Wednesday, June 6th, 2018 .

At Waitlist Me, we focus on helping businesses transition away from pen and paper or overly complex services. Making waiting less painful is a win for both the guests and the staff. Of course, waitlist management is only one way to streamline operations and work smarter, not harder. In this article from Dumpsters.com, check out a few more resources that show how to use technology to improve the guest experience.

Thursday, November 30th, 2017 .

Whether you run a four-star fine dining establishment or a seasonal fish fry favorite, the tools you use have the potential to make your restaurant…or break it.

Forget the grease pens of yore. Forget the phone ringing off the hook during dinner service. Forget the harried servers with too-full sections (and the bored ones with too little to do). Waitlist Me Pro is the tool you need to upgrade your table, resource, and reservation management.

Here are four ways the Waitlist Me Pro app can transform your restaurant business:

Divide and conquer

Tradition belongs in your food, décor, and customer service, not in your floorplan. Waitlist Me Pro scraps the laminated restaurant layout and multi-colored grease pens in favor of an at-a-glance resource management system that shows hosts instantly what tables are available, what tables should be flipping soon, and which sections should be prioritized.

The pro-level resource management features let you create different sections in your restaurant depending on the time of day, staffing, holidays, special events—anything you can think of that would change the way you allocate your tables and your servers. Save your section layouts and enlist them with a swipe of the finger. Done!

Keep waiting customers happier with better wait estimates

With Waitlist Me Pro, even the greenest of hostesses can give an accurate quote to a customer waiting for a table. The app tracks the current amount of time a groups have been at a particular tables and makes it easy to see what tables have upcoming reservations or have been assigned to waiting customers. This visibility helps hosts predict exactly when waiting customers can expect to be seated.

Bonus: Sorting by time within sections makes it easy to see which sections have more available tables and which tables have been occupied the longest and are most likely to open up soon.  Additional statistics at the top of each section show the available tables and seats as well as the percentage of tables filled so it is simple to know where to seat the next customer.

Know your numbers

Don’t just guess how many staffers you need on hand for happy hour or holiday parties, or if you should change your sections or table layouts around.  Waitlist Me Pro offers resource utilization reportsto help you make better decisions.

The app tracks your usage data, so that you can creates reports based on various parameters. How quickly are you turning over tables? How many sections should you have on a Saturday night? Can you get away with one less server during brunch? Waitlist Me Pro’s reports will help you answer these types of questions and more.

Build your brand

When competition is stiff, you need to leverage every opportunity to differentiate yourself and your dining experience from the other restaurants in your area. Waitlist Me Pro offers you a chance to stand out from the very first point of contact.

The app’s pro subscription level allows you to add your branding to the web widget, public waitlist, and customer notifications. The public waitlist personalization, in particular, includes options to change the color scheme, status messages, and personalize the HTML at the bottom of the page so you can suggest loyalty programs, list daily specials, or display other information.

Thursday, October 25th, 2018 .

If you listen to the internet’s many critics, millennials are self-obsessed complainers with a penchant for arrogance, an aversion to risk, and some serious Peter Pan Syndrome.

They also eat out five times a week, are looking to make big purchases, and prioritize investments in their mental health and physical fitness. Their spending power is estimated at $3.39 trillion. By 2020, they’ll be the ones paying for one-third of the world’s goods and services.

Millennials are increasingly becoming the customers you need to know inside and out. Who are they? How do they spend their money? What do they want?

Let’s take a closer look.

Who is the millennial customer?

Most people who consider themselves to be “young adults” fit into the millennial category. They were born between the early 1980s and the turn of the century (the generation’s end date waffles between the mid-nineties and the early 2000s, depending on who you ask). Today, millennials range in age from about 16 to 36. They are just now coming into their own as college graduates, young professionals, married homeowners, and parents.

Millennials make up the majority of the workforce in the United States. By 2025, 75 percent of the workforce world-wide will be made up of this one generation. The world is their oyster, and their wallets are open.

How do millennials spend their money?

Millennials pay more for brands and experiences—if the business in question offers them some sort of added benefit. That could mean more convenience, an alignment of their personal values, a better user experience, or greater perceived value.

They’re also incredibly loyal. Once they find a brand they love, whether it’s a store, a restaurant, a hotel, a gym, a salon, literally anything, they’ll stick with it. And, thanks to their penchant for social media, they’ll spread the word. With millennials on your side, referral business can become your new best friend.

What do millennials want?

This generation grew up as the internet was finding its legs. The oldest millennials were computer-savvy before Google was a thing, while the youngest can’t remember a world without YouTube. They’re gamers, emailers, texters, and content-consumers—and they expect the rest of the world to keep up with them.

What does that mean for you?

Eliminate the wait

For millennials, on-demand everything is the norm. A long waiting list is a major drawback. A long line? For those not enticed by hype or the cool-factor, long lines mean finding the next best thing: your nearest competitor.

Waitlist Me shortens lines and makes them invisible to new customers. The app lets you accurately estimate wait times and track your business’ resources, which can help you become more efficient over time. It also frees customers from your waiting area. This gives the illusion of shorter wait times, which makes more people want to stick around.

Be available on your customers’ terms

With the internet comes 24/7/365 availability. Does your small business need to be open all the time, every day of the year? Absolutely not! But to win over a millennial crowd, you need to create a digital presence that is open to customers around the clock.

