Wednesday, December 15th, 2021 .

Waitlist Me offers the Add Yourself Web Widget to make serving customers quick and easy, whether you prefer they reserve a time in advance or simply join the list if there’s a wait. Advanced scheduling just got even easier with our new email reservation features. 

If your business wants to send automated reminders or needs additional information from customers before they arrive, then emails can be a great option. Also, they are not counted towards the bundled notification limits included with each subscription (US & Canada) or charged separately (all other international users/plans).

Enabling email notifications – To enable, navigate to the Notification settings for reservations (Settings > Customization > Notifications > Reservation). The Usage options let you choose whether the messages go out manually (by pressing the notification in the customer row in the waitlist view) or automatically (“Scheduled” option in the settings). In either case, the waitlist view notes and customer visit area of the edit view will show you when emails have been sent.

Customizing email notifications – Every email notification will automatically include the scheduled time of the reservation along with location information. In addition, it will include a customizable “Intro Message” that appears at the top of the email and can be used as an introduction or used to include basic instructions. Please note that there is a limit of 160 characters for the text in this area as it is intended to be simple. Pro Users can use the “HTML Display option”  to customize the body of the email to include images, provide more detailed instructions and more. Below is an example of these parts of the email.

Changing and cancelling – Email notifications also include a link for your guests to “Change or Cancel” their reservation/appointment. This link opens a browser window on their phone or computer where they can select a different time or cancel their existing reservation altogether. A standard email confirming any change will go out automatically.

Monday, December 6th, 2021 .

As you deck the halls and adjust your playlists, you should seriously consider giving your waitlist and table management system an update, too. 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. We’re talking about a waitlist app that brings your queue, your reservations, and your tables together on one easy-to-use interface. It’s called Waitlist Me Platinum.

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

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

What’s worse than losing a reservation for a 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 Platinum, 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 want to quickly see the best place to seat parties in your restaurant

Forget about peering behind the host stand to survey available seating options. With simple digital table management, confusion over where to seat your large and small parties is a relic of yesteryear.

Set up a spatial floorplan, including saving different layouts and sections, so you can quickly adjust by time of day or day of the week. If you do a server rotation, we’ve got that option covered too. You can also flip to the grid view to see your tables in efficient ways, including by availability, by size, and by server. They’re color coded so that you can immediately tell what’s open and what’s not. 

#3. You want walk-ins in addition to reservations scheduled

A wall of waiting guests in your lobby is intimidating those looking to avoid a crowd. 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 standing in a line.

Technology can quickly clear out your entryway when you use Waitlist Me’s text notification feature to set your guests free. Instead of lingering around your hostess stand waiting for their name to be called, they can grab a seat at the bar or wander around nearby shops without worrying about losing their table. When they’re next in line you can let them know with a text, no shouting necessary.

#4. You want 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. 

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, September 20th, 2021 .

Waitlist Me makes reservations and appointments simple with intuitive calendar and list views. It’s easy to schedule and manage your customers in our iOS and Android apps or from a browser on our website.   

The Pro & Platinum levels of our service offer greater flexibility and control over scheduling rules, including setting business hours, adding party limits, and blocking off whole days, among other features. We recently added a few more customization options to these calendar views to increase the efficiency of some activities.

Now it is even easier to find openings by room and by group size. You can choose to view this information next to the table names for quick reference by pressing the people and the room icons in the header bar. The group size and room name will then be visible in the column headers under each table name.

You can also sort the order of the table columns by these new dimensions using the ‘Sort by’ option on the top left. Choose to sort by rooms if you know you want to fill one room before moving to another. Sort by size to quickly find all the tables large enough for each party as you’re entering reservations. Use the ‘More’ option on the upper right of the sorting menu to add a secondary sort criteria and whether to display in ascending or descending order.

One additional improvement is being able to see the names of scheduled customers in the daily calendar view time blocks. If more than one customer is scheduled for a given time and table, just tap the box to see the details.

If you haven’t updated your reservation settings recently, we would also recommend going through this page to see some of the other features and personalization options.

Monday, September 6th, 2021 .

Due to significant fee increases from US mobile operators for sending text messages, we will no longer be including unlimited notifications in the subscription prices of US plans. Instead, we will include a bundle of notifications each month and the ability to pay separately for messages sent above this monthly allotment. These changes will affect all new signups from September 6, 2021 and apply to existing customers from Oct 4, 2021.

Our goals continue to be to offer the best value in waitlisting and scheduling services, while providing the flexibility for different businesses to send as many notifications as they need. It is important to note that the increases in mobile carrier fees affect all services sending text messages, and we believe that even with our latest plan updates that Waitlist Me will continue to be the price and value leader in its category.

The Premium plan includes 1,000 notifications per month, Pro includes 2,500 and Platinum 5,000. For businesses with heavier messaging needs, additional text and call notifications can be sent at a rate of $0.02 per notification, deducted from a prepaid balance. 

Monthly notifications reset when monthly subscription payments are processed. For users on annual plans, they reset every 30 days starting from the original payment date. Payments for adding to the prepaid balance can be made from the Account area of the Waitlist Me website, and there are settings to make it easy to auto-refresh the balance when it gets low.

Most businesses currently using our services would not hit these notification limits, and thus would not be affected by this update. Waitlist Me has several settings and options for sending notifications, so businesses can control when they don’t need to be sent. There are ways to monitor the usage of both the notifications that are included in the plan each month as well as the ones that are charged separately. The number of monthly text and call notifications sent can be viewed in the Settings area of the apps or in the Account area of the website. The website also shows a record of messages sent and the associated costs in the Messaging Costs area of the Billing History. 

Friday, August 20th, 2021 .

One key benefit of using a system like Waitlist Me is the increased customer satisfaction that comes with providing more accurate wait time quotes.  It can be challenging for staff to estimate the wait times correctly, and it can be frustrating for customers when they are told wait times that don’t turn out to be correct.  There are several ways Waitlist Me helps you make smarter wait estimates, and we have recently added new features to the browser version of the service that can be accessed by logging into our website.

Experience has shown that being able to see the actual waits next to the wait estimates helps people improve their wait estimates over time, as it provides a key feedback loop for knowing how accurate estimates are and when they need to be adjusted based on changes in traffic patterns.  

In addition, Waitlist Me has a couple ways for suggesting wait times based on rolling averages and historical wait times.  The rolling average method recalculates estimates every time a party is marked as served and includes settings for how long of a time period to use and how to treat parties of different sizes.  The historical wait method provides suggestions based on daily patterns by using past data for each hour and day of the week.  

In addition to seeing real-time smart suggestions as customers are served, there are graphs that show this data over time and by party size.  These graphs have been available in the tablet versions of the Waitlist Me apps and are now available in the browser version.  Check out this article for more details on the smart wait estimates and graphs.