Saturday, March 21st, 2020 .

These are challenging times with the spreading of the coronavirus. Many businesses are being forced to close their doors or to change the ways they do business to continue serving people.

Asking customers and patients to wait in their cars is gaining popularity as a better alternative than waiting inside businesses. Curbside service has taken on a whole new significance across multiple industries.

Waitlist Me makes it easy to track who is next in line to be served and then press a button to send a text notification when you are ready for them, so people can wait in their cars until it is their turn. There are also options for people to add themselves to the waitlist without even having to leave their car.

Here are some of the industries using Waitlist Me to provide better wait experiences in new ways:

Healthcare Facilities – Medical offices, urgent care centers, dental offices, eyecare centers, and hospitals are some examples where patients often wait in confined areas and may be afraid of getting sick from others. Allowing them to wait outside or in their cars helps to limit cross-infections for patients and healthcare workers.

Dispensaries – As this Forbes article aptly points out, “It should go without saying that medical cannabis patients are the most vulnerable cannabis consumers, and the most at risk of serious complications from Covid-19.” Social distancing strategies like curbside pickup can help reduce the risk to these patients. Even for non-patients, waiting in the car can be better for limiting the number of people in the store at a time or avoiding the need to go into the store at all.

Veterinary and Animal Services – With people spending more time at home and the elevated stress-levels caused by the crisis, pets are going to be an even bigger focus than ever. Vet clinics, animal shelters, and humane centers can keep visitors and staff safer by not having too many customers waiting inside their businesses.

Restaurants – For those restaurants that don’t have to close altogether, shifting to delivery and curbside pick-ups so customers don’t have to leave their cars can be a way to continue serving their clients.

Blood Donation – With people more reluctant to leave their houses, blood supplies have declined. Making it easier to schedule an appointment and wait outside can help encourage more people it is safe to donate blood.

Supply Stores – While many retail stores are closing, some types of supply stores will be important for builders, plumbers, electricians, mechanics and others that perform important home and automotive services. These stores can reduce crowds and offer more touchless systems for picking up supplies.

Grocery Stores – People will continue to need groceries and safe ways to shop. Some grocery stores are already moving towards limiting the number of people in the store at any given time to keep aisles clearer. When a customers finish shopping, the next customers are texted to invite them inside.

People don’t like crowded wait areas, even in the best of times. These days social distancing requires an even higher standard of avoiding crowds, and letting customers and patients wait in their cars can be a valuable option for businesses to provide.

Thursday, October 26th, 2017 .

For customers who can’t tell a carburetor from a catalytic converter, it’s customer service that makes an automotive retailer or service business shine. Your under-the-hood expertise lets them trust you. But the way you treat the folks walking through your door? That’s what’s gonna keep them coming back when they’re shopping for a new vehicle, replacing a flat tire, or detailing out their investment.

Waitlist Me is an app that ensures your customers are treated like VIPs every time they’re in your waiting room. Here’s how it could help your business get a jump on your competition.

Keep customers on your lot

Car shoppers want to go from browsing to trying to buying on their time, not yours. Watching later arrivals jump the line? That’s a definite no-no—and so is tapping their toes on the sidewalk while they wonder when it’ll finally be their turn. Waitlist Me keeps things more orderly (no skipping!). Add shoppers to it when they first arrive to show them you care, and let them browse your inventory while they wait for the next available sales associate.

Bonus! When you use Waitlist Me, you can allow your customers to add themselves to your list from wherever they are. That means they put their name on the waitlist while they’re in transit—and you’ll be ready to help them the minute they pull up to your curb.

Let customers escape your waiting room

It doesn’t matter if they’re waiting for the finance department or for a patched tire: Nobody likes to hang out in a waiting room. Waitlist Me’s text notification feature sets your customers free. The app allows you to send them a quick text when it’s their turn. If they’re farther away than the water cooler, it lets them notify you that they’re on their way.

Bonus! Drop-offs keep you busy without packing your waiting room. Waitlist Me makes drop-offs better for everyone, thanks to our public waitlist feature. Customers can check their place in line to get a better idea of how much longer the wait will be, so they don’t have to keep asking about it.

Easily manage appointments and walk-ins

Most systems let you schedule appointments or walk-ins. Waitlist Me lets you do both. The app’s simple visual interface lets you scan your day’s bookings and quickly figure out where you can squeeze in drop-in customers. You can even color code different types of appointments—say, an oil change or a detail—to help you better manage your resources.

Bonus! Your employees should spend time working, not fumbling through difficult computer programs or messy appointment books. We designed Waitlist Me with ease in mind, making it a cinch to train new staff members and use every single day.

Tuesday, July 7th, 2020 .

From the perspective of a restaurant customer:

If you had told me in January that 2020 was going to the year of a pandemic, that wearing a mask to the supermarket would be necessary, and we’d all be forced into quarantine for weeks on end, I would have laughed out loud. This year has been nothing but strange, I think we all agree on that, and as we begin to transition into “normalcy,” we are all curious as to what the new normal will look like. And as nerve wracking as it may be, I personally can say I am excited. I’m excited to see friends and family, I’m excited to go to the beach, and I’m most excited to get back to restaurants. 

