For those of you who don’t already know, we have been using a new seating system for a while now, it is called NoWait. This system actually allows for us to seat you a lot faster and more efficiently. I will explain how it all works out for the best interest of you and us.
Previously we used an antiquated system of recording names and party sizes on a piece of paper and issuing a pager. This left a lot of room for guess work with estimated wait times, and left a lot of room for error. We were introduced to NoWait, and were a bit skeptical about it, but we decided to give it a shot because we had heard nothing but good things about it, even from other OPH’s that had adopted it.
We got all set up with two iPads- one up front in the host/hostess area, and another in the kitchen where a manager could keep an eye on everything, remotely, to make sure everything was going smoothly. We also installed the NoWait app on multiple iPhones that are used by the host/hostesses simultaneously with the iPads. It all works in conjunction to seat you faster.
The advantages of using this app are, over the old system, are:
- One host/hostess can mark a table dirty, clean, or open on the app from his or her phone in the dinning room, and it simultaneously lets the other host/hostess, in the waiting area on the iPad, know when tables are available or not.
- The app keeps track of the estimated time it takes for parties to get up, meaning it will help the host/hostess know a fairly accurate estimated wait time to give the customers once the wait begins.
- The host/hostess that is recording customers as they come into the restaurant will ask you how many people are in your party, your name, if you will be needing any accommodations (i.e. highchairs, slings) or even if you prefer a table or a booth, and finally a phone number.*
- By providing us with your personal phone number the host/hostess that is out in the dining room, who is seating, will be able to notify you by sending you a text when your table is ready.
How we use it:
- When we put you in the system we will give you an estimated wait time, and it will show by your name on our iPad. It will also show how long you’ve actually been waiting. If by any chance the estimated time that was given to you is getting close, the app will let us know. How you ask? For example, if we give you an estimated time of 10-15 minutes, and it has already been 10 minutes it will mark the time you have been waiting in red- letting the host/hostess know that you have not been sat, and it is very close to your time being up.
- The host/hostess that is out on the dinning room floor has the advantage of notifying you, via text, from their phone as soon as the table is cleaned and ready to be sat.
- The app will also let the host/hostess know how long it has been since they have notified you that your table is ready. We ask that everyone please watch for the second text we send that is letting you know when your table is ready.**
- If for some reason you decide that you are not going to wait and want to leave the waiting line, you can actually let the host/hostess know. You can text them that you have decided to cancel by simply replying to the text that was sent to you from the No Wait system.
- If you decide to download the app, it has two huge benefits for you! One; you can see your place in line through the app, so if you decide to go to a store you can check how close you are getting, and if you are close enough you can make your way back to us, and secondly, you can actually add your party to the waiting line if you are within a 10-15 mile radius of us before actually arriving! How awesome is that?***
Given the above information, if you do not want to give your phone number to us, your phone is on the verge of having a dead battery, or if you do not have a phone with you, the host/hostess can still provide you with a pager- although the pagers have a very limited range of only a few hundred yards.
*There is a no solicitation from us when you give us your number; you will only receive two texts from us- one letting you know that you’re in the system and the second to notify you once your table is ready. This is all done on the NoWait server and your phone number is never stored on their server. We do not have access to it and you will have to give us the number again the next time you come in to dine.
**When the host/hostess has notified you, we will give you 5 minutes to come up to the host stand and present yourself. If you have not come up within that 5 minutes we will skip you and give your table to the next party in line. After 11 minutes we will take you off the waiting list. If you arrive after we take you off, we will restore you and it will put you back up to the top of the list, and the next table available will be yours. It could be a couple minutes depending on your accommodations, but either way you will not have to go back to the back of the line.
*** If you add your party to the waiting line through the app, you will need to check in with the host/hostess that is up front once you are arrive. If you do not check in with the host/hostess and your party shows as the next party to be seated, we will not notify. So please check in once you arrive. You can only utilize this feature on the app if the restaurant is on a wait.