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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Thursday, August 31st, 2017 .

Amid the bottles of product and spritzes of perfume, what sets a top-tier cosmetics store apart from a beauty bargain bin? It all comes down to service—customer service. Greeting customers at the door with a grin and a basket is just the beginning.

Here’s how luxury beauty brands are bringing waitlist management apps like Waitlist Me into their stores to turn run-of-the-mill customer service into rock-star treatment that keeps customers feeling pampered (and primed to buy).

Make the most of exclusive offerings

Your sales associates are great at their job, but even their well-trained peepers can’t estimate a perfect foundation match 100 percent of the time. That’s where technology comes in, and top brands are increasingly turning to tech to move more product. Sephora, for example, has partnered with Pantone to create Color IQ, which helps customers discover color-matched products that are currently available in stores. Brilliant, right?

The next step is to get more customers using it on a regular basis—and that’s where a waitlist can help. Waitlist Me offers text alerts, which means that you can let customers know when it’s their turn to check the tech or have a special consultation, no matter where they are in the store (or the mall).

Balance resource-heavy bookings—like product parties—with walk-ins

You’re tapping in to the power of parties for one very good reason: They’re the perfect storm of shoppers who might never buy, normally, without scads of personal attention from your ace sales reps and a smattering of “oh, come on, buy it!” from their friends. Booking regular parties is a boon for your sales goals, but managing them in real-time can be a bear for store managers.

Enter Waitlist Me. Its interface is flexible, allowing managers to allocate resources (think: space and sales talent) for blocks of time and check on the fly to see who’s available on the floor to do what, whether that means tidying shelves or taking on an impromptu makeover.

Let product experts lead the way

Whether your pros are trained in skincare or eye makeup, Bobbi Brown or Benefit, their knowledge and expertise is what sets your in-store experience apart from a dot com. Give them the time and space to do exactly what you’ve taught them: Connect with shoppers on a personal level, show them product best practices, and help them choose the items that are right for their unique set of needs.

Instead of enlisting all your sales associates as greeters, some stores are choosing to station a generalist up front who can direct newcomers to the right aisles and book walk-ins looking for one-on-one assistance with a specialist. Waitlist Me’s real-time ETA lets greeters give accurate time estimates to eager customers, and our public waitlist feature also lets customers check in on their own to see where they are in line.

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014 .

NoshList was proud to be a sponsor of the 18th Annual Restaurant Industry Conference put on by UCLA Extension in collaboration with world-leaders in brand development, food services, design innovation, operations excellence, market analysis and customer satisfaction.

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Having recently launched our new waitlist app for iOS 7, the conference was a great place to show how NoshList continues to innovate in helping restaurants improve their guest experience and operational efficiencies. We also plan to be at the big National Restaurant Association conference on May 17-20 in Chicago.

The UCLA event was a great place to network and learn, as it brought together a number of honored speakers and panelists to discuss current industry issues and trends. Conference topics included brand development, food service, design innovation, operations excellence, market analysis and customer satisfaction. The leaders of Yelp were there along with emerging restaurant concepts panel speakers. BrightLocal said that 95% of consumers are turning to the internet to find local businesses.

One of our favorites was the presentation by Chef Thomas Keller (The French Laundry), Innovation Award Winner. He has won multiple awards, including “America’s Best Chef,” though the interviewer (Pres of the Culinary Institute of America) also called him the most important chef in American history. He was interviewed by Dr. Tim Ryan, President of the Culinary Institute of America (CIA). Dr. Ryan won the award last year and came back to interview Thomas Keller this year, partly because they are very good friends, which gave the interview a different perspective. Keller had a very interesting story and presented a lovely lunch.

It was also fun when the UCLA singers came in at the beginning and sang the itinerary for the day to the group.

Sunday, February 25th, 2018 .

Byline: Brittany Taylor

If you’re American, you may recognize the word “queue” from your Netflix app. If you’re British, you can’t think why anyone would use the word “line” when “queue” is the obvious choice. If you’re Canadian, you’re more likely to think in terms of waiting in line, but probably wouldn’t worry too much if told told to “queue up.” Whether you think in terms of a waitlist or queue management system, Waitlist Me can help.

What’s behind the way we wait? Let’s take a look…

Where the idea of “lining up” came from

Despite the eternity you waited in traffic this morning, the idea of forming an orderly line hasn’t been around forever. It didn’t become a popular convention until after the turn of the 19th century. That was when the industrial revolution began to concentrate large populations in towns.

As more and more people moved into cities, the way they bought things changed. Instead of markets, individuals frequented shops. What else changed? The way people worked. As factories, mines, and, later, offices became the norm, workers had to get through the door—literally—and lines became a daily occurrence.

What’s up, Britain?

Across the United Kingdom, the queue reigns supreme. Like its penchant for afternoon tea, though, queueing is an imported custom. The word itself is French for a braid or plait, and it’s derived from a Latin word that means “tail.” By the early 19th century, it had come to mean a line of people, but it wasn’t until World War II that the idea of the queue became part of the British identity.

As Great Britain entered the war, its government talked up the notion of citizens doing their duty and taking turns. Queueing became a symbol of that, “of decency, fair play, and democracy,” reports another British institution, the BBC. After the war, opposition politicians flipped that idea on its head. Queueing became a sign of societal problems and government inefficiencies. Public resentment grew and the occasional queue-related fisticuffs ensued.

Today, Brits are still ardent queuers, and while they’re proud of their reputation for polite queueing, they’re not very happy about the waiting itself. For many, it’s a stressful experience focused on doing one’s duty and ensuring everyone else does, too.

America’s love-hate relationship with waitlists

Lines, like most things before the Internet Age, came to America a little late. Once they arrived, though, they took hold. Many moments in U.S. history come with their own lines, from the bread lines of the Great Depression to gas lines during the oil crisis.

The American approach to lines is pretty similar to America’s approach to life. On one hand, there’s egalitarianism. This is the United States, after all, the land of plenty and equal opportunity! There’s enough for everyone, and if you wait for your turn, you’ll get what you want. On the other hand, there’s capitalism. In America, it’s a race to the top. We’re always working for more, and sometimes there isn’t enough to go around.

This dual approach is why Americans are both happy to wait their turn and anxious about the whole waiting-in-line experience. Americans want to be good citizens, but they also want what they want, and if getting it is in question, they start stressing out about what they can do better to make their goals a reality. Could I choose a shorter line? Can I cut? Can I bribe the hostess?

It’s a competitive experience that’s uniquely American, but it also creates a build-up of unnecessary stress. Folks in the U.S. wait in line an average of 37 billion hours each year. That’s a lot of anxiety!

Then, there’s Canada, the chillest line-waiter of them all

The Great White North is all about maple leaves, Mounties, and, yes, waitlists. While using the word “queue” won’t raise many eyebrows, Canada falls firmly on the “we wait in lines” side of the debate.

Canada takes its lines—or lineups, as they prefer to call them—seriously. Our favorite example: International students at Canadian universities are often required to take etiquette classes during orientation. Mastering the lineup is on the syllabus right after learning how to say “hello.”

True to form (and its reputation as the global nice guy), Canada’s relationship with lines is based in its dedication to upholding polite society. Along with apologies and punctuality, the omnipresent lineup is an unspoken agreement that every Canadian, can mind their manners, relax while they wait, and still get what they want.

Waitlist Me makes queues, waitlists, and lineups better across the globe

Our goal is to make your customers’ waiting experience better. Happier customers lead to better bottom lines—and that’s exactly what we want for your business. Our app is now available in more than 60 countries, so wherever you are and whatever you do, we’re here to help.

 

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.