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.

Wednesday, May 8th, 2019 .

Owning or managing a business today is significantly more stressful than it was 10 years ago. So is being a human living in 2019.

We’re more stressed now than we’ve ever been before. Blame it on politics. Blame it on the economy. Blame it on your zany Aunt Maude. Regardless of the numerous places our stress is coming from, we know one place that can use some improvement in the stress department.

The bustle! The noise! The tight squeeze! There are all sorts of ways your waiting room could be skyrocketing your customers’ stress levels. Want to prevent walk-outs and increase customer loyalty? Here are three stressful problems in your waiting area and easy, inexpensive ways to fix them today.

A wall-to-wall wait

Achieving the right level of fullness is an art. An empty parking lot at 7 p.m. on a Friday night sends the wrong signal to hungry diners. But a jam-packed foyer? That sends a message, too, one that might intimidate a walk-in.

Stressor: The line is so long! I’ll be waiting forever!

Quick fix: Vacate your waiting area just enough by using Waitlist Me to notify guests when you’re ready for them. This leaves them free to explore the area while they wait—and keeps new customers feeling like they won’t be waiting an eternity.

“Was that me?” worries

A little background music, ordering drinks at the bar, nodding along to a conversation—it doesn’t take much to distract guests from a long wait. However, those little distractions come with their own problems.

Stressor: Did they call me already? Did I miss my table?!

Quick fix: Replace bulky buzzers and hovering hostesses with text notifications through our waitlist app. That way, your guests will be notified in a manner that suits them best. Plus, our public waitlist feature allows customers to check their place in line on a TV display in your waiting area or directly on their phone. That reduces the anxiety over how-much-longer ETAs.

Invisible customer syndrome

Hey, mistakes happen! But when you’re using a messy grease board or a hard-to-read, handwritten appointment book to keep track of your waitlist, mistakes happen far more frequently than if you brought your business into the 21st century.

Stressor: Um, excuse me? Did you forget about me? I’ve been waiting an hour!

Quick fox: Nobody wants to feel invisible, and nobody wants to hang out in a foyer for 25 minutes before realizing they’ve been skipped by accident. With a digital waitlist, you can cut down on those negative experiences. Waitlist Me is straightforward. Think: One easy-to-read list and zero confusing scribbles. With a single glance, hosts can see exactly who’s waiting for what sort of table, how long they’ve been tapping their toes, and when you can get them seated.

Thursday, March 15th, 2018 .

Customers that won’t shrink from your wait times, reservations you don’t have to scramble for, and relaxed hosts who’ve got the situation under control. Want to get all that and more before St. Patty’s Day? You don’t need a four-leaf clover or rabbit’s foot. What you need is Waitlist Me.

Here are the features that’ll keep your crowd celebrating—and coming back long after St. Patrick leaves town. Trust us: It’s all that and a pot o’ gold.

At-a-glance waitlist and reservation management keeps employees calm and collected

A frazzled host and a messy front desk is a big red flag for guests who come to you for a fun night on the town. Help your front-of-house crew keep their cool with the waitlist tool that makes checking reservations and adding folks to waitlists simple.  Seeing actual waits next to estimated times helps you give more accurate estimates, and using status colors and notes to organize and keep tabs on waiting customers helps you get them seated more efficiently.

Bonus! Waitlist Me is designed for people like you, me, and your hostess to use intuitively with mere minutes of training. See it in action in this overview video.

Simple texting makes customer communication a cinch

Taking a call from the jammed backseat of an Uber or the midst of a crowded sidewalk can be a struggle. That’s why Waitlist Me Premium lets you text your guests when their table is ready and lets them text back to let you know if they’re on their way or need to cancel. All you have to do is tap a button and boom! Your customers are ready to jig their way to their seats. No muss, no fuss, no empty tables.

Bonus! Text notifications set customers free and keeps frustration at bay. No more hovering around your hostess stand, no more long lines stretched around the corner, and no more crowded lobbies turning off new walk-ins. They can window shop, head to the bar, or wander around the block ‘til you let ‘em know their table is up. Phew!

Public waitlist keeps customers looped in—and off your back

The No.-1 question your host doesn’t want to answer this St. Patty’s Day: Is my table ready yet? A close second: Where are we on the list? Waitlist Me keeps customers in-the-know automatically thanks to one of our most popular features. Once they’re added to your waitlist, they’ll receive a text confirmation that includes a link to your public waitlist. In real time, they’ll see exactly where they are in line along with their wait time.

Bonus! Waitlist Me Pro lets you customize your public waitlist with your restaurant’s branding, videos, images, and text. Use it to post food and drink specials, upcoming events, and more on any available monitor or TV screen.

