Friday, November 8th, 2019 .

If you’ve been out to eat lately at any number of casual dining options, you’ve likely witnessed the growing popularity of pay-at-the-table services now available at restaurants large and small. It doesn’t take long to realize the significant upsides they offer. No more waving down waiters to get your check? No more tapping your toes while you wait for your receipt? This technology is a customer service game-changer.

What does this sort of service look like? Pay-at-the-table point-of-sale tech comes in a few different flavors. Keep reading to find out what they are and how they benefit different types of restaurants.

Tablets maximize ordering convenience

Early adopters, like Smokey Bones Bar & Fire Grill, introduced a tablet-style device that stays at the table. Diners can often use these devices not only to close out their tab at the end of their meal, but also to order food and beverages throughout their stay at a restaurant.

Many of these devices are also able to educate customers about membership or loyalty programs, daily specials, or featured menu options. And because they’re digital, they can offer glossy, mouth-watering photography that entices diners to order more items, like appetizers or desserts, or guide them towards items that offer a better margin for your bottom line. 

This style of device has also filled a gap in settings like fast casual restaurants and eat-in bars where diners are offered full menus without traditional table service. Now, customers can order at their convenience without needing to wait in line or catch the eye of a busy bartender. In addition, it can help open-all-day restaurants provide prompt service with limited staff.

Hand-helds improve payment speed

More recently, restaurants have been introducing a new type of pay-at-the-table device. It’s a handheld unit used by servers to capture the entire dining experience, from beginning to end.

Traditionally, waiters memorize or scribble down orders on notebook pages. This heightens the risk of error when they need to transcribe their notes for the kitchen or transferring tables between shifts. Using this sort of pay-at-the-table device, though, servers can now input orders directly into a digital order management system. There’s no forgetting who wanted a margarita without the salt, who requested a sandwich with no pickles, and who needs a side of mayo with their fries. Happy customers 100-percent of the time? That’s the name of the game!

In addition to managing orders, servers are also able to use these pay-at-the-table devices as hand-held registers. Swiping credit or debit cards—by far the most popular method of payment option in dining establishments—adding tips, and printing receipts is literally in the palm of their hand. This is a boon for restaurants with tons of traffic. It increases table turnover and decreases the amount of stress on servers because they can now get more accomplished in a single visit to a table. Less-frazzled wait staff means a better work experience for them, a better dining experience for your customers, and a better bottom-line for restaurant owners and managers.

Another customer convenience game-changer? Waitlist Me

Keeping customers waiting can have a devastating impact on a restaurant. They might order less, tip less, leave a bad review, or walk out your door, never to return. Waitlist Me is an app that keeps customers happy while they wait.

How do we do that, exactly? It’s a breeze. Waitlist Me brings your waitlist from the lobby of your restaurant to an easy-to-manage digital interface. Our app makes it easy to see waiting customers at a glance, provide accurate wait estimates that are tracked in real time, and notify customers with a text or automated call message when their table is ready.  It also has a number of other features like reservations, table management, and the ability for customers to add themselves from a kiosk, your website, or even Google.  

Thursday, June 21st, 2018 .

Soccer? Olé! For restaurants and bars around the globe, it’s a fútbol frenzy as fans around the world grab their jerseys and get their watch game on.  And since Waitlist Me is international and available in over 60 countries, it is a great tool for businesses everywhere to score a victory with their customers.

Whether you’re running a team-specific bar with patrons all cheering for the home team or your business has viewing screens for soccer fans watching every game, Waitlist Me is here to help you keep up with the crowds.

Wondering how a waitlist and reservation app can help you keep customers coming back, game after game? Here’s how food and beverage businesses are using it to do exactly that, right now.

Ensuring diners never lose their spot in line

Vibrating pagers are just one more thing for your guests to keep track of, and yelling names? Well, that’s annoying (and easy to miss when you’re in the middle of a rowdy crowd). Waitlist Me solves the “Wait, did they call our name?” problem with text notifications. Now, nobody misses a beat (or a minute of the action).

