Monday, September 30th, 2019

BY waitlistme,

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!).