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.  

Monday, October 15th, 2018 .

Did you know there’s a way to make the world better—to make your community better—just by giving your restaurant a tiny upgrade? We’re talking about making your business more accessible and welcoming for guests with a variety of needs and abilities.

The best part is you can started today, right here and right now, with a few minutes of your time. Here’s how a simple app called Waitlist Me can help you upgrade your restaurant’s accessibility, no contractors necessary.

Let customers wait where they’re most comfortable

Some guests need more space. Others need a comfortable place to sit or room to walk or air conditioning. When your restaurant is jammed with customers jockeying for waiting space, you don’t leave them with many options.

Waitlist Me changes that. The app sets customers free from whatever space you’ve set aside for your queue. They can relax in the car, they can explore the area, or they can kill time in a more comfortable environment—all without losing their place in line.

Notify waiting guests by text

We’ve all been there: standing in a too-loud vestibule wondering if there’s a better way to get guests’ attention without shouting, relying on vibrating devices, or requiring them to crowd around the hostess stand.

It turns out there is. Waitlist Me lets you send customers a text when their table is ready. That means they can get the word ASAP in a way that works best for them.

Allow guests to make reservations (or join the waitlist) online

Speaking on the phone doesn’t work well for everyone, which is why it is important to have simple options for guests to add themselves to the waitlist or send reservation requests online. That way, all your customers can jump on line from wherever they are, regardless of their abilities.

The add yourself web widget is one more feature that makes life easier for everyone. It’s simple to pop it on to your website and allow your customers to send requests from their computer or phone. Then you just approve them in the Waitlist Me app when they pop up.

Keep track of every customer request

Anyone with special needs, from wheelchair-accessible seating to dietary restrictions, gets to used to repeating themselves. However, just because it’s the norm doesn’t mean it’s not a hassle. Impress these customers with your ability to asks once and remember always with Waitlist Me’s notes feature.

It’s simple for your host to access and add details to, and because the app can sync to multiple devices, employees who are preparing tables and running the kitchen can keep track of these requests, too.

Give more accurate wait time estimates

The most frustrating part of waiting in line is when the ETA keeps changing. You and your staff know this better than anyone! From stink eyes to toe tapping to the constant “how much longer?” refrain from hungry guests.

Our app helps you do away with all the fuss. Waitlist Me gives wait estimates and helps your team make more accurate wait times by seeing actual waits next to quoted times for each customer. Plus, the customer waitlist view feature lets guests check on their wait time from their smartphone. That gives them visibility into the waitlist so they don’t have to ask several times about the wait and can be sure to be nearby when it is close to their turn.

Monday, September 8th, 2014 .

Waiting is never fun wherever you are. NoshList started as an app to help restaurants manage their waitlists and send text and phone notifications to guests when their tables were ready, and is now used by many types of businesses to improve the customer experience whenever there are waits. Here is a great example of a smart business owner at Kumon that uses NoshList not only to to shorten wait times for students ready to be picked up, but also to improve child safety, performance excellence, and business efficiencies.

Kumon_15841

 

Kumon® Learning Centers have an after-school academic enrichment program designed to help children achieve more than they ever thought they could. The centers strive to teach self-learning and achievement in the academic areas of reading and math through an enrichment program that outlines steady goals for each student.

Most students spend 30-60 minutes during their individual sessions and are required to attend sessions two times a week.

“The philosophy of Kumon is to build mastery of the subject. Each subject is divided into a series of levels and each level is focused on a learning fundamental built on top of the previous ones,” said Krishnadas Kootale who partners with his wife Geeta Krishnadas as Kumon Franchise operators for the Kumon Denville – South Center in New Jersey. “Because this is a long-term program, we try to make it sustainable over the long haul.”

Each child is required to do homework and each one is given the time and patience needed to build greater mental stamina and focus. The goal, Kootale said, is to help the child build a strong foundation of knowledge and learning skills that they can carry with them throughout their academic career and beyond.

While the program is taught in a safe environment, Geeta and Kootale were a little concerned with what happens sometimes after class. While parents are required to pick up the children from the waiting area and children required to wait in the reception area until their parents arrive once a session is complete, sometimes students would leave the premises into the parking lot looking for their parents.

Since the location was near a state highway, the couple wanted to take extra steps to ensure the safety of their students. “Whenever you have kids, parking lots and roads nearby there are always safety concerns,” Kootale said. “We didn’t want the children to move around unattended.”

While thinking about solutions for the waiting children, Kootale discovered how NoshList was used by restaurants to manage their waitlists. He was able to easily check out the app, and realized it was a perfect fit for his needs.

Now, when a student checks into the Kootale’s learning center, the parent’s contact information entered into the NoshList waitlist. At that point an alert goes out to the parent providing an estimated time to session completion. This eliminates the guesswork involved for parents who may be looking to run an errand or so while their children are in class. Once a student’s session is complete, Noshlist sends a message to the parent’s phone alerting that the child is ready for pick up. Once the parent arrives at Kumon, they enter into a classroom to check out their child and then leave together.

