Monday, April 13th, 2020 .

The worldwide coronavirus pandemic has demonstrated just how important it is for businesses to manage what we used to consider minor details: the spaces we occupy, the items we touch, and the people we come into contact with.

But for manufacturers, distributors, and logistics professionals, there’s no detail too small to be optimized—and that’s been true for far longer than the modern world has combatted highly contagious illnesses like COVID-19, SARS, or Swine Flu. Since the 1960s, supply chains and production lines around the globe have adopted a leaner operation. It’s called just-in-time manufacturing, or JIT. 

What is JIT?

Just-in-time manufacturing is built on the principles popularized by Toyota’s production processes in Japan. It’s also known as continuous-flow or demand-flow manufacturing.

No matter the name, its goal is the same: JIT seeks to make production more efficient by ensuring that materials and finished products are always in transit rather than sitting around, waiting to be used. This decreases business overhead because goods in this system require less storage space.

It also makes for a smoother production process. Raw materials arrive the moment they are needed. Finished goods are shipped out as soon as they’re completed. There’s no lag time, no costly delays, and no square footage going to waste.

How to use just-in-time principles to fight COVID-19 (and improve your customer’s waiting experience)

Other businesses, from retail stores to restaurants, doctor’s offices to mechanic shops can put the principles that power JIT to work for both their bottom line and the overall safety and satisfaction of their customers. Watilist Me is a simple tool to make some of these concepts easy to implement.

Here are five ways your business can use Waitlist Me today to smooth out the kinks in your waiting process:

  1. Let customers wait elsewhere. Waitlist Me makes it simple to text customers when ready for them and see their replies. That means you customers don’t need to be crowded in a waiting area. They can wait in their car or somewhere nearby. 
  2. Keep queuers in the know. Our public waitlist feature lets your customers check their spot in line from their smartphone. With just a few taps, they can see their ETA and plan their arrival at your business just in time to be served.
  3. Add guests on the go. With the add-yourself web widget, individuals can hop on your waitlist from wherever they are, whether that’s home, in transit, or in the car in your parking lot.
  4. Educate customers on pick-up policies. When you add someone to your queue, Waitlist Me can send an automatic text confirmation. You can customize the information in this text to include coronavirus-specific instructions, like how to facilitate your no-contact pick-up service.
  5. Confirm details using two-way texting. Waitlist Me Pro and Platinum allow businesses to send custom text responses to their customers. You can use this feature to clarify orders, pick-up instructions, or any other questions guests may have.

Saturday, March 1st, 2014 .

Public Waitlist in settings – The public waitlist page can be customized in the “Settings” area of the “Account” after logging into www.noshlist.com. In addition to being able to customize the link of the public waitlist and change the settings on how guests can add themselves to the list, you can customize the page itself by clicking on the “Customize page” link

settings

 

Customize page – You can add text or any HTML to the bottom of your public page and preview it on the customize page. When you want to push it live, just click “Publish”. In the example below simple HTML has been added to reference an image (which would be hosted on another website) and add a link to that image

custom page

 

Customized page example – Below is an example of how the public waitlist page would look with the above example, and you can link to this page from your restaurant website as an easy way for people to see the current waitlist and add themselves to the list. You can also see this example live here: http://www.noshlist.com/n/brianscafe

public waitlist page

 

When a person adds themselves to the list the hostess will see a notification on their NoshList app and can choose a wait time and add other information through the regular flow for adding parties. The information the person submitted will automatically be pre-populated in this flow and the customer will get a confirmation message when they are added to the list. You can also choose in the settings to have the person automatically added to the list.

