Wednesday, October 16th, 2019 .

The eye-popping, groan-inducing truth is that Americans spend 37 billion hours waiting in line every single year. And while we can get on board with some of these waits, most of them aren’t worth it. On any given day in any given place, the average person is wasting their time waiting. And here at Waitlist Me HQ, that’s not something we believe in.

Not sure if your wait is worth it? We’re breaking down the types of situations that warrant a wait and the ones that don’t to ensure that you, dear reader, get the most out of your most valuable commodity: time. Scroll down for four worth-it waits (and four more that should make you walk).

Eating out

Getting your grub on? Don’t be so quick to join the line.

Wait for…pop-up restaurants. If you have your eye on an hour-long wait, make sure that you’re waiting for something special, like a one-night-only dining concept or a chef collaboration that the whole town will be buzzing about over tomorrow’s breakfast.

Don’t wait for…a happy hour table. Don’t let trendy hot-spots trick you into queueing for a table when they’re not offering anything better than the less-busy bar down the block. Happy hour specials tend to feature common offerings that appeal to the masses rather than house specialties, anyway.

Playing ball

Trust us: There’s no need to sweat a long line 24/7.

Wait for…playoff tickets. Supporting your favorite teams is an investment that lasts longer that two halves, four quarters, or nine innings. When you show up en masse for a sport you love, it keeps the teams you enjoy cheering for hanging around from season to season—and that’s a win in our book.

Don’t wait for…gym equipment. A well-managed gym shouldn’t include a line of toe-tappers waiting to snag their 40 minutes on a treadmill. If your favorite workout spot refuses to evolve in order to keep up with demand, consider taking your membership dollars elsewhere.

Yukking it up

Nothing kills a good time quite like a queue.

Wait for…a big-time live show like SNL. Did you know people regularly camp out on New York City sidewalks for 12-plus hours at a time to see a taping of Saturday Night Live? For die-hard fans, it’s a worthwhile experience that comes with stories, new friends, and sometimes even munchies delivered by the host of the week.

Don’t wait for…trivia night seats. Waiting is stressful—that’s a fact. But your limited time out with your friends shouldn’t be a nail-biter! With British pub-style trivia exploding in popularity across the U.S., there’s no reason to queue for a table. Find another venue and discover a new favorite!

Finding a deal

Shop ‘til you drop? Fabulous. Wait ‘til late? Not so much.

Wait for…a sample sale. Whether you’re a bride-to-be or a bargain-hunting fashionista, you know that there are sales and then there are sales. Black Friday might make you feel more “eh” than “yay,” but if a favorite store or brand is having their once-a-year blow-out, go ahead and queue your heart out.

Don’t wait for…a Saturday afternoon shopping trip. A casual trip to the mall shouldn’t make you want to pull your hair out in frustration or grumble about how slow other shoppers are being in the dressing rooms. When it comes to brick-and-mortar stores that need your business to keep the lights on, stellar service should be offered alongside the merchandise.

Of course, businesses can improve the wait experience by using Waitlist Me. So if you find yourself stuck waiting somewhere, you can always mention that to them!    

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.

Friday, July 27th, 2018 .

We could wax poetic about Waitlist Me’s bells and whistles for hours (and we have!). But, honestly, one of our favorite bonuses that comes with implementing a waitlist and reservation app is getting rid of bad waiting room symptoms that begin to infect customers.

Let’s take a look at some of the annoying waiting maladies and behaviors that Waitlist Me helps do away with (and appreciate just how much better the customer experience is with a waitlist app). Here are 5 classic moves:

The toe-tapper

Who needs music wafting from a speaker when you could keep time to the beat of the toe-tapper’s sneaker on your tile floor? We joke, of course. We know you’re turning up the dial and pricing out carpet in order to drown this sucker out. Their tap-tap-tap won’t make tables turn over any faster, but it certainly can drive your host crazy (along with anyone else who’s waiting). The rhythmic nature of the toe tapping makes it more likely to spread to a variety of fidgeting activities around the room, creating a rather tense environment.

The eagle-eye

We’re certain some eagle-eyes honed their behavior early on as hall monitors. A training ground of tardy students prepared them well for their next mission: us. Now, they’ve set their sights on guests lingering too long over dessert and front-of-house staff dilly-dallying behind the hostess stand. Ever feel like you’re being…watched? We know exactly who to pin that on.

The disappearing-act

Some people have the gift of invisibility. They can disappear into a crowd, blend in seamlessly, fade into the background or jump right into the action like they were born there. This disappearing-act pulls a fast one, all right—right out your door without so much as a word of warning. Will you see them again? Sure, about 20 minutes after you call their name (and give their spot to the next person in line).

