Sunday, June 15th, 2014 .

Want to better remember seating requests for waiting customers? Or note which visitors are celebrating special events? NoshList lets you enter any notes you like, and they can be easily scanned from the waitlist view so you can better stay on top of things. They can also be viewed in the customer history view and the downloadable reports.

With the new Quick Notes feature, you can define as many pre-set notes as they would like to appear when a party is added to the waitlist. It’s great for common events, such as birthdays and anniversaries, or popular customer preferences, like dietary restrictions. They can even be used for tracking popular items people might order or specific things you may want to track in analytics.

quicknotes image

 

The nice thing about QuickNotes is they speed up the process of adding parties because they can be selected from a list rather than typed out. Also, they make it easier to standardize how people enter important information across time and people.

You can edit QuickNotes in the app settings individually:

quicknotes app

 

Or you can update them all at once in the settings on the WaitList website. If you have multiple devices the changes will synch so they are the same across all devices, but you will need to just go to the settings page on the other devices to trigger the sync.

quick notes web

Wednesday, February 26th, 2020 .

Over the last decade, the restaurant week concept has found its way to communities across the United States. Conceived by restaurateur Joe Baum and Tim Zagat of the Zagat Survey, restaurant week has led to huge gains for the food and beverage industry. Some restaurants have seen as high as a 40-percent increase in customer volume during the promotional period.

Because many restaurant week customers are first-timers, this period is also the ideal time for dining establishments to capture repeat business. Ready to score some new regulars? Here’s how to wow everyone who walks through your door during restaurant week.

Land a great first impression

In Waitlist Me HQ’s hometown, Charleston, S.C., restaurant week is a twice-yearly event with additional, neighborhood-specific weeks thrown into the mix as well.  Many a hidden gem have earned stand-out word-of-mouth rep thanks to excellent restaurant week showings.

Earning that sweet referral business starts the moment your guests walk through the door. Comfortable seating, warm lighting, and plenty of heated or cooled space for guests to stand upon entry are vital. If you’re planning on making any upgrades, do so before the week is set to start—and if you’re painting or doing anything odiferous, schedule your refresh with plenty of time to air out any lingering fumes.

Craft a memorable menu

One restaurant week bummer we hear about regularly is this one: Chefs create delectable special menus, but they’re devoid of house specialties that new customers are hoping to try during the promotion.

Depending on your restaurant’s price-point and the promotional restrictions enforced by your restaurant week’s organizer, it might not be possible for you to offer all the goodies that are must-haves for your regular menu. We encourage you to try to find a way to bring popular picks to this more limited menu, too. Appetizer portions and tasting platters are two possible ways to make this happen.

Get the word out early

Large-scale community events are typically coordinated by a local chamber of commerce or another business-oriented organization. For restaurant weeks, food and wine festivals, and other tasty opportunities, these orgs tend to put together event guides or listings. To maximize your customer volume, it’s essential that your business be included in these publications.

Figuring out what you need to do to get your restaurant on the map, so to speak, is a cinch. Some tech-savvy chambers will offer orientation-style information online for restaurant owners and managers. However, you can always call your chamber to find out what information you need to send to the right people. Remember, they’re there to help!

Upgrade your customer service tech

Of all the bad times to have a waitlist snafu, restaurant week is one of the worst. We created Waitlist Me so that your restaurant doesn’t have to worry about getting your guests from your waiting area to your dining room; our tech helps you quote more accurate times and prevent walkaways.

Waitlist Me is a simple waitlist and reservation app that you can implement today. With a single glance, your host can see how many people are in line, how long they’ve been waiting, and when they’ll make it to their table. You can also easily add our web widget to your restaurant’s website and let your customers hop in line from wherever they are.

Monday, September 30th, 2019 .

Everything from plastic straws to disposable containers are getting 86ed left and right. Why should paper clutter be any different because it’s piled up on your hostess stand instead of your tables?

But truth be told, it’s not just the toll paper takes on the ecosystem that should inspire you to transition toward digital waitlist and reservation management systems. There are a host of other reasons to switch to a waitlist and reservation app, like Waitlist Me, that go beyond your recycling bin. 

Need an example of why paper is passé? Here are 6:

You’re annoying your guests (and your staff)

A datebook can’t be in two places at once, but an app can. You can put Waitlist Me on as many tablets, smartphones, and computers as you want. While your hostess seats guests, a front-of-house manager can keep tabs on staff efficiency, a GM can track long-term customer trends, and a regional manager can check in on a few different locations.

Your wait times are inaccurate

How long will it take for that two-top to scarf down their chocolate mousse? When will you be able to squeeze a few tables together for a large party? With paper, you’re left guessing. Digital waitlist solutions, however, make it easier to make accurate wait estimates. That means your hosts can focus on customer service, not crunching numbers. 

You look unprofessional

Scrabbling through crumpled reservation book pages and scribbling party sizes onto a grease board makes your restaurant look like a slap-dash operation. Switching to an app lets you move all that mess onto one simple screen. No more MIA reservations, no more hard-to-read handwriting, and no more endless flipping while customers tap their toes.

You can’t multitask

Nobody likes the holler-back method of seating guests. For hosts, it’s laryngitis in the making. For next-in-line diners, it’s round after round of the “wait, did they just call our name?” game. And for even the most patient of waiting customers, it shatters the ambiance. An app like Waitlist Me lets you quickly, quietly, and easily text guests when it’s their turn.

You can’t gather data

Sure, you can tally up the heads served and tables turned by the end of the night, but with a pen and paper, a pile of chicken scratch is all you’ve got. Digital tools are built with analytics running automatically in the background as you and your staff go about your day. When you’re ready to see how your team has performed (and analyze trends, like your average table turnover time), the data is waiting for you.

You’re not serving your customers to the best of your ability

A hostess with a grease board in hand and a line to manage is working the numbers, not focusing on customer experience. But while lines are a fact of life that guests can deal with, a bad experience can wreck your restaurant’s reputation. Waitlist Me offers a bunch of features that helps hosts serve. One of our favorites: the public waitlist. Guests can check it on their smartphone or a monitor in your waiting area to see exactly where they are in line (and stop asking your hostess for an ETA!).

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.

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.