Tuesday, June 19th, 2018 .

Ever wondered how to change the information on your Google Knowledge Card? The Knowledge Card is the helpful information that can appear off to the right in a Google search.  You may not realize that you can customize the information and images in this area of the search results, and can even add a link to your Waitlist Me widget, so customers can easily add themselves to the waitlist or send reservation requests.

Here is an example of the Google Knowledge Card in a search result.

 

If you’ve never claimed your business on Google, take that first step here: https://www.google.com/business/

Once you’ve verified your business, adding your reservation link is simple. First, get your Waitlist Me reservation link handy. Login online and then go to Account > Settings > Add Yourself and copy the link for your widget page. It should look something like this:

 

Then, sign into your Google My Business account. From there:

  1. Choose the location you want to edit.
  2. Click into the URLs section.
  3. Add your Waitlist Me link to your reservations page.
  4. Click Apply.

 

 

That’s it! While you’re there, you can always scope out your pictures and make sure the best ones are showing up in your search results. The pics you upload should in JPG or PNG format. Choose a great glamour shot of your business for your Profile Picture, and then use a square picture for the Logo field. Add a few more pics of the inside, outside, and product to round out your profile!

Here is more on how to use the Waitlist Me web widget page to let customers to add themselves to the waitlist or schedule reservations.

 

Thursday, March 19th, 2015 .

wiggleworks

WiggleWorks kids is a popular destination for children and their families, being the only indoor playground that caters strictly to kids who are 48-inches tall or less. Weekends can be very busy, and Waitlist Me helps WiggleWorks kids reduce wait times, increase the number of kids they serve, and make parents happier.

WiggleWorks kids provides soft, moveable, interactive play equipment for children at its two Washington State locations, one each in the towns of Bellevue and Puyallop. The equipment is used to help children build motor skills and the unstructured play area gives them an opportunity for social interaction with children their own age.

“We limit the number of children who can play at one time and we are first come, first serve. There was no way for someone to get on the waiting list unless they called in or came into the store,” said Bellevue store manager, Kristen Deskin. “We had a lot of complaints about our wait list system because there were opportunities for a lot of user error and it often got confusing.”

That confusion was compounded by the fact that employees were responsible for taking down names and phone numbers, which were sometimes misprinted or missing key letters or numbers. Troubled by the many customer complaints, Deskin and her team looked for a better way to manage their waitlist. In 2013, they turned to WaitList Me.

“When we launched Waitlist Me we immediately felt more in control of our waitlist and felt like we had more opportunities to serve the public. This is because we could accommodate the number of people wanting to get on the list,” Deskin said. “It also has freed up an employee because they are no longer tied to taking names.”

Deskin likes how WaitList Me is easy to use and provides a simple way to keep track of store waitlists and whether customers walk in or add their name from home through the WiggleWorks kids website.  Since making the switch, customers have been happier and are more excited to come into the locations.

“We have had wait times of up to two hours in the past and WaitList Me has reduced those times so no one waits now for more than 45 minutes to an hour,” Deskin said. “I also use it to see and track how many children are coming back into play after waiting compared to how many names we are having to delete. That was one big improvement I was able to track that enabled me to make some good business decisions with the owner.”

– By Valerie Killifer, special to WaitList Me

Monday, April 27th, 2020 .

These days, we’ve started talking about the world in terms of B.C. and D.C.—that’s “before coronavirus” and “during COVID-19.” Though we are eager to move into the A.C. era (“after coronavirus,” naturally) even the most optimistic projections put that at least 6 months from now.

‘Til then, we’re adapting. For people working from home, that means video conferences at dining room tables. For those who are keeping restaurants, stores, offices, and other essential businesses open, that means embracing new ways of getting the job done.

One of the most popular ways business owners are staying open while minimizing the spread of coronavirus is to embrace touch-free or contact-free service. 

What is touch-free service?

Touch-free service limits the spread of the novel coronavirus by reducing the number of people who touch an item. The danger with this virus is that it’s very contagious. When you decrease how many individuals handle, say, a pizza box, you lessen the risk that one of those individuals will transmit the virus to the recipient—or to another employee who comes into contact with the box.

Implementing touch-free service is a more complex preventative measure than, say, requiring all employees to wear a mask. Going low-contact or contact-free requires business owners and managers to consider their entire workflow from start to finish so they can decide how to best protect themselves, their workers, and their customers.

Tools like Waitlist Me, a waitlist and reservation/appointment app, are one piece of the puzzle. Now, let’s see how that puzzle piece fits into some strategies that can be used across a diverse array of businesses.

Strategies for providing touch-free service using Waitlist Me

Pickup outside – Whether customers are picking up food, medicine, or other items they have ordered, they may not need to come into your building to get them. Waitlist Me can be used to confirm their order with a text message that can also communicate instructions on what to do when they arrive. Customers can reply to texts when they arrive and either wait in their cars or outside the door in a more open area for their orders to be brought to them. With Waitlist Me Pro there is also an option to send open text replies to customer texts for things like clarifying questions or letting them know if more time is needed for their order.   

Limit numbers inside – When allowing people inside to dine, shop, or be treated, Waitlist Me can help avoid crowded waiting areas and limit the number of people in the building. Simply add customers to the waitlist when they arrive and allow them to walk around outside or wait in their car until you are ready for them. They can check their places in line from their phones using the public waitlist feature, and you can press a button to text them when it’s their turn. You can even have your staff greet them outside or add them to the list when they pull into the parking lot. 

Reduce points of contact – There are additional ways to increase safety by cutting down on person-to-person interactions for customers arrivals. Post information on your website or a sign on your door asking customers to call or use the Waitlist Me web widget to add themselves to the waitlist, rather than entering the building to do so in person. The widget can help show how busy you are, so people can have a better idea of when to arrive. Or they can schedule an appointment or reservation that you can approve and manage in the app. With Waitlist Me Pro there are also simple scheduling controls for business hours and hourly availability that can help stagger the number of people visiting your business across the day.  

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.

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.