The slump-and-sigh

The burdens of the world have to rest on somebody’s, shoulders. Why not the slump-and-sigh? After all, that’s what it looks like once you give them their ETA. They take their seat with a sigh that bespeaks inner turmoil greater than 10 minutes ‘til “the doctor can see you now.” And if they have to stand? This one morphs into the hunch-and-groan. Sigh.

The watch-watcher

Need to know the time? There’s always someone in your waiting room you can ask, although we’re not entirely sure you’d want to. Whether they’re old-school with a wrist watch, analog with a wall clock, or high-tech with the latest iPhone, the watch-watcher tracks their own countdown, thankyouverymuch. And if your wait-time guesstimate is off by so much as a minute, well, you can expect to hear about it. This another of the more infectious behaviors. If you have a diligent watch-watcher in the group, you’ll definitely see an uptick in the unconscious time checking behaviors from others in the room.

The solution

You can’t always get rid of waiting, but Waitlist Me helps you make the wait experience better by giving guests more visibility into the wait process and the flexibility to leave the waiting room and be notified with a text when you are ready for them.

Let the toe-tapper and eagle-eye work off some of their nervous energy by walking around outside while they wait. Help the disappearing-act know the right time to be back with a well-timed text message. Take some of the worries of endless or unpredictable waits off the slump-and-sighs shoulders. And show the watch-watcher you care by using real time wait tracking to give better estimates and deliver on the promised wait times.

Thursday, January 10th, 2019 .

Got, say, 15 minutes to kill before your train pulls in? How about a couple hours while you wait for the new donut bakery’s latest flavor? Or maybe an easy 5 for the next available operator?

Whether you’re waiting to talk to a manager or to grab a table, these 27 factoids about the lists we love to hate will keep you occupied. Happy toe-tapping!

You’ll spend an average of 2 years of your life waiting in line. Sorry in advance. https://www.therichest.com/shocking/15-weird-and-depressing-facts-about-waiting-in-line/

You’ll feel less anxious if there’s a single line rather than multiple lines. It feels fairer that way, but you’re still going to worry about line-cutters. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/11/27/what-you-hate-about-waiting-in-line-isnt-the-wait-at-all

Americans hate the DMV the most. Honorable mention: customer service hotlines.

But Americans love waiting for some things. Like event tickets, delicious food, and Splash Mountain.

And the more something costs, the longer people are willing to wait. See: iPhones, Hamilton tickets, and Splash Mountain.

The key to keeping waitlisted customers content: Distract them. Give them something to do, watch, or read while they wait.

In New York, you wait “on line.” Sorry, grammar nerds. http://mentalfloss.com/article/82257/12-impatient-facts-about-waiting-line

It takes a lifetime to get Green Bay Packers season tickets. Only 90 or so are released every year. With a waitlist of over 130,000 fans (many of whom were added by their parents when they were born), you’re talking about decades of playing wait-and-see. https://247sports.com/nfl/green-bay-packers/Bolt/Green-Bay-Packers-season-ticket-wait-list-at-133000-people–113926844/

Good news: approximate wait times make lines seem shorter! It gives you something concrete to look forward to.

Bummer: Statisticians have noticed an increase in “waiting culture.” Trendy neighborhoods and affluent cities are seeing an influx in no-reservations policies at hip new restaurants, which means waits are becoming the norm in some areas. https://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/22/upshot/the-upside-of-waiting-in-line.html

You’ll always see waitlists hit the nightly news on Black Friday. Throw a gaming system in the mix, and all bets are off.

The Netflix queue was created by chief product officer Neil Hunt. He’s British. In August 2013, Netflix ditched it’s infamous “instant queue” in favor of the “my list” feature. https://newrepublic.com/article/116996/netflix-queue-and-history-british-word-america

The Netflix thing makes sense when you know that the word “queue” is super British. It’s so British, it’s included in citizenship tests.

Well, the actual word “queue” is French. It was defined to mean “a line” in 1837 by Thomas Carlyle, who likened the line-up of people he saw outside shops in France to a man’s ponytail, which the French called “a queue.”

The most iconic British queue is at the bus stop. Forget about snapping selfies in front of a phone booth. Pull up a piece of pavement, instead. http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-23087024

The politest queue of them all is for Wimbledon’s final matches. Tennis whites suggested but not required. http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-23087024

You’re least likely to see a queue at the local pub. And, alas, it’s probably where it would most come in handy, too. Anyone for a pint?

