Restaurant Marketing Restaurant Technology

Yelp’s Nowait Service Speeds Up Restaurant Reservations

Nowait restaurant seating availabilityWith all the various software available to our industry, how do you choose which ones to implement first?

Great companies are delivering powerful solutions to real problems in our industry. However, many of them require complicated integrations into your existing POS systems or with other third parties like payment processors.

So, when there is an example of a seamless integration between app providers that addresses a couple of challenges at the same time, it feels like a miracle. Such is the case of the newly launched relationship between Yelp and on-demand dining app, Nowait. The companies announced in August they were integrating Nowait’s real-time seating information and waitlist access into Yelp’s local search platform and now that is a reality.

What does this mean for restaurants?

Yelp Nowait partnershipYelp’s partnership with Nowait lets restaurant guests put their names on a wait list for seating availability.
Imagine a guest is searching for a restaurant on a busy Friday night. They launch Yelp and see your restaurant is nearby. If you have Nowait implemented, the guest would not only see your wait time, but also be able to join the waitlist virtually. They’re notified about seating status and can message the restaurant if they are running late (which is super useful to you). And if you’re not on a wait? Guests see that they can come right in for a table.

Statistics, like 145 million monthly user visits to Yelp and 200,000 phone calls made to listed businesses, prove that it’s a powerful place for restaurant operators to connect with guests.

Nowait provides a consistently awesome guest experience and FOH operations across major chains like Chili’s and First Watch. It leverages text messaging to confirm guests they are on the waitlist and when their table is ready. Additionally, the communication is two way, so guests can message the host if their plans change.

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Anyone that has managed a waitlist with bulky buzzers or by calling names over a loudspeaker won’t need much convincing that leveraging the guest’s mobile device is a more elegant and practical approach.

Creating a positive experience from the start

The real genius of this integration is the creation of a more positive interaction with guests via Yelp.

So often the only way we connect with Yelp users is if they have left negative feedback or had a difficult experience that they referenced in a review. With the Nowait integration, you are naturally creating a positive call to action for visiting your restaurant, relieving the guest of a pain point related to your busiest nights, and making their life easier.

Nowait feature Yelp reviewThese are great outcomes, especially given how effortless the integration is for operators. Any restaurant that uses Nowait has instant access to the Yelp deployment. No special work to be done. No extra expense to implement. Simply set it and move onto the other myriad of challenges your business presents daily.

If your concept doesn’t take reservations, then Nowait is a service you should consider offering your guests. There are a lot of new technology out there that just gunks down your business with too unnecessary processes. This Nowait/Yelp partnership aims to fix two big guest and operator pain-points — service execution and guest satisfaction.

When you can improve your guest experience performance and deliver a point of differentiation for your brand, that’s a win any way you slice it.

About the author

Andrew Jaffee

Andrew is an accomplished and respected restaurant industry professional with over 26 years of experience focusing on many aspects of small business management ranging from human resources to marketing - operations to accounting. Prior to The Rail Media, Andrew managed and owned a variety of concepts from quick service to fine dining and spent the first 20 years of his career as a restaurant operator.