Multi-device sync and multi-location capabilities for easy management

Whether you’re in charge of one St. Patty’s Day hotspot or a bunch of them, Waitlist Me can help you keep tabs on every table at every location. The app is available on iOS, Android, and Web browsers, and accessible from multiple devices at once. That means you, your hosts, and your management team can keep tabs on how the holiday’s going from wherever you are.

Friday, January 17th, 2020 .

If you’re just getting started with Waitlist Me Pro or Platinum, you’ll want to go through these steps to set up your tables, sections, and layouts.

Set up tables – In the settings, navigate to Assignments. (In the app this will be under the gear icon > Manage Assignments.) Enter in the names of all of your tables, as well as their sizes. Each account defaults with assignments 1 – 30; delete any you do not need.

Name sections – When you’re done with the Assignments, go back to the previous screen and then choose Sections. Add the names of every section you will be using in any layout.

Name layouts – Enter the name of all the layouts you have. For example, Weekday Dinner & Weekend Dinner, or 4 Servers, 5 Servers & 6 Servers. If your sections never change, simply create one layout and name it something like Main or Dinner. 

Set up layouts – For each layout you’ve named, press Edit to set it up. Put a check in the box for each table that belongs to your first section. Then press the +Section in the middle of the row, and assign that section. If you want to use the color coding for your sections, choose the color at this time too. Continue this process until you’ve assigned all of the tables to the sections that belong in that layout. (You don’t have to use every table in every layout.) Then go back and repeat the process for other layouts. 

Once finished, Pro users can see more on how to utilize the grid view for table management here.

Place tables in rooms – With a Platinum subscription you’ll be able to create a spatial floor plan. To do this, go back to the main waitlist screen and then press the circle with the line in it on the upper left. From here, follow along with this video tutorial to set up your room(s) and place your tables:

Thursday, September 28th, 2017 .

Animals are much more sensitive to external stimuli than their leash- and carrier-holding counterparts. If you’re running a pet-focused business, that means the systems and tools you use to keep customers moving through your office are doubly important. Using a waitlist app like Waitlist Me can help you and your pet-owning clients keep your visitors calm, collected, and happy, which leads to a better visit today and repeat visits in the future.

Here are five ways veterinarians, groomers, shelters, and clinics are using the app to ensure smooth customer service and positive experiences for pet owners and their furry, scaled, and feathered friends, alike.

Allow pet owners to wait in the best place for their pets

Some pets are happy stretched out on the tile in your waiting room. Others are more content roaming around outside. Waitlist Me lets you send pet owners a text once it’s their turn, which means they can stop hovering around your reception area while they wait.

Bonus! If they’re a few minutes away, they can let you know they’re on their way using our simple text response feature.

Speed up appointment scheduling and check-in

When you’re juggling a full waiting room and your customer is being tugged away by a Great Dane, you don’t have minutes to spare flipping through a paper schedule. Waitlist Me’s intuitive interface operates from a simple single screen. A few swipes is all you need to make a new appointment, check someone in, or add a walk-in to your waitlist.

Bonus! Waitlist Me’s Premium service has a feature that lets customers check the current wait on your website and add themselves to the list from home, which cuts down on call time and the bottleneck in your waiting room.

Quote accurate wait times—every single time

When a loved one is sick, a 15-minute wait can feel like 45. Waitlist Me helps ease pet parent anxiety (and the frustration they’re turning on reception staff) with intelligent time quoting. Being able to see actual wait times next to quoted times has been proven to improve accuracy, so your staff will quickly become pros in giving the right guidance on expected waits.

Bonus! Our public wait list feature lets them check their place in line from their smartphones, which means fewer “how much longer?!” questions thrown your way.

Squeeze emergencies into a busy schedule

Faced with a skunked dog in need of a bath tub? How about a cat whose curiosity requires a little medical intervention? No matter the emergency, Waitlist Me’s visual layout lets you quickly see how your day is shaping up and which of your staff members is free to handle your walk-in when.

Bonus! Waitlist Me also lets you book different types of pet care appointments by assigning your customers different colored statuses. It’s an easy, visual way to track the services you offer, the time you need to set aside for them, and the staff required to man your office.

Reduce the rate of no-shows

Your customers aren’t flakes; they just forgot! Waitlist Me helps you significantly cut down on no-shows and last-minute cancellations through our text and call reminders. And you barely have to lift a finger! Just press a button.

Bonus! Forget about scheduling nightmares. Waitlist Me’s Pro service has a number of resource management features for tracking how long your rooms or staff have been busy with customers.  This helps you see exactly which people you need to assign where—and when it’s OK to send someone home or call for back-up.