The quintessential queue joke: “What is this queue for?” “I don’t know, but I’ll find out when I get to the front!” Seriously, people say this.

There’s also a legend about the people who study the psychology of waiting. It goes something like, “a lawyer, a secretary, and an ad exec are waiting for an elevator…”

Canadians use the term “lineup.” Turns out they kick butt at merging in traffic.

And Canucks are better than Brits at some queues—er, lineups. When waiters need to organize their own lineups, like at building entrances or street-front ATMs, Canadians are the champs.

If you want an even more polite lineup than those found in Canada, head to Japan. http://nationalpost.com/news/canada/everyone-line-up-canadas-tradition-of-orderly-queuing-foreign-and-strange-to-many-newcomers

Also: Canadians hate line-cutters. Tourists beware!

If you cut in line, you stand a 10-percent chance of getting shoved. Don’t say we didn’t warn you. http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20170320-we-hate-to-admit-it-but-brits-arent-the-best-at-queuing

Australians wait the longest for new iPhones—and they get them first. That’s because the sun rises in the east, of course. In 2015, Lindsay Handmer camped for 2 days to get the iPhone 6, and he did it to bring awareness to the homeless who sleep on the streets nightly. YouTube star Mazen Kourouche camped for 10 days…and then the launch event was delayed. Whoops! https://www.pymnts.com/apple/2017/iphone-release-iphone-sales-news/

You have to wait in line on Mount Everest! So much for that “alone at the top of the world” feeling. Also: Sometimes people die in line. Yikes.

The longest line in the world is the Haaj. This religious pilgrimage to Mecca takes place every year in Saudi Arabia.

Saturday, December 15th, 2018 .

As you deck the halls and adjust your playlists, you should seriously consider giving your waitlist and table management system an update, too. With holiday parties a-plenty, this is no time for clutter and inefficiency!

You need to reboot your hostess stand and kick that datebook-and-grease-board duo to the curb. We have a shiny digital solution that will keep your season truly merry and bright—and save you plenty of woe (and money) to boot. We’re talking about a waitlist app that brings your queue, your reservations, and your resources together on one easy-to-use interface. It’s called Waitlist Me Pro.

Why do you need it? Let us count the ways:

#1. You need an intuitive way to balance walk-ins and reservations

What’s worse than losing a reservation fora twosome on date night? Losing a reservation for a 12-top the week before Christmas. Yikes. Still, it happens.It’s easy to forget a group—yes, even a big one—when you’re struggling to handle the nightly dinner rush.

When you upgrade your restaurant to a digital waitlist and reservation system, you say “goodbye” to misplaced reservations.With Waitlist Me Pro, you can use our flexible reservation views to see what your restaurant has in store for the holiday season and beyond. Plus, we built the app to incorporate reservations and walk-ins seamlessly. That makes it a cinch to navigate your guest list, no matter what.

#2. You need to visualize the best places to seat parties in your restaurant

Forget about peering behind the hostess stand to survey available seating options. Your hosts won’t even have to squint at hard-to-decipher grids anymore, either! With simple, digital table and resource management, confusion over where to seat your large and small parties is a relic of yesteryear.

Waitlist Me lets you view your tables indifferent ways, including by availability, by size, and by server. They’recolored coded so that you can immediately tell what’s open and what’s not. The Pro-level version of the app also gives you access to our layouts and sections feature, which allows you to build more detailed floor plans that are still easy to read.

#3. You need to keep bringing in foot traffic, no matter how busy you are

A wall of waiting guests in your lobby is intimidating to newcomers. To them, one large group waiting for a few tables to be pushed together can look like a dozen parties—and that’s enough to make anyone want to try the restaurant down the street rather than risk a queue.

Technology can transform your vestibule and the way you run your restaurant. With Waitlist Me’s text notification feature, you can set your guests free. Instead of lingering around your hostess stand, waiting for their name to be called, they can hang out at the bar or wander around the area without worrying about losing their table. When they’re next in line, you can let them know, no shouting necessary.

#4. You need to ensure that all your guests have a great experience

With a paper waitlist and reservation system, you’re constantly flipping back and forth and scrabbling around for notes. It’s unprepared and unprofessional, and that’s frustrating for your hosts and for your customers. And ETAs? Let’s not even go there.

Our app brings a new level of sophistication to eating out. We designed it to be easy to use from the get-go,which will decrease employee training time. And because Waitlist Me is so simple, hosts can focus their attention where it should be: on the guests,rather than on the paper they use to keep track of them.