“The primary reason we considered NoshList was to set up a check-in check out system with parent alerts to avoid children moving unattended, which was not something we wanted,” Kootale said. “Parents like the flexibility of being able to leave during their child’s session and then be alerted when the session is completed; and with Noshlist we have such a system helping us ensure that parents drop off and pick up children at the reception area.”

While using NoshList, Kootale realized there were other benefits he hadn’t originally expected. With the analytics features, they are able to track each student’s time used in the center. They then cross reference the student’s study time against their performance, which helps them improve the educational experience for that child.

“At any time, we have the live list of the students in class. Anyone who takes longer on their studies, or who finishes sooner, we have that information in real time. We use that information for class review and plan management,” Kootale said. “This real-time information is quite valuable to us.”

“It’s really a great app!” Kootale said.

 

– By Valerie Killifer, special to NoshList

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017 .

What do patients complain about most? It’s not bedside manner or needles or paperwork, it’s the waiting room. If you want a glowing review on HealthGrades or Vitals, or you’re looking to boost your Yelp or Google stats, there’s one thing you can do today—right now—to make that happen: Improve your customer service.

Waitlist Me is a waitlist and reservation management app that can help you do that in a snap. Can’t envision it in your office? Here’s what it’s helping other healthcare businesses across the medical industry achieve:

Manages fluctuating crowds and periods of high volume

Perfect for urgent care centers and emergency rooms

When you cater to patients who need help now, telling them they have to wait is just about the worst thing you can do. The next best thing, though, is making their wait easier, no matter how full the waiting room is. Waitlist Me does exactly that. Our public waitlist feature lets patients check their real-time ETA from the comfort of their chairs, a bench outside, or wherever it is they feel best. Best of all: You can customize the information displayed on it, protecting your patients’ personal information while still cutting down on those painful walks to the front desk to ask when it’ll finally be their turn.

Makes walk-in visits possible alongside scheduled appointments

Perfect for dental offices, doctor’s practices, and clinics

Watching a receptionist click through a series of complicated screens takes eons when you’re the guy with a toothache standing on the other side of the counter. With Waitlist Me, administrative staff don’t have to hem and haw about squeezing in an emergency walk-in, or waffle over exactly how long it’ll take to get him in front of the doc. Waitlist Me’s intuitive interface is learnable in minutes and readable in seconds. With just a glance, you can estimate the wait, check him in, and reassure him that you’ve got everything under control.

Allows customers to book facetime with medical experts (and easily wait for prescriptions)

Perfect for drugstore and hospital pharmacies

Not every pharmacy customer needs a Q&A to accompany their prescription. For the ones who do have questions about the medications they’re prescribed—or any they’re considering taking over-the-counter—a waitlist app can make scheduling a conversation with a busy professional quick and easy. Waitlist Me can be used to manage customers waiting for prescriptions to be filled and for consultations. The color-coded interface lets you easily see and sort who is waiting for what and instant text notification allows you to call them over when it’s their turn, no matter where they are in the building. Looking at magazines? Stretching their legs? Not a problem!

Moves patients through check-in, waiting, and procedures efficiently

Perfect for donation centers, blood drives, and testing centers

Plasma donation? Drug test? Routine bloodwork? These sorts of visits are ones that people schedule before a work shift or in a free hour between meetings. Getting them in and out of your office is the order of the day, and Waitlist Me makes it easy for everyone. The app’s simple visual interface makes registration quick and painless for every person on your staff, whether they’re a long-time volunteer or a receptionist-in-training. Once a patient is checked in, they’ll receive an automatic text confirmation with a link to a public waitlist, which allows them to see where they are in line—and take care of whatever business they have before you’re ready for them.

Monday, December 10th, 2018 .

We’ve added some new features and UI improvements to help manage customer requests made from your website or social media page if you are using the Waitlist Me web widget. When a request is received, you’ll be able to see more information in the waitlist view about what it is for and where it came from. The entries appear at the top of the waitlist and will flash orange. If you’re on the Reservation or Resource Management view, a quick pop up will alert you to the new request.

For waitlist requests, you can see all the key information about the customer request such as name, group size, and any notes the customer added. Simply press on the row to accept the request, and move through the same steps you’d normally take to add customers to the list, but with the information the customer entered already pre-populated. You can also change the status color, assign a resource, and add any notes you need for your own reference. Then chose an estimated wait as the final step. Accepting reservation requests work similarly, with the added benefit of when you press on the row, it will show the request in the context of that day’s list of reservations to see if you have availability.

If a request was accidentally rejected, you can still see it in the History section by tapping on the “Show History” bar at the bottom of the waitlist. The History section also has some filters on the right side that can be used to show customers that have been served and removed from the waitlist in addition to rejected requests. Use the return arrow button on the right to accept a previously rejected request.