Tuesday, July 7th, 2020 .

From the perspective of a restaurant customer:

If you had told me in January that 2020 was going to the year of a pandemic, that wearing a mask to the supermarket would be necessary, and we’d all be forced into quarantine for weeks on end, I would have laughed out loud. This year has been nothing but strange, I think we all agree on that, and as we begin to transition into “normalcy,” we are all curious as to what the new normal will look like. And as nerve wracking as it may be, I personally can say I am excited. I’m excited to see friends and family, I’m excited to go to the beach, and I’m most excited to get back to restaurants. 

I’ve always had an immense passion and love for food, and as much as I love to cook, I am very over it. As cities and states begin to roll out their reopening plans, restaurants are opening their doors to customers for both patio and indoor dining options. But even as restrictions lift, there are still rules and regulations in place to keep both guests and staff safe, which I appreciate deeply. Although I am excited to sit with friends and enjoy a meal at my favorite places, I also want to ensure that we are being safe and remaining healthy.

My favorite restaurant might not look identical to pre Coronavirus times, nor are the rules in place going to be the same. But, as a guest, it’s important to respect and embrace these differences. My server will more than likely be wearing a mask, I may not be able to sit at a table with 10+ of my closest friends, and I may be asked to wait in my car, rather than at the bar, for my table. All of these changes are ok! I will survive! The restaurants are doing the best they can during a seriously challenging time and it’s important as guests to show up, show support, and show understanding. 

The list of differences from past to present can go on and on, but I think focusing on the future and adapting to what many are calling the “new normal” is what is most important. Restaurants are equipped with the best systems, staff, and regulations and we now have to be the best customers and come equipped with all they ask for. 

Top Three Things to Remember When Dining Out:

Social Distance: Remember to stay 6 ft. away from anyone outside of your party, when possible. To help both the customers and the staff during this transition, restaurants may invest in an app like Waitlist Me. Waitlist Me provides staff with easy and effective ways to manage their waitlist and reservations both in Coronavirus and non-pandemic times. Being able to send a text message to a guest when their table is ready so they don’t have to wait inside is a great feature for reducing crowds. 

Hygiene, hygiene, and more hygiene! It may be the restaurant’s job to sanitize more frequently and ensure their staff is healthy; but it is your job to always wash your hands, and to check your own health before walking in the doors.

Respect the guidelines put in place by each individual restaurant. Many restaurants are urging guests to wear masks when possible. Some are asking you to please sanitize your hands before entering. And, others have detailed layouts for guests to follow to help prevent exposure. The list goes on, so pay attention and read the signs! 

You might look at this list and scoff, but remember, the restaurant may not look the same and the rules might not be the same but the food IS still the same, and that’s really what is important. So if you’re like me and you have a deep admiration for all things food, then get out and support your favorite spot (and all their new quirks) – again, and again, again. 

Friday, May 15th, 2015 .

We are happy to announce some exciting new ways waitlist technology is being used to help restaurant operators better serve their customers.  Through the use of the Waitlist Me API, these new solutions will be on display for the first time during the National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show. The app will be showcased during the show, May 16-19 in Chicago, through partnerships with BrightSign and Clover.

brightsign

 

With BrightSign, the global market leader in digital signage players, restaurants can now display a public view of their waitlist on their digital signage so it is easy for customers to check their place in line without needing to bother the hostess. The flexibility of the BrightSign integration lets restaurants fully customize the look and feel of their waitlist so it looks like a natural extension of their menu board or other digital signage.

bsn_home_banner2

 

Restaurants operators can also tailor their customer-facing experience to their brand while using the Waitlist Me apps and service to easily manage their waitlist and page customers with text and call notifications.

It is exciting how well the BrightSign integration empowers restaurants to create displays with designs limited only by their imagination. We are very happy to be working with a company like BrightSign that shares our values of building scalable and reliable solutions that are easy to use and maintain.

Clover is another Waitlist Me partner that will have new things to show off at this year’s NRA Show.  The new Clover Mobile device, announced in April, lets businesses add customers to the waitlist right at the door as well as allowing status updates to be made from other parts of the store or restaurant.

Clover is at the forefront of creating better and more elegant POS hardware and solutions for businesses, and has a robust App Market for third-party developers. Because of the deeper integration Clover allows, Waitlist Me is able to offer more efficient tools for businesses and better experiences for their customers on the Clover platform.

Waitlist Me just recently announced its API earlier this year with Enplug as the first partner, and has several more projects in progress.

We want to help improve wait experiences everywhere, and integrations with companies like BrightSign and Clover highlight the power of the Waitlist Me platform.  By extending our waitlist management features and best-in-class text and phone notification infrastructure to work in other products, we can solve a wider set of needs together than with our service alone.

For more information on partnership opportunities, contact support@waitlist.me

Thursday, March 19th, 2015 .

wiggleworks

WiggleWorks kids is a popular destination for children and their families, being the only indoor playground that caters strictly to kids who are 48-inches tall or less. Weekends can be very busy, and Waitlist Me helps WiggleWorks kids reduce wait times, increase the number of kids they serve, and make parents happier.

WiggleWorks kids provides soft, moveable, interactive play equipment for children at its two Washington State locations, one each in the towns of Bellevue and Puyallop. The equipment is used to help children build motor skills and the unstructured play area gives them an opportunity for social interaction with children their own age.

