When using the Add Yourself features, whether through Kiosk Mode or the Web Widget, there are several ways you can display an estimated wait to customers. Simply navigate to the Settings > Add Yourself > Main View. Here you can select the wait time that fits your business best.
People and Groups – Show the number of parties and the total number of people on the list.
People – Show the number of people on the list.
Minutes By Group – Display an estimated time by multiplying the number of parties by a number of minutes you specify. For example, selecting 5 minutes will multiply the number of groups on the list by 5, and present that result as the estimated wait.
Minutes By People – Display an estimated time by multiplying the total number of people on the list by a number of minutes you specify.
Last Estimated Time – Report the last estimate given by your staff.
List View – Show the public view of the waitlist, so people can see where they are in line.
Hide – No estimates, just go straight to the Add Yourself part.
Building on the set of resource management features we rolled out a couple months ago, we have added more flexibility for creating and tracking custom resource statuses. These statuses can be used to visually highlight different stages of your occupied resources in different colors to help make assignment decisions faster and easier.
Here is a new video on resource management, including the new custom statuses:
For example, say you are managing restaurant tables and using Waitlist Me to view what tables are available or occupied. You can sort tables by the times they have been occupied for a better sense of which ones will become available first. Now with custom statuses you could improve on those estimates even more by changing the states of tables that are waiting for their bill or being cleaned. Marking tables with customers waiting for their checks as “billing” can give your bus boys a heads up on which tables would need cleaning soon. Similarly, you can change the status of tables to “cleaning” when they are being cleared and prepped. Using more detailed statuses can help your staff at the front of the house know what tables will be available soon, which means they can quote better wait time estimates and seat customers faster. This means more revenue for the restaurant through more table turns and improved customer satisfaction.
This is just one example of how it might work in a restaurant, but the flexibility of the naming and usage of statuses means they can be tailored to different processes in different businesses.
To change a status in Waitlist Me, all you have to do is press on the resource and an action bar will appear at the bottom of the screen. This area shows information on customers currently occupying and waiting for the resource, and has actions for moving and clearing customers. Pressing on the status on the left will bring up a list of statuses, and selecting one will change the status and color of the resource. In the list view, just tap on the status color to change it.
Note that when you choose a custom status you can see both the total time a resource has been occupied as well as the time spent in the current status, which is shown in parenthesis. This makes it easy to see total visit times and times in specific statuses at a glance, so you can tell if a certain stage is causing more delays than others and how that might be affecting total wait times.
Accompanying the custom statuses are a couple of new sorting options in the Grid view, where you can view your resources grouped by Status. Select “Status the ABC” to have all the statuses grouped together and then ordered alphabetically by the resource name or “Status then Time” to have them ordered by the length of time they have been in that particular status.
To customize your statuses, go to your Settings and then press on “Manage Resources” and then again on the “Statuses” in the upper right. In addition to the default “available” (green) and “occupied” (red) statuses, you can add four of your own statuses. Just add the names and move the sliders on the right to turn them on or off. Statuses will show alphabetically in the options when you select them, so you can set the naming accordingly. The green and red statuses for available and occupied resources are always required, and custom statuses are treated as states of an occupied resource.
Did you know you can add a button to your Facebook page to take reservations or appointments? Allowing customers to book directly from social media is easy, and a great way to increase bookings.
Start by logging into your Waitlist Me account and copying the unique link for your hosted Web Widget. You can find this at www.waitlist.me > Account > Settings > Add Yourself. The link will be at the top of the page.
Next, go to your business’s Facebook page. Choose the Add a Button option on the right.
Choose Book with you, and then Book Now.
Select the Link to Website option, enter your Waitlist Me link in the pop up, press Save and then Finish. That’s it! You now have your very own reservation (or appointment) button on Facebook.
At Firespotter Labs, we have been busy working on new ways to make people’s lives better, and are proud to announce our latest creation: NoshList!
NoshList is a free waitlist app for restaurants that uses text messages to notify diners when their tables are ready. Here is how it works:
NoshList allows restaurants to easily manage parties – adding, seating and removing them as necessary – just by pushing a button. To add walk-up customers, NoshList users simply enter in a name, phone number and tap a button for the party size. There are even different icons for gender and age groups (i.e., blue for boys, pink for girls, and an icon that looks sort of like Darth Vader for “unknown”). At the bottom of the screen, NoshList shows the current wait times by party size for at-a-glance information, as well as the number of total guests waiting and the total seated.
Have a smart phone? Then you can use NoshList at your restaurant. We are happy to announce that our popular tablet waitlist app is now available for iPhone, iPod Touch and Android phones. It is free for download at the App Store and on Google Play Store.
The new apps make it even easier for a restaurant to run an organized, efficient and measurable waitlist that also provides valuable guest and operational analytics. The addition of this mobile functionality to the original iPad app gives restaurant operators the flexibility to use other iOS or Android when preparing to seat restaurant diners. The mobile app also removes the barrier of needing an iPad to use the solution by offering the NoshList platform on multiple devices.
A fully featured restaurant waitlist and guest-management solution, NoshList notifies diners via unlimited free text messaging and automated phone call alerts that their tables are ready, replacing paper lists, microphones and alert buzzers.
In addition to the unlimited free version of NoshList, there is NoshList Premium for $49 per month, per restaurant. Premium features include two-way text messaging, table number assignments, in-app statistics, designated local phone numbers, and 30-day analytics. The Premium features are only currently available for the iPad app and on the website, and will soon be added to the new mobile version.
NoshList is now in use in more than 2,250 restaurants nationwide. Clients include Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Buffalo Wild Wings, Miller’s Ale House and many other national and regional brands. To date, more than 8 million diners have been seated with NoshList since the company’s launch in February 2012, making it the fastest growing restaurant waitlist platform in history.