Kicking clutter to the curb (and seating guests faster than ever)

Rustling appointment books, piles of sticky notes, and a smudged grease board slow you down. With a slew of things to check and update, your hosts have tons of tasks to take care of that have nothing to do with showing your customers a good time. Waitlist Me eliminates paper clutter and gives hosts the ability to add and seat parties with a glance and a swipe.

Winning over new-to-you diners

A scrum of soccer fans in your waiting area can make new customers turn tail. Don’t let your popularity turn off potential guests! Waitlist Me helps you maximize foot traffic by setting your queuers free. Thanks to text notifications and a public waitlist they can check for ETAs, they don’t have to stand around your hostess stand. That means new walk-ins feel welcome, even when there’s a wait.

Offering up accurate wait estimates without the guesswork

No tapping toes here! Waitlist Me takes guesstimates out of the waiting game. Our app shows accurate wait times right on the home screen, so your hosts can relay wait times to diners with just one glance, saving you time and frustration.

Putting specials on display

From early opening times and viewing party schedules to appetizer and drink specials, you have a lot of news to share with your guests. Waitlist’s Public Waitlist feature is a simple way to ensure they’ll see important things you want to share while they wait.

Keeping track of special requests for every party

Every time you add a party to your waitlist, you can add a note with their needs or special requests. Do they want a corner booth? A TV tuned to the England game? A high chair? Wheelchair access? Add a note and get it right the first time, guaranteed.

Host viewing parties for two games simultaneously

Hosting viewing parties for a couple games that are on at the same time? Waitlist helps you do that in a snap. You can add folks to each game’s list and seat them accordingly—without any fights over which TV is tuned to what game.

Entertaining customers while they wait

Our Public Waitlist feature lets you customize what you show your guests—and this World Cup season, you can go way beyond your logo and brand colors. It’s easy to add GIFs, music, images, and videos. Hook it up to a TV screen in your waiting area, and customers will be glued to the screen, not their watches.

Letting fans jump in the queue from wherever they are

With Waitlist Me’s Add Yourself web widget, your diners can go for that last-minute pick-up game without worrying about grabbing a table later. As soon as they wrap up on the field, they can hop on your waitlist from a smartphone and never miss a game or a meal.

Thursday, August 27th, 2015 .

Taking advantage of new technologies can have a big impact on your bottom line. Here are a few pro tips:

Crush Your Rush

No one likes to wait, but when things get busy you can reduce walkaways by improving your customers’ wait experience. Waitlist Me is an app that helps you provide better wait estimates and send customers text notifications when their tables are ready. You can even display a dynamic view of the waitlist for customers to check on a digital sign or TV with solutions like Enplug and BrightSign.

Businessman with cloud computing concept

 

Leverage the Cloud

As the quality, price, and usability of hosted technology have improved dramatically in recent years, businesses are dumping old hardware for cloud-centric solutions. Clover is a new all-in-one POS system with an elegant design that replaces the cash register, payment terminal, receipt printer, and barcode scanner and has an app market for easily customizing features. Another example, Switch, is a cloud-based business phone system you can set up and customize in minutes, and
provides the type of features you’d want from a PBX at a fraction of the price.

Work Digitally Like a Pro

Just as email revolutionized regular mail for many of our communications, there are now more online documents, apps, and tools that can improve your business productivity. Google for Work is a powerful set of apps that let you communicate, create, share and collaborate, from any device with ease. Evernote is a popular consumer app that has recently added more team and admin features to help businesses manage digital workspaces. Finally, UberConference is a simple way to make unlimited conference for free from a computer or a phone.

Wednesday, October 18th, 2017 .

The public waitlist page is a unique URL for a web page that is assigned to your account, and has a number of features and benefits. Whenever a customer is added to the waitlist in the Waitlist Me application, they get a text message confirming that they have been added to the list. There is also a link to the public waitlist so the customer can check their place in line from their phone. They will see a status message at the top of the page and their initials will be highlighted in the list.

The public waitlist makes it easy for people to estimate their remaining wait without having to ask, and saves you time. It also helps them track when their turn is getting closer so they can be nearby when you are ready for them.  If a customer decides they aren’t coming, they can press on the Cancel link to let you know and a message will appear in Waitlist Me so you know to remove them from the list.