I’ve always had an immense passion and love for food, and as much as I love to cook, I am very over it. As cities and states begin to roll out their reopening plans, restaurants are opening their doors to customers for both patio and indoor dining options. But even as restrictions lift, there are still rules and regulations in place to keep both guests and staff safe, which I appreciate deeply. Although I am excited to sit with friends and enjoy a meal at my favorite places, I also want to ensure that we are being safe and remaining healthy.

My favorite restaurant might not look identical to pre Coronavirus times, nor are the rules in place going to be the same. But, as a guest, it’s important to respect and embrace these differences. My server will more than likely be wearing a mask, I may not be able to sit at a table with 10+ of my closest friends, and I may be asked to wait in my car, rather than at the bar, for my table. All of these changes are ok! I will survive! The restaurants are doing the best they can during a seriously challenging time and it’s important as guests to show up, show support, and show understanding. 

The list of differences from past to present can go on and on, but I think focusing on the future and adapting to what many are calling the “new normal” is what is most important. Restaurants are equipped with the best systems, staff, and regulations and we now have to be the best customers and come equipped with all they ask for. 

Top Three Things to Remember When Dining Out:

Social Distance: Remember to stay 6 ft. away from anyone outside of your party, when possible. To help both the customers and the staff during this transition, restaurants may invest in an app like Waitlist Me. Waitlist Me provides staff with easy and effective ways to manage their waitlist and reservations both in Coronavirus and non-pandemic times. Being able to send a text message to a guest when their table is ready so they don’t have to wait inside is a great feature for reducing crowds. 

Hygiene, hygiene, and more hygiene! It may be the restaurant’s job to sanitize more frequently and ensure their staff is healthy; but it is your job to always wash your hands, and to check your own health before walking in the doors.

Respect the guidelines put in place by each individual restaurant. Many restaurants are urging guests to wear masks when possible. Some are asking you to please sanitize your hands before entering. And, others have detailed layouts for guests to follow to help prevent exposure. The list goes on, so pay attention and read the signs! 

You might look at this list and scoff, but remember, the restaurant may not look the same and the rules might not be the same but the food IS still the same, and that’s really what is important. So if you’re like me and you have a deep admiration for all things food, then get out and support your favorite spot (and all their new quirks) – again, and again, again. 

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018 .

Renting shoes and perfecting the art of bowling-without-bumpers is a favorite memory of Waitlist Me’s app developers, and we’re thrilled that our favorite outing of old is back in favor with everyone from teens to millennials to families with kids.

Seeing a surge in your clown shoe-clad customers? Waitlist Me is a waitlist and reservation app that can help you smoothly manage the increase in traffic—and turn new customers into loyal fans.

Here are 3 ways our app can help any bowling alley gain new business (and improve customer service) today.

Prevent walk-outs when there’s a wait

A line at the door can make any strike-happy group turn tail and hit up a pizza parlor or movie theater, instead. Waitlist Me helps you keep customers regardless of your wait time. How? By making that line disappear.

Thanks to unlimited text notifications for users in the U.S. (and pay-as-you-go texting for Waitlist Me’s international plans), you can add groups to your waitlist and then let them roam free until a lane becomes available. They could grab cheese fries and a pitcher of beer at your snack stand, shoot pool and play PAC-MAN in your arcade, or window-shop their way down the street. When they’re first in line, you can send them a heads-up via text.

Perfect for:

– Bowling alleys with limited staffing (or a small waiting area)

– Checking in large groups during peak business hours

– Bowling alleys facing lots of local competing attractions

Give large groups a great time

You brought in snacks and arcade games to serve your bowlers better. But those add-ons don’t have to be after thoughts. Now, with large groups looking for impromptu hang-out spaces, your bowling alley is primed to offer a variety of fun options for everyone, including the non-bowlers in the bunch.

You can use Waitlist Me to give everyone a chance to do whatever it is that floats their boat…without making ‘em stand around in long lines by themselves. How? Waitlist Me is flexible enough to be used for people waiting for lanes, your in-house food area, or even popular games like air hockey.  Text ‘em when it’s their turn, ensuring that they’re never sacrificing quality time with friends and family to hold their place in line.  You can manage lines for different activities with status colors or even set up a separate waitlist for areas that have regular waits.

Perfect for:

– Booking birthday parties, office outings, and other celebrations

– Special events, like trivia nights and karaoke

– Attracting big crowds for bowling league competitions

Make it easy for customers to choose your bowling alley

Who wants a hassle for what should be a fun happy hour outing? Not your guests! That’s why it’s essential to make it a cinch for your customers to decide to shoot the breeze at your business rather than another spot down the block. A parking lot and food specials are a great way to get ‘em coming in your door. Another tool to have in your back pocket: Waitlist Me.

The app is built to handle waitlists and reservations side-by-side, so you can forget about that mess of sticky notes cluttering up your front counter. Customers can call before they come, walk right in, or even add themselves to your waitlist or make a reservation online. And, thanks to the public waitlist feature, they can check your ETA from wherever they are, whether that’s the water cooler, the bar next door, or the parking lot.

Perfect for:

– Catering to the after-work crowd

– Offering pop-up events

– Handling holidays and rainy summer afternoons

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.