Best Practices

How to use waitlisting to drive more revenue

Using a pen & paper for your waitlist is losing your restaurant opportunities for revenue and guest relationships. Learn how digital waitlisting can impact your bottom line.

It’s a busy night at your restaurant–your staff is racing to serve the packed dining room and your front entryway is continuing to fill with hungry guests anxious to get a table quickly. How is your host stand managing the growing line of customers?

If your waitlist solution is a pen and paper, you’re not alone. In fact, 56% of restaurants reported using the same old-school technique. A pen and paper might seem like the simple solution, but for every name written down your restaurant is actively missing out on revenue and relationships with guests. With the right technology tools, waitlisting can be an opportunity for engagement and transactions. Interested in how digital waitlisting can help drive more revenue for your restaurant? You came to the right place! 

Digital Waitlists Create Flexibility

It’s no secret that diners would prefer to not have to wait to be seated, but did you know that 59% of consumers say they will wait less than 30 minutes before leaving? Imagine how many guests would leave after a 45 minute wait–or even an hour! One way to extend guest patience is to remove some of the restrictions that come with outdated solutions. Digital waitlists can collect guests' contact information and notify them by email or text that their table is ready. In other words, engage them while they wait and don’t restrict them to your lobby. 

With digital waitlisting, diners aren’t limited by if they can hear the host call their name or a table buzzer. Instead, they can visit nearby stores, grab a drink at the bar, or even start the waiting game in the comfort of their own home. Did you know, 8 out of 10 consumers said they are more likely to eat at a restaurant if they can add themselves to a waitlist ahead of time?

Digitizing your waitlist can also have an impact across service operations. If your waitlist connects to other tech solutions for your restaurant, like your website, you can text guests the menu so they have something to look at while they wait. Guests will likely arrive at their table already knowing what they want to order—speeding up the service cycle and increasing table turnover. Having your waitlist connect with other tech systems can make it easier for your staff to manage. If it takes longer than anticipated for a table to free up, you can adjust expected wait times and automatically notify guests.

Digital Waitlists Build Relationships

As mentioned before, digital waitlist tools collect guest contact information, but what do you do with that data? Use it to open up a stream of communications that lets you build relationships with your diners. Invite guests to leave a review after they’ve dined with you or remind them to try a dish they bookmarked on the menu. You can build customized messages to keep diners up-to-date on the happenings at your restaurant, including new menu items, specials, and events. If your waitlist is connected to your online ordering, you can share promo codes and offers to drive online ordering revenue. The bottom line? Data from your waitlist can be used to create cravings that entice customers back again and again.  

Waitlisting with Popmenu

Ready to ditch the crowded host stand? Introducing Popmenu Waitlisting. Included with a Popmenu Pro subscription, Popmenu’s digital waitilisting solution lets you share the menu, notify guests via SMS and email, and easily seat parties—all from one singular device. Waitlisting just became better for everyone. What are you waiting for? Schedule a demo with our team and learn how waitlisting fits into Popmenu’s other offerings.

Front of the House Resource

The Complete Guide to Restaurant Hiring and Staffing

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