We have added some additional features to Waitlist Me Pro for personalizing the public page even more to your brand by editing the status messages and changing the colors of the page.

Color Scheme – Personalize the page look and feel by changing the page and table colors.  With control of the color of every element on the public page, it is easy to create a look and feel that fits your brand.

 

Here is an example of the public waitlist in default colors and with customized colors

 

 

Status Messages – The messages that display at the top of the page make it easy for customers to check their place in line, know when it is their turn, and cancel if they decide to go elsewhere.

 

Waitlist Message – This shows when a customer is in a waiting state and the default message is “You are number [order] on the waitlist, and have waited [time_waited] minutes” (where [order] is their place in line and [time_waited] shows the minutes waited)

Ready Message – Once you notify a customer, their public page changes to “We are ready for you! Please come by as soon as possible” and gives them options to indicate they are coming or cancelling.

Finish Message – Served – After you have checked a person off the list the message changes to “You are no longer on the waitlist” and the list of customers waiting disappears.  You could customize this message to add something about enjoying their meal or suggest leaving a positive review on Yelp.

Finish Message – Removed – If you remove a customer from the list, meaning they didn’t end up joining you, the default message is also “You are no longer on the waitlist” but you could change it to something related to being sorry they weren’t able to join.

Response Links – If you don’t want people to be able to cancel or indicate they are on their way through the public waitlist, you can remove these links

Thursday, September 28th, 2017 .

Animals are much more sensitive to external stimuli than their leash- and carrier-holding counterparts. If you’re running a pet-focused business, that means the systems and tools you use to keep customers moving through your office are doubly important. Using a waitlist app like Waitlist Me can help you and your pet-owning clients keep your visitors calm, collected, and happy, which leads to a better visit today and repeat visits in the future.

Here are five ways veterinarians, groomers, shelters, and clinics are using the app to ensure smooth customer service and positive experiences for pet owners and their furry, scaled, and feathered friends, alike.

Allow pet owners to wait in the best place for their pets

Some pets are happy stretched out on the tile in your waiting room. Others are more content roaming around outside. Waitlist Me lets you send pet owners a text once it’s their turn, which means they can stop hovering around your reception area while they wait.

Bonus! If they’re a few minutes away, they can let you know they’re on their way using our simple text response feature.

Speed up appointment scheduling and check-in

When you’re juggling a full waiting room and your customer is being tugged away by a Great Dane, you don’t have minutes to spare flipping through a paper schedule. Waitlist Me’s intuitive interface operates from a simple single screen. A few swipes is all you need to make a new appointment, check someone in, or add a walk-in to your waitlist.

Bonus! Waitlist Me’s Premium service has a feature that lets customers check the current wait on your website and add themselves to the list from home, which cuts down on call time and the bottleneck in your waiting room.

Quote accurate wait times—every single time

When a loved one is sick, a 15-minute wait can feel like 45. Waitlist Me helps ease pet parent anxiety (and the frustration they’re turning on reception staff) with intelligent time quoting. Being able to see actual wait times next to quoted times has been proven to improve accuracy, so your staff will quickly become pros in giving the right guidance on expected waits.

Bonus! Our public wait list feature lets them check their place in line from their smartphones, which means fewer “how much longer?!” questions thrown your way.

Squeeze emergencies into a busy schedule

Faced with a skunked dog in need of a bath tub? How about a cat whose curiosity requires a little medical intervention? No matter the emergency, Waitlist Me’s visual layout lets you quickly see how your day is shaping up and which of your staff members is free to handle your walk-in when.

Bonus! Waitlist Me also lets you book different types of pet care appointments by assigning your customers different colored statuses. It’s an easy, visual way to track the services you offer, the time you need to set aside for them, and the staff required to man your office.

Reduce the rate of no-shows

Your customers aren’t flakes; they just forgot! Waitlist Me helps you significantly cut down on no-shows and last-minute cancellations through our text and call reminders. And you barely have to lift a finger! Just press a button.

Bonus! Forget about scheduling nightmares. Waitlist Me’s Pro service has a number of resource management features for tracking how long your rooms or staff have been busy with customers.  This helps you see exactly which people you need to assign where—and when it’s OK to send someone home or call for back-up.