Thursday, October 25th, 2018 .

If you listen to the internet’s many critics, millennials are self-obsessed complainers with a penchant for arrogance, an aversion to risk, and some serious Peter Pan Syndrome.

They also eat out five times a week, are looking to make big purchases, and prioritize investments in their mental health and physical fitness. Their spending power is estimated at $3.39 trillion. By 2020, they’ll be the ones paying for one-third of the world’s goods and services.

Millennials are increasingly becoming the customers you need to know inside and out. Who are they? How do they spend their money? What do they want?

Let’s take a closer look.

Who is the millennial customer?

Most people who consider themselves to be “young adults” fit into the millennial category. They were born between the early 1980s and the turn of the century (the generation’s end date waffles between the mid-nineties and the early 2000s, depending on who you ask). Today, millennials range in age from about 16 to 36. They are just now coming into their own as college graduates, young professionals, married homeowners, and parents.

Millennials make up the majority of the workforce in the United States. By 2025, 75 percent of the workforce world-wide will be made up of this one generation. The world is their oyster, and their wallets are open.

How do millennials spend their money?

Millennials pay more for brands and experiences—if the business in question offers them some sort of added benefit. That could mean more convenience, an alignment of their personal values, a better user experience, or greater perceived value.

They’re also incredibly loyal. Once they find a brand they love, whether it’s a store, a restaurant, a hotel, a gym, a salon, literally anything, they’ll stick with it. And, thanks to their penchant for social media, they’ll spread the word. With millennials on your side, referral business can become your new best friend.

What do millennials want?

This generation grew up as the internet was finding its legs. The oldest millennials were computer-savvy before Google was a thing, while the youngest can’t remember a world without YouTube. They’re gamers, emailers, texters, and content-consumers—and they expect the rest of the world to keep up with them.

What does that mean for you?

Eliminate the wait

For millennials, on-demand everything is the norm. A long waiting list is a major drawback. A long line? For those not enticed by hype or the cool-factor, long lines mean finding the next best thing: your nearest competitor.

Waitlist Me shortens lines and makes them invisible to new customers. The app lets you accurately estimate wait times and track your business’ resources, which can help you become more efficient over time. It also frees customers from your waiting area. This gives the illusion of shorter wait times, which makes more people want to stick around.

Be available on your customers’ terms

With the internet comes 24/7/365 availability. Does your small business need to be open all the time, every day of the year? Absolutely not! But to win over a millennial crowd, you need to create a digital presence that is open to customers around the clock.

We make it easy to do just that. Waitlist Me offers an add-yourself widget, which you can easily include on your business’ website. The widget lets customers add themselves to your waitlist, reservations, or appointment schedule from wherever they are. You can also display black-out days, specials, and more.

Go mobile

Just because a millennial doesn’t leave home without a smartphone doesn’t mean they want to dial your number and speak to you one-on-one. This generation infinitely prefers texting over phone calls.

That’s why Waitlist Me built text message notifications directly into the platform. Forget about hollering out names in a crowded vestibule or passing out buzzing pagers. With a single gesture, you can send a message directly to the party next in line. Your guest will get the message on their phone instantly, wherever they are, just the way they like it.

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.

Monday, April 13th, 2015 .

Earlier this month, Clover added two new devices to their Point of Sale solutions, Clover Mini and Clover Mobile. As an early app developer for Clover, we are very excited about this launch because it opens new ways for businesses to use Waitlist Me for their waitlists and reservations.  Clover Mobile is a perfect fit for Waitlist Me because it lets businesses add customers to the waitlist right at the door as well as update statuses and check people off the list from other parts of their store or restaurant.

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Clover Mobile is a wireless device, so merchants can do a variety of activities from anywhere. They can place orders, take payments, scan inventory, manage employee hours, sync sales data with accounting software, and other activities from where it is most convenient. The Clover Mini is designed to be a simple but powerful replacement to the traditional credit card terminal, so it does the core credit card processing and receipt printing needed for payment transactions, plus a lot more.  Both devices have the sleek designs Clover is known for and the flexibility of customizing functionality through their integrated App Market.  Waitlist Me is available and optimized for both of the new devices.

POS terminals have changed over the course of several years, and Clover is at the forefront of creating better and more efficient hardware and solutions for businesses in this category.  Because of the deeper integration Clover allows, Waitlist Me is able to offer more efficient tools for businesses and better experiences for their customers on the Clover platform.

 

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.  

Friday, April 26th, 2013 .

From picking cocoa beans as a young boy on the Ivory Coast to being handpicked to work for Wolfgang Puck at Spago, Francois Kwaku-Dongo’s journey to becoming a world-class chef has nothing if not an air of earthy sophistication.

That blend is reflected in his food at eleven14 Kitchen at The JHouse in Greenwich, CT—where he balances direct-from-farm produce and locally raised meats (think grilled chicken with chopped market-vegetable salad) with exquisite presentation and taste (think chocolate in gold leaf with almond dacquoise and nougatine)—and in the way he runs the restaurant.

“The 51%,” says Kwaku-Dongo. “That’s what we look for. The unspoken qualities in a person that make them undeniably good at what they do. The other 49% is skill, knowledge, experience, which can be taught, learned, or trained. We look for staff members that are gregarious, inquisitive, and joyful; the ones who are excited by the interaction of food, drink, and people.”

An innate drive, enthusiasm, and delight in their work is matched with a highly developed system for efficiency and superior customer service to surround the top notch chef with a top notch crew. Most importantly, this translates into a phenomenal experience for customers to drive them in the door.

“Since seating in our highly in-demand patio space is on a first-come first-serve basis, our living room lounge often fills up quickly with guests vying for a table,” says Kwaku-Dongo. “We have even had parties offer money to other parties in exchange for a better wait time for the patio.”

It’s great to have demand, but it’s not going to help the chef wow them if people are tired of waiting, either for their food or their tables. So when asked about how his restaurant manages high-demand and high-volume seating, he points to NoshList.

“The Nosh app is used by a number of our staff, and as a result we heard the early mumblings of the [at the time] forthcoming WaitList,” he says. “It certainly beats staring at that annoying flashing beeping racket, imploring it to release you from waitlist purgatory; or wondering if the host perhaps wrote your name on the wrong piece of paper (and the promo video gets a laugh or two as well.)”

Kwaku-Dongo’s blend of sophistication and simplicity has a bit in common with NoshList. He believes less complicate equals less problems. If you can deliver that from the moment the customer walk into the door, then you are on your way to stellar reviews and growth. More importantly, you have one less headache to worry about.

So while you’re waiting to try Chef Kwaku-Dongo’s sea-salt-crusted baked striped bass with baby artichoke, spaghetti zucchini, heirloom tomato, and chanterelles, NoshList will let you know when it’s your turn and let Kwaku-Dongo’s staff know exactly who is where and how long they’ve waited. It’s a simple sign of 21st-century management balanced with the simple sign by the wood oven that reads, “Today’s wood is apple.”

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