“We limit the number of children who can play at one time and we are first come, first serve. There was no way for someone to get on the waiting list unless they called in or came into the store,” said Bellevue store manager, Kristen Deskin. “We had a lot of complaints about our wait list system because there were opportunities for a lot of user error and it often got confusing.”

That confusion was compounded by the fact that employees were responsible for taking down names and phone numbers, which were sometimes misprinted or missing key letters or numbers. Troubled by the many customer complaints, Deskin and her team looked for a better way to manage their waitlist. In 2013, they turned to WaitList Me.

“When we launched Waitlist Me we immediately felt more in control of our waitlist and felt like we had more opportunities to serve the public. This is because we could accommodate the number of people wanting to get on the list,” Deskin said. “It also has freed up an employee because they are no longer tied to taking names.”

Deskin likes how WaitList Me is easy to use and provides a simple way to keep track of store waitlists and whether customers walk in or add their name from home through the WiggleWorks kids website.  Since making the switch, customers have been happier and are more excited to come into the locations.

“We have had wait times of up to two hours in the past and WaitList Me has reduced those times so no one waits now for more than 45 minutes to an hour,” Deskin said. “I also use it to see and track how many children are coming back into play after waiting compared to how many names we are having to delete. That was one big improvement I was able to track that enabled me to make some good business decisions with the owner.”

– By Valerie Killifer, special to WaitList Me

Thursday, December 3rd, 2020 .

Waitlist Me makes it simple to track table availability and server assignments. There are a couple options that can be customized to your business needs and workflows. 

If you manage your tables by section, the first thing you’d want to do is visit this page to learn more about setting up your sections and layouts. If your business isn’t a restaurant, you can also use these same features to group your staff, rooms, or other resources visually in the Grid view.

Our Pro level service provides a very simple way to know what server is assigned to what section by using the Assignment Notes feature. Simply tap on the “Notes” link to view a list of sections and text form fields where you can enter server names or other notes for each section. It is easy to see high level information about each section and make changes all at once.

With our Platinum level service, you can also set up an additional floorplan view, and be able to position these same notes where you’d like in the floorplan view.

Also with Platinum you also have the option to assign servers individually to tables and track the activity by server rather than section. This is especially useful if you don’t use sections and use a system of assigning tables based on server turns or server activity. Or if you have servers assigned to sections, but need to have some floaters to help out where needed or other cross section activity, you can combine the section notes with individual server assignments to keep track of everything.

To set up individual servers, tap on the gear icon in the Waitlist Me app to go to the Settings and then go to Manage Assignments > Servers. Here you can enter the names of your servers. Select Status on the upper right of this menu if you want to add colors for the servers. Using different colors can make it easier to see where your different servers are assigned. Or maybe you want all your patio servers coded as green to make it easier to distinguish them from the indoor servers. 

After a table has been seated, select the table to access the footer bar. Here you will see a Server button, which brings up a menu of active servers. Choose a name to assign that server. You can sort by alphabetical order, the number of tables or seats each has had, or the amount of time since the last table was sat for each employee. 

Also, in the upper right of this server window is a Status option. The Server Status area lets you mark the servers who aren’t working today as inactive, and to change status colors if needed. 

If you haven’t yet named your tables, you can do that in the settings under Assignments. For the Pro features, you can find helpful information on navigating the grid view here. For the Platinum features, the video on this page will show you how to place your tables in your floorplan. 

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017 .

The holidays are coming up. You know what that means: a rush of customers eager to snap up the next big tech toy.  If you can’t manage the wait times effectively, though, your customers are guaranteed to be toe-tapping their way around your displays as they wait for the next available associate. Or worse, they may just head to another store.

Waitlist Me Pro can help you turn your customers’ visit to your store into an experience they’ll be more satisfied with. Think: more referral business, glowing Google reviews, and kudos from corporate. Read on for ways our pro-level app will help you do business better.

Schedule your staff more efficiently

Prepare for the storm by tracking your team in real time and accessing reports on staffers’ past performance.

Waitlist Me Pro’s hallmark feature is resource management and reporting. The app lets you assign your associates to different areas of the store (or to different tasks), track how much time they spend with each customer, and see who is working the most and who is working the least. With this data in hand, you’re better prepared to make decisions about serving customers as things get busy.

Add promotions to your public waitlist

Running a special on certain devices or services? Sponsoring an old phone holiday drive? Recycling batteries or chargers? Let your customers know when they check in, thanks to Waitlist Me Pro’s customizable public waitlist.

This pro-level feature lets you add whatever HTML you want to the waitlist. You could include graphics, coupon codes, videos, or plain text, in addition to changing the page’s colors, adding your logo, and swapping out the wording to bring your brand voice to the app’s functionality.

Let customers add themselves to your waitlist, no matter where they are

With Waitlist Me Pro, customers no longer have to start their waiting from your store. They can use the web widget—which Pro allows you to customize more—to add themselves to your waitlist from wherever they are. It’s web and mobile friendly, which means they can access it from home or on the go.

Combine the add-me remote feature with our public waitlist and text notifications, and you’ve got the ideal customer experience. Waitlist Me Pro lets your customers live their lives, run their errands, and make their appointments—and they’ll never worry about losing their place in line.

Quote more accurate wait times

There is nothing worse than waiting around twice as long as the time initially quoted. The app has always helped store associates predict more accurate ETAs. But with Waitlist Me Pro, you can take making better estimates to the next level.

By being able to see in real-time which of your staffers are busy and which are available as well as how much time they’ve spent with each customer and when, on average, they should finish up. With Pro, you have more data at your fingertips to make smarter decisions faster.