It has been said that hosting is a charter job in the League of Underappreciated Workers. The work can be difficult and, often, thankless.
Hosts are saddled with knowing the layout and table configuration of every server’s station; greeting all guests as they arrive; getting them all seated in order; rotating the guests among stations; seeing that there are enough place settings for each guest; and on occasion even refilling drinks or clearing a table.
And, the host must do all that with a smile. After all, he or she is both the first and last contact with customers and could easily trigger the dreaded rant on Yelp if things go wrong.
So, if a restaurant is going to adopt a waitlist management solution, why would that solution be more complicated than is required to get the job done? We have no idea. Better to ask the many businesses using solutions with far more bells and whistles than are needed to effectively manage the front door.
Excessive complexity in a software app does several things, none of them good. Mostly, they intimidate and overwhelm the user and overcomplicate the product. Products shouldn’t require a user manual as thick as a now-obsolete telephone book, nor a lengthy training class to learn.
What Simplicity Looks Like in Waitlist Management
The best bet is to opt for a waitlist management app that is robust and scalable and yet simple enough that using it doesn’t become a burden on the host stand. The best app will provide the ability to:
- Quickly and intuitively enter guest information and preferences, in only two or three steps.
- Easily communicate with guests via cell phones SMS text, guest pagers, or a combination of both through a single interface. Why force the host to juggle dual systems?
- Easily and intuitively match party sizes with available tables to maximize seating during peak periods.
- Customize messages to guests to offer that extra customer-first, personal touch.
- Quote wait times for guests more accurately.
- View a guest history.
- Quickly and easily re-page guests. In the pursuit of turning as many tables as possible during the rush, every minute counts.
- Know which tables are open vs. those that are used, and easily update those statuses on the fly.
The goal of simplicity in a waitlist management system is not merely to ease the host’s workload. The right app, free of clutter and easy to use, also helps turn tables faster and frees the host to do other, important work that enriches the customer experience.
Find Out More About New Technologies Enhance the Customer Experience
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Skip Cass is the chief executive officer at LRS and an expert in operational efficiency and creating a memorable guest experience.