Thursday, July 24th, 2014 .

BL Sign

Little Star Pizza took San Francisco by storm in 2004 by quickly becoming one of the best pizzerias in the city. Known for its Chicago-style deep-dish pizza with cornmeal crust, Little Star quickly garnered five-star customer reviews and a loyal following among local residents. There are now three Little Star Pizza restaurants in operation throughout the urban San Francisco region and another four Blue Line Pizza locations, owned by the same company, in the surrounding suburbs.

 

The two restaurant concepts do not take reservations, which means Little Star diners wait anywhere from 90- 120 minutes for a table on weekends, said founder Angela Pace.And wait times at sister chain Blue Line Pizza run anywhere from 60-to-90 minutes.

“Not taking reservations was a conscious decision because, for us, the community does so much for us that we don’t want anyone to not get served because we’re booked with reservations,” Pace said. “We want to make sure our dining room is always there for our neighbors and neighborhoods.”

In order to make customer wait times easier to manage, the company enlisted the help of WaitList, the country’s fastest growing wait list app available for iPad, iPhone and Android devices. The app was launched in 2012 and has seated to date nearly 40 million diners.

“The use of technology is unique to a place like Blue Line because we really want to focus on the guest,” Pace said. “We’ve always been very open to technology and willing to embrace it as an organization.”

Pace said the company chose NoshList from a variety of options because of its ease of use for customers and staff.

“We tried so many different things that all had their own little merits. Ultimately, we had to find a solution that we knew would work for us. Not just me personally but for our entire staff,” Pace said. “It boiled down to NoshList being so easy to use and straightforward, and the user interface is very simple and direct.”

BG Upper Patio night

 

One concern with the app was if customers would be hesitant to give out their cell phone numbers in order to interact with the app; however, adoption has been widely accepted.

“We even created an explanation of how the system works for our hostess to use on hesitant customers, but our hostess doesn’t even get to it. We’ve had no pushback,” Pace said.

The company’s philosophy toward the use of technology has been to use it as a tool to improve the guest experience. By replacing pad and paper or buzzer seating systems, waitlist apps are changing one of the most arguably antiquated seating systems in the industry.

The NoshList wait list app also does what other systems cannot: such as automatically calculate average wait times for guests. This takes the guesswork out of estimating seating times for restaurant patrons. It also frees up restaurant staff to focus on other areas of the customer experience.

“Much of today’s wait list application technology can support two-way communication between restaurant staff and guests. This two-way communication system is great because it gives guests the freedom to decide whether they want to sit and wait at the restaurant or walk around the area knowing they won’t be forgotten when their table is ready,” said Craig Walker, founder of NoshList. “Obviously we think our NoshList app provides the best wait list app functionality available today.”

In addition to the core seating and management features, NoshList enables restaurant staff to customize the notifications and public view of the waitlist that users can check from their phone or from anywhere. Customers can even add themselves to a wait list from wherever they may be if a restaurant turns on this feature. The company also recently unveiled a reservations feature which opens the door for continued innovation in waitlist technology.

“Now, restaurant operators don’t have to rely on web sites or single-use apps to handle reservations and manage a wait list. In this way, technology such as ours will continue to integrate into it as much functionality an operator needs to run their businesses better on the back end while improving the guest experience on the front,” Walker said.

Functionality was another key driver behind Blue Line’s decision to implement and use NoshList.

“We found that a lot of other technology had a lot of bells and whistles that ultimately did not get used,” Pace said. “NoshList has bells and whistles as well, but it truly is functional. We feel that NoshList in particular has made it so much easier to manage and track our wait list and now people can walk down the street and know they’re going to get paged when their table is ready. From the customer standpoint, it has really come down to peace of mind.”

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Tuesday, January 28th, 2014 .

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The NoshList wait list app closed out 2013 with more than 22 million diners seated across 5,000 restaurants!

This past year was one of tremendous accomplishment for NoshList. From our integration with Clover to the addition of several new features to our app, our focus in 2013 was to provide the best wait list experience for our restaurant clients and their guests. We have exciting plans for 2014 and will continue to raise the bar on wait list functionality.

New features added in 2013 included a multi-restaurant management tool, the first of its kind for the restaurant industry, and a public wait list that lets restaurants display their current waitlists to guests.

Moving forward in 2014, we see huge opportunity for wait list apps to increase operational efficiencies and extend beyond just restaurants. These functionalities could take the wait list feature to any establishment where people have to put their name on a list. This includes waiting rooms at doctors’ offices and other similar places

Another technology trend restaurant operators will see this year: using one tablet to run several different restaurant applications.

In the long run, operators will stop using multiple devices, such as a POS in the dining room and a tablet wait list by the front door. Instead, everything will be conducted from one general-purpose, POS-based tablet, which will lead to several different apps all accessible from the same place.

It has been a great year, and we are shooting to seat nearly 100 million diners in 2014!

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.

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014 .

