New Apps to Help You Cut the Wait, Train a Staff of Digital Natives and More
There’s a constantly replenished treasure trove of apps to help you run your restaurant, train your staff and delight your guests. Consider some of these latest finds and be ’appy.
The app will seat you now. It’s Friday night, your waitlist is 20 deep and more customers are lined up at the door. Avoidable? Yes, according to Yelp’s Devon Wright, who says the company’s Nowait app was designed “to change the definition of reservation to ‘no waiting’ and let your guests avoid the line completely.” Begun in 2012 as a result of founder Robb Myer’s “aha moment” after his own 45-minute wait for brunch, the app gives customers control over how and where they wait for service and eliminates the use of inefficient paper waitlists and buzzers. Now the reservation app of choice at more than 4,600 restaurants across the United States and Canada, it’s powered by an easy setup for operators, requiring no more than an iPad. For diners, the experience is equally easy, providing the option to virtually join the waitlist on the restaurant’s Nowait-enabled Yelp page, and receive a highly accurate wait time based on predictive algorithms.
Nowait proved its value from the start for Diego Perez, general manager at Tony’s Pizza Napoletana in San Francisco. In 15 minutes, he and his team had the setup completed, and wait times at the busy pizzeria have been sliced in half, to 90 minutes. “Customers really like this app because they can now arrive just a few minutes before their table is ready. As a result, they’re coming in much more frequently,” he says. www.nowait.com
You have to love a company that offers a free education app replete with information on beer styles, wine pairings and cocktail recipes, ideal for your digitally dexterous young staff. Upgrade to pro for a reasonable $4 per user and upload your restaurant’s menu items, policies and procedures for onboarding in a Millennial-friendly format. www.withspiffy.com/restaurants
Take it to the next level.
LevelUp, a mobile network app that blends payments, analytics and rewards, introduced a new feature called Broadcast, allowing restaurant clients to reach new customers within the social and digital channels they use most, such as Facebook, Foursquare and Amazon Alexa. The most recent addition, Playfull, uses games to increase restaurant sales by as much as 10 percent, and gives LevelUp’s restaurant partners access to a new community of users.