 

Customized public page on the phone – Whenever a person is added to the waitlist with the NoshList application they get a text message confirming that they have been added to the list if they have given their phone number. There is also a link to the public waitlist so the customer can check their place in line from their phone, and their initials will be highlighted in the list. This makes it easy for people to estimate their remaining wait without finding and bothering the hostess. By customizing the public waitlist page, you can also give customers information about daily specials, coupons or your loyalty program that they can check out while they wait

public waitlist phone

 

Default notifications in settings – You can also customize the two text messages that customers receive while they wait. The first message confirms the person has been added to the waitlist and gives them a short link to check their place in line. The second message notifies the customer that their table is ready and gives them a couple simple options for replying whether they need more time or if they have decided to go somewhere else. These will appear in the NoshList app so the hostess can see the customer’s response. Here is what the default messages look like:

default

 

And this is how the default messages look on the phone

phone default

 

Customized Notifications – NoshList Premium gives the ability to customize both of the messages in the settings. In the example below the first message has been changed to give an additional prompt to check out a coupon while they wait on the public waitlist page, and the second message gives another reminder to check out other online offers, which could go to the loyalty program

 

customized

 

And here is how the customized messages would look on the phone

phone custom

Friday, January 13th, 2017 .

appointment-calendarIn 2017, don’t get another paper appointment book. Waitlist Me’s appointment management options can help you manage your time and customers better than pen and paper ever could. Whether it’s a salon, barber shop, or similar business, you can leave your scheduling nightmares behind and make managing appointments simple. With a quick set up and easy to learn interface, we can help you start the new year on the right foot.

When the phone rings, instead having to look everywhere in an appointment book, Waitlist Me lets you see your availability at a glance in an intuitive digital calendar. Monthly and weekly views show counts of your scheduled customers so it is easy to see the big picture on when you have availability. Then in the daily view you can see appointments broken out by time and stylist. When scheduling appointments for a team of employees, simply check one screen to see who has an opening. You can easily find the best appointment times for your clients and send them text confirmations and reminders.

When a potential client walks in without an appointment, you don’t need to scramble to figure out if you can fit them in. Quickly see your availability for that day and give them an accurate estimate of how long it would be until you can help them.  You can even give them the freedom to walk around while they wait and text them when you are ready for them. Waitlist Me will help you improve your guest’s experience and make smarter business decisions faster.

Another great benefit of going digital with Waitlist Me is the flexibility to check your appointment calendar from any computer, tablet, or smartphone. So if a valued client calls when you aren’t at the salon and asks when you can squeeze them in, you don’t need to head back to look at your appointment book.  Or if one of your stylists calls in sick on your day off, you can do all the rescheduling from home. With Waitlist Me, you won’t have to worry anymore about carrying around your appointment book, driving back to the salon, or even worse, losing your appointment book. Try it out for free today.

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday, September 28th, 2017 .

Animals are much more sensitive to external stimuli than their leash- and carrier-holding counterparts. If you’re running a pet-focused business, that means the systems and tools you use to keep customers moving through your office are doubly important. Using a waitlist app like Waitlist Me can help you and your pet-owning clients keep your visitors calm, collected, and happy, which leads to a better visit today and repeat visits in the future.

Here are five ways veterinarians, groomers, shelters, and clinics are using the app to ensure smooth customer service and positive experiences for pet owners and their furry, scaled, and feathered friends, alike.

Allow pet owners to wait in the best place for their pets

Some pets are happy stretched out on the tile in your waiting room. Others are more content roaming around outside. Waitlist Me lets you send pet owners a text once it’s their turn, which means they can stop hovering around your reception area while they wait.

Bonus! If they’re a few minutes away, they can let you know they’re on their way using our simple text response feature.

Speed up appointment scheduling and check-in

When you’re juggling a full waiting room and your customer is being tugged away by a Great Dane, you don’t have minutes to spare flipping through a paper schedule. Waitlist Me’s intuitive interface operates from a simple single screen. A few swipes is all you need to make a new appointment, check someone in, or add a walk-in to your waitlist.

Bonus! Waitlist Me’s Premium service has a feature that lets customers check the current wait on your website and add themselves to the list from home, which cuts down on call time and the bottleneck in your waiting room.

Quote accurate wait times—every single time

When a loved one is sick, a 15-minute wait can feel like 45. Waitlist Me helps ease pet parent anxiety (and the frustration they’re turning on reception staff) with intelligent time quoting. Being able to see actual wait times next to quoted times has been proven to improve accuracy, so your staff will quickly become pros in giving the right guidance on expected waits.