Tired of writing down reservations on paper? Now you can keep track of reservations in the same place as you manage your wait list. In May, we announced our new reservations feature for iOS at the National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show. Now we have added reservations to our Android and Clover apps. You can now use our online NoshList waitlist from any browser.

Taking reservations through NoshList is great for any customer reservation call in because it works just like our same-day estimated time of arrivals (ETAs) feature that restaurant staff enter when adding parties. The only difference is that you can choose a future date in addition to a time.

Reservations are also grouped in their own section that you can view by pressing on the calendar icon so you can get an overview of the number of reservations and people by day as well as the details of the individual parties for each day.

reservations overview

Then any reservations for the current day will automatically show up in the ETA section of the waitlist. So, it is easy to get an integrated view of the walk ins waiting and expected people coming in with reservations.

reservations detail

“The new Reservations feature opens up the use of our NoshList app to restaurants and retailers who take advance bookings, and is the first app that offers this type of functionality for multiple industries across iOS, Android, and the web,” said Craig Walker, NoshList founder and CEO. “By continuously updating our wait list app, we are answering the call to create the only wait list platform restaurants and retailers should consider.”

Monday, September 15th, 2014 .

Being sick is no fun for anyone. And when you are sick, one of the top things on your mind is how to get better as soon as possible. It isn’t surprising that having to wait to talk to a physician can be a frustrating experience, but ProHealth Care Medical Associates found that using Waitlist to give patients a better sense of their wait made patients and physicians happier.

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ProHealth Care Medical Associates is an award-winning regional specialty and primary care system with services throughout Southeastern Wisconsin. As part of the ProHealth Care program, the system has an integrated network of closely aligned independent physicians. Services encompass nearly all aspects of health care and includes hospitals, medical clinics, home care and hospice, integrative medicine, well-being and fitness centers, and more.

The centers have eight urgent care facilities within a 25-mile radius and see patients on a walk-in basis, which means wait times to see doctors can take anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes.

“One of the things we were hearing from our patients is that they weren’t happy with our wait times,” said Kelly Tolson, Director of Operations at ProHealth Care. “During cold and flu season, it can be anywhere from a 90 minute to two hour wait. Two hours is unacceptable.”

Tolson and ProHealth site leader, Maureen Sensiba, were looking for a way to make wait times easier to manage for patients, when they were approached by a patient who had seen the NoshList wait list app in use at a local restaurant.

“One of our patients had been added to a waitlist and notified when their table was ready at a Red Robin restaurant, and she said it was an awesome feature,” Sensiba said. “She raved about it. So afterward, I did some research on my own and contacted NoshList to see how we could make it work for our situation.”

The customer was specifically pleased with how the wait list app gave her the ability to shop while she waited for her table at Red Robin. That also caught the attention of Tolson and Sensiba, since it would be nice for patients to not have to be constrained to the waiting area.

Before getting started, the app had to be shown to the company’s patient experience officer and corporate compliance officer attorney to ensure the app wasn’t in violation of any patient privacy issues. Because the app only shows patient initials, it does not violate HIPPA rules or any other privacy rule, and Tolson was given the ability to then launch the app at the Medical Associates Brookfield, Wisc. location.

“Brookfield was a great place to start because it’s a small community. People could go home, have lunch or run errands while they waited to be seen by a doctor and get back in a short amount of time,” Tolson said. “It has worked so well that we have expanded it to another location and have plans to roll it out to the remaining six within the next six months.”

How it works

When ProHealth first started using NoshList, it was more popularly used as an iPad app, so they had to be a little creative in getting to fit their needs for an urgent care waitlist from a computer. Tolson and Sensiba realized that they could customize the public waitlist web page and the Add Yourself feature that restaurants normally use to allow diners to add themselves to a list, and they adapted this functionality for their staff to enter the information.

The patient names are put into a computer once they arrive at the center, and they can check their place in line from a phone or computer. When other patients look at the waitlist to determine where they are in line, only the patients’ initials are visible. Then when it is a patient’s turn, the ProHealth staff uses the regular waitlist view to trigger the text and call notifications and remove people from the list.

Since that time, NoshList has added the ability to do everything in one place in the browser, and early adopters like ProHealth Care that started using the system in new ways and sending feedback helped drive these product improvements.

“It was very smart how Tolson and Sensiba figured out how to use the NoshList public waitlist page, which was designed for other purposes, to serve as a simple entry form that could be used by multiple people on computers,” said NoshList CEO, Craig Walker. “We were all very impressed at NoshList, and have been building more and more improvements into our service to make it better for cases like these and for solving the wait problem everywhere.“

While the facility operators have yet to determine how the app has impacted wait times, customers appear to be happy with the solution.

“I don’t know if their wait times have decreased, but patients are more satisfied because we are being more respectful of their time,” Sensiba said. “We know they have other things they could be doing and we’re giving them an opportunity to do those things if there is a long wait.”

The physicians also are happier.

“We expected the patients would appreciate the new waitlist options, but we didn’t anticipate that the physicians would also be happier, because the patients are happier when they get into the room,” Tolson said. “That has been a very nice surprise.”