We make it easy to do just that. Waitlist Me offers an add-yourself widget, which you can easily include on your business’ website. The widget lets customers add themselves to your waitlist, reservations, or appointment schedule from wherever they are. You can also display black-out days, specials, and more.

Go mobile

Just because a millennial doesn’t leave home without a smartphone doesn’t mean they want to dial your number and speak to you one-on-one. This generation infinitely prefers texting over phone calls.

That’s why Waitlist Me built text message notifications directly into the platform. Forget about hollering out names in a crowded vestibule or passing out buzzing pagers. With a single gesture, you can send a message directly to the party next in line. Your guest will get the message on their phone instantly, wherever they are, just the way they like it.

Wednesday, December 20th, 2017 .

As the calendars roll over to a shiny new year, your fitness business is approaching wave after wave of busy seasons. With January comes the New Year’s resolution crowd, followed by the spring breakers and the bikini body-seekers. Make sure you have the right tools to optimize your memberships and customer service when things get busy.

Waitlist Me is the app that can help you run your gym or fitness studio better this new year. Its core features are a great place to start—learn more about them here—and here are a few additional benefits of what Waitlist Me Pro has to offer:

Get the most out of your special equipment

Specialized equipment like massage chairs, red light therapy, and tanning areas can be a big investment. Waitlist Me’s resource management feature helps you get a better return on that investment by using it more effectively.  You can set up your equipment, rooms, or special services as resources, and assign customers to those resource.

Our resource management features allow you to easily track what is in use and for how long, so you can give your customers better time estimates for availability and improve your utilization rates.  Combined with our built-in analytics system, you can get a better sense of your usage patterns.  Not sure if you should invest in another purchase? The data the app gathers automatically can help you make decisions based on facts, not guesses.

Maximize your people resources

Experts on your staff, like trainers and massage therapists, are assets you want to make the most of. Chances are you can boost their productivity—and the value they add to your gym’s customer experience—by tweaking their scheduling or the way they interact with your clientele. Waitlist Me helps you do that.

While the regular version of the Waitlist Me app lets you schedule appointments and add customers to the waitlist to meet with different members of your staff, the pro-level follows customer activity once they get off the waitlist. The downloadable reports chart the data over time, and lets you see when you need to increase (or decrease) staffing levels and if a certain specialization or individual is in high demand.

Let customers make appointments and reservations on their own time

A waitlist is all well and good, but what if your customers could go straight from the locker room into a session with a personal trainer? With Waitlist Me Pro’s appointment widget, they can.

The web widget is an easy-to-install addition to your website that lets customers send appointment requests for staff or reservation requests for special equipment or rooms. The widget allows you to set business hours for the appointments—perhaps you only want to take them during typically quiet hours, or maybe you want to use them during peak workout periods. And, unlike old-school reservations that tether an employee to the front-desk phone, Waitlist Me Pro reservations are available online 24/7, freeing up your staff and making life convenient for your clientele.

Promote specials and events

Hosting a competition? Running a sale on merchandise? Running a bring-a-friend special? Let your customers know! Waitlist Me Pro’s customizable public waitlist feature lets you display custom messages and promotions when they check their place in line.  You can bring your branding to your waitlist and include graphics, coupons, discount codes, announcements, videos—just about anything you can think of.

Wednesday, December 16th, 2020 .

What kind of device can be used for the Waitlist Me service: a tablet, computer, or smartphone? Yes, yes and yes! The service can be used on iOS and Android mobile devices using apps from Apple iTunes or the Google Play Store as well as on computers through web browsers. You might choose to use one or a mixture of these depending on the size of your business and the features you want to utilize.

iPads and iPad Minis are the most popular device options due to the popularity and solid performance of these tablets. It is important to make sure the device is a newer model capable of running the most current version of iOS available, as Waitlist Me is optimized for the latest version in accordance with Apple’s guidance for developers. You don’t have to go out and buy the newest iPad. You can use a prior generation model if you already have one, but for example, you would not want to use an old iPad 2 that cannot run operating systems higher than iOS 9 with Apple now on iOS 14. You can check here whether your existing Apple device currently has or is able to update to the latest iOS version.

Android tablets are another popular choice for running Waitlist Me. Android has a wider range of manufacturers and price points, and to some degree you get what you pay for. We don’t recommend buying a cheaper Android tablet for less than $150, as you are more likely to run into performance issues. Look for a device with at least 2 GB of RAM, which would be in the middle of the range for Android tablets. The Samsung Galaxy Tab A is a popular choice. As with Apple, we advise using a tablet that is updated to the latest Android OS. Instructions for how to check and update your Android version can be found here.

You can also use Waitlist Me in a web browser on a computer or tablet, and we recommend using Chrome or Firefox for the best performance. Some of Waitlist Me’s more advanced features, however, are only available when using our iOS or Android apps on tablets.  For instance, our apps for tablets you can use our self check-in kiosk feature, the floorplan view, and a few other features that aren’t available in the browser.

Likewise, iPhone or Android smartphones can be used to run the Waitlist Me app and access the basic functions of the service like adding guests, sending notifications, adjusting assignments, etc. To take advantage of features like the spatial floorplan view, you would need to use a tablet with a 7” or larger screen.

Waitlist Me will also run on a Kindle or Fire tablet in a pinch, but we don’t recommend these devices due to performance limitations for more than basic waitlist management for places with lower usage. They are comparatively low-end devices designed more for consumers to use for reading e-books and other forms of entertainment.