surprise you.

Our app lets your on-property restaurants manage both reservations and a waitlist on one simple screen. And because Waitlist Me makes it easy to see how many people are waiting and how long they have been waiting, you’ll be able to quote a more accurate wait time or ETA to anyone who walks through your door.

Prevent hostess stand pile-ups with on-the-go waitlists

Waitlist Me Premium does its best to keep your hosts focused on customer service, not fielding “add me to the list!” phone calls and requests for wait time updates from a hoard of waiting guests.

How? With two key features. You can add our Web Widget to your website or social media account to let folks join your waitlist from wherever they are, whenever they want, like when from their hotel room as they’re heading down to dinner. Once they’ve joined the list, the Public Waitlist lets them see from their phone where they are in line without flagging down your staffers. And you don’t have to do anything.

Organize special events and programming

From pub trivia in Panama City Beach to karaoke nights in Las Vegas, we know you’ve got a slew of crowd-pleasers lined up for your spring breakers. Our app lets your guests party it up exactly the way you intended, without worrying about missing their time in the spotlight.

Waitlist Me Premium allows you to set up a self-check in kiosk on an iPad or Android tablet, where people can sign up for your offerings on their own time, and then head back to their table to yuk it up with their pals while they wait. Pair it with a public waitlist display on any available monitor or television, and your party prep can’t get any easier.

Eliminate the beach-chair (or pool deck) free-for-all

Mayhem? Not on your watch. Keeping track of your offerings helps you ensure that you’re making the most of them—and that you know what’s getting the most use and what’s falling by the wayside.

Waitlist Me Pro keeps your hotel property’s playground organized, no matter if you’re tracking lounge chairs or umbrellas, jet skis or volleyball courts. Scattered single seats nobody wants to take? Not with you in charge. Frustrated game-players tired of waiting their turn? Forget about it. Now, they know they can hit the snack bar before their next game.