Wednesday, May 14th, 2014 .

NoshList was proud to be a sponsor of the 18th Annual Restaurant Industry Conference put on by UCLA Extension in collaboration with world-leaders in brand development, food services, design innovation, operations excellence, market analysis and customer satisfaction.

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Having recently launched our new waitlist app for iOS 7, the conference was a great place to show how NoshList continues to innovate in helping restaurants improve their guest experience and operational efficiencies. We also plan to be at the big National Restaurant Association conference on May 17-20 in Chicago.

The UCLA event was a great place to network and learn, as it brought together a number of honored speakers and panelists to discuss current industry issues and trends. Conference topics included brand development, food service, design innovation, operations excellence, market analysis and customer satisfaction. The leaders of Yelp were there along with emerging restaurant concepts panel speakers. BrightLocal said that 95% of consumers are turning to the internet to find local businesses.

One of our favorites was the presentation by Chef Thomas Keller (The French Laundry), Innovation Award Winner. He has won multiple awards, including “America’s Best Chef,” though the interviewer (Pres of the Culinary Institute of America) also called him the most important chef in American history. He was interviewed by Dr. Tim Ryan, President of the Culinary Institute of America (CIA). Dr. Ryan won the award last year and came back to interview Thomas Keller this year, partly because they are very good friends, which gave the interview a different perspective. Keller had a very interesting story and presented a lovely lunch.

It was also fun when the UCLA singers came in at the beginning and sang the itinerary for the day to the group.

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.

Wednesday, January 29th, 2020 .

‘Tis the season for fresh powder and freezing temperatures. This winter, ski towns across America are riding high on the sort of snowfall that would make Frosty proud. As the inches accumulate—and ski bunnies flock in droves—the small businesses that keep these high-altitude towns running are awash in customers.

How are they turning out consistently excellent customer service? They’re downloading Waitlist Me, the intuitive waitlist and reservation app designed for restaurants, retailers, and all sorts of businesses in-between. The service makes interacting with your customers a cinch from the first day the slopes open to the very last snowfall.

Not sure how your business can use Waitlist Me to improve customer service and make overall operations more efficient? Take a peek at how these winter businesses are leveraging the app to win over customers and boost their bottom line.

Food and beverage businesses

From fine dining to dive bars, American ski towns are awash with excellent eateries. Here’s how businesses are using Waitlist Me to score customer service points:

– Wrangling the queue for a popular downtown bar

– Managing the constant waitlist at a teensy locavore dining hot spot

– Arranging behind-the-scenes tours and tastings at a brewery

– Letting guests sip wine while they wait for a table

– Squeezing in a pre-run breakfast 

Resorts and hospitality-focused establishments

No matter how visitors are spending their days, they all have one thing in common: They require some serious rest-and-relaxation. Here’s how an assortment of hospitality businesses use the app to help their guests chill out:

– Booking private, slope-view hot tubs at a resort spa

– Scheduling a moment of zen with yoga classes

– Offering walk-in appointments for chair massages

– Reserving luxe recovery amenities

Retailers and recreational outfits

Niche small businesses are what turn tiny towns into delightful vacation spots. Waitlist Me enables business owners to deliver spectacular service to their customers and clientele. Here’s how they’re using it:

– Prep for incoming customers at a bike rental shop 

– Arranging private tours for parties large and small at a historical site 

– Booking beginner spots in ski school 

– Saddling up for sleigh rides 

– Scoring space on a slopes-bound shuttle 

– Fitting skis and gear on newbies at a shop 

Want to see how your business can benefit as well? Contact us for a free trial and see how Waitlist Me can change business-as-usual for you today! 

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.

Thursday, April 25th, 2019 .

You can tell by the block-long lines that people are waiting to get their hands on the newest It-burger or It-lipstick or It-phone. But should you invest your time (and your patience) into queueing for the latest must-have, too?

If you wanna stick around, by all means, go for it. We have friends who see a line and hop right on without even checking to see what they’re waiting for. (Yes, we think they’re crazy, but hey, #youdoyou.) Who knows? Maybe there’s really great music in the lobby. Maybe you have 74 minutes to kill before an appointment. Maybe the arch support in your sneakers needs testing.

Or maybe not. If your eyeballs turn into question marks at the sign of a line, here’s your definitive guide to figuring out if what you’re waiting for is worth the time you spent in line.

#1. The queue is out of control

Some businesses are experts at line management (see: Chick-Fil-A and Disney World). Some businesses aren’t used to lines but are happy to adapt to a surge in traffic. Others use long wait times to garner attention and tend to care more about press than customer satisfaction.

The first two are usually worth your time. They’ll either get you to the front as expeditiously as possible, where you can enjoy whatever it is you’ve been waiting for, or they’ll apologize and offer you something even better.

The last one? Not so much. Many businesses that use long lines as leverage also have limited stock (think: doorbuster deals on Black Friday or Build-A-Bear’s discount goof). That means if you’re not near the front, you’ll be waiting ages for diddly squat. If that’s the case—and a quick Google should give you an answer—we suggest cutting your losses ASAP.

#2. Exiting customers don’t look happy

Pay no heed to impatient line-grumblers—unless, of course, they’re grumbling is along the lines of, “Our pancakes always come out burned when we eat here. Why are we waiting for a table again?”

You want to know what the folks leaving the business-in-question have to say about their experience. Are they smiling and laughing? Are they toting doggy bags and saying they can’t wait to come back? Or, are they frowning? Grimacing? Shaking their heads? Crying?

Read their body language and, if you’re feeling particularly daring, pop on a grin and ask them straight-out what whatever-it-is was like. Most people will tell you honestly, especially if you catch them by surprise.

#3. You feel uncomfortable

The human body is a curious thing. It has parts without purpose. It can manage miraculous feats of strength. And it can sense when you need to get out NOW. That niggling feeling at the base of your spine? Those hairs standing up on the back of your neck? Those are your instincts telling you that, hm, something is a little off.

It could be too loud. It could be too frantic. Perhaps the food smells off or the waiting room looks dirty. Point being: If you’re not feeling it, for whatever reason, back on out of there and move on!

Waitlist Me can help

When there are good reasons to wait or a line is simply unavoidable, Waitlist Me helps businesses make customer waits more bearable. Benefits include improving quote time estimates, simplifying line management, and giving customers the flexibility to wait where they like and be notified when it’s their turn.  It’s great for the business as well. Better experiences mean higher customer satisfaction, less walkaways, and other positive business results.