Bonus! Our public wait list feature lets them check their place in line from their smartphones, which means fewer “how much longer?!” questions thrown your way.

Squeeze emergencies into a busy schedule

Faced with a skunked dog in need of a bath tub? How about a cat whose curiosity requires a little medical intervention? No matter the emergency, Waitlist Me’s visual layout lets you quickly see how your day is shaping up and which of your staff members is free to handle your walk-in when.

Bonus! Waitlist Me also lets you book different types of pet care appointments by assigning your customers different colored statuses. It’s an easy, visual way to track the services you offer, the time you need to set aside for them, and the staff required to man your office.

Reduce the rate of no-shows

Your customers aren’t flakes; they just forgot! Waitlist Me helps you significantly cut down on no-shows and last-minute cancellations through our text and call reminders. And you barely have to lift a finger! Just press a button.

Bonus! Forget about scheduling nightmares. Waitlist Me’s Pro service has a number of resource management features for tracking how long your rooms or staff have been busy with customers.  This helps you see exactly which people you need to assign where—and when it’s OK to send someone home or call for back-up.

 

Wednesday, August 14th, 2019 .

While fine dining might grab more press and shinier awards, fast casual is the largest growing restaurant sector around the world—and has been since 2015.

The name of the game isn’t just speed or price; if it was, fast food will still be earning top honors. Nope, fast casual continues to soar because it offers a superior customer experience. It’s all about serving great food to busy people on a budget.

Sounds good, right? Well, there’s one way to make it even better—and to ensure that your fast casual restaurant scores top marks on review sites like Yelp: make your guests’ dining experience more convenient.

Here are three ways to increase convenience at your fast casual restaurant starting right now.

#1. Go for mobile notifications

Waiting to pick up your meal at a counter is one of the few downsides to fast casual. Even worse? Perching on the edge of your seat trying to figure out if your name has been called. Hello, anxiety!

With a waitlist app like Waitlist Me, you can now text your guests when their meal is ready for pick-up. That means they can sit down and relax while they wait to nosh. It’ll cut down on noise in your restaurant and decrease customer stress (and the amount of food growing cold on the counter). No more crowding impatiently around the counter? That’s a win in our book!

#2. Take your waitlist online

Sure, the food might be worth the wait, but a wait isn’t what fast casual diners are looking for (see the “fast” in “fast casual”). From breakfast to lunch and dinner through late-night, nobody’s looking to stand around and watch other people scarf down goodies. That’s where an online waitlist comes in handy.

Waitlist Me offers a widget you can easily add to your restaurant’s website. Once it’s there, diners can hop on-line digitally, and walk through your door at just the right time. Bonus? Use our option to let customers join your list straight from their Google search, no website updates required.   

#3. Offer easy take-out and delivery options

Not every diner wants to park it in-house. And you know what? That’s just fine for your bottom line. An emptier restaurant gives newcomers the idea that you’re ready and waiting to serve them without requiring you to sacrifice orders. In their mind, they’ve arrived ahead of the crowd. In yours, you’re still busy fulfilling orders without needing the tables and chairs to accommodate them.

Make this a reality by setting your fast casual restaurant up online for easy take-out ordering. If your area offers delivery options—think: Postmates, UberEats, Seamless, or Grubhub—create special pick-up zone for delivery drivers. That way, they can get in and get out, and your diners can enjoy hot, fresh food from the comfort of their own home.

Remember, every time you make a change, you need to let your customers know! Add it to your website, have employees mention it when guests order, and post it around your restaurant.  

Our favorite way to ensure diners are in the know 24/7 is to post updates on an in-restaurant monitor, along with your waitlist. Waitlist Me Pro lets you do this easily, and there are no limits to what you include! Whether you’re celebrating your 1,000th 5-star rating, are offering a limited-time special, or you’re launching a loyalty program, anything goes. (Hint: funny cat videos work, too.)