Which Waitlist App? 6 Top Options for Your Restaurant

Restaurant Technology

Find a waitlist app and run a restaurant worth waiting for with Lavu.

Running your restaurant, especially during busy hours of the day, means your staff has to be on top of its game. Guests need to be checked in by the host, tables have to be managed, and parties must be promptly informed when their table is ready.

For that reason, incorporating a restaurant waitlist app into your strategy can save you both time and headaches, especially during peak times when you need to stay organized. From table management features to analytics and reporting, you’ll get your guests in and out in an efficient manner, yielding more sales and happier customers.

Not sure which waitlist app is the right one for your restaurant? We’ve compiled a list of our top 6 waitlist apps for you to consider:

  1. Yelp Waitlist – Best for Casual Dining
  2. OpenTable – Best for Restaurant Marketing
  3. TablesReady – Best for Customization
  4. Waitlist Me – Best for Easy Use
  5. NextME – Best for Customer Engagement
  6. Waitwhile – Best for Data Management

Are you ready to find the perfect waitlist software to help streamline your restaurant’s daily operations? Let’s dig in!

Yelp Waitlist is a top waitlist app.

1. Top Waitlist App for Casual Dining: Yelp Waitlist (integrated with Nowait)

Overview of this waitlist app

Yelp Waitlist allows you to seamlessly manage your restaurant’s waitlist. Guests can view your restaurant’s profile on the Yelp app and view the live wait times before choosing to join the waitlist.

Once diners join your waitlist, they’ll be informed when to arrive and receive a text with a link so they can track their place in line.

Best features of this software

Of the many features Yelp Waitlist offers, these stand out:

  • Manage everything together. Manage your waitlist and dining floor all together. There’s no need for pagers, just an iPad.
  • Reporting. Get daily reporting to help you decide how to staff your restaurant, schedule hours, and more.
  • Algorithms. Yelp Waitlist’s quoted wait algorithm learns from your restaurant’s history and predicts wait times almost twice as accurately as most hosts.
  • Kiosks. Use a waitlist kiosk to allow guests to sign in without a host present.

Learn more about Yelp's waitlist app.

How much does it cost?

Contact Yelp Waitlist to request a demo and inquire about pricing.

OpenTable is a top waitlist app.

2. Top Waitlist App for Restaurant Marketing: OpenTable

Overview of this waitlist app

With OpenTable, guests can book reservations with your restaurant from anywhere, including your website, TripAdvisor, and more. OpenTable boasts that approximately 70% of the diners they’ve sent to restaurants in recent years were also new to that restaurant.

OpenTable sends texts to guests for waitlist updates and automatic reservation reminders. Their marketing solutions especially stand out as a way to get your restaurant on more guests’ radars.

Best features of this software

Depending on your plan, the features you can enjoy from OpenTable include:

  • Restaurant marketing. You’ll get a powerful marketing solution that lets you get featured in OpenTable search results, market your specials to undecided diners, and more.
  • Guest management. Learn more about your customers and recognize your most loyal guests. Servers can also personalize their service because they’ll have easy access to guest details and dining preferences.
  • Table management. Keep your hosts updated about each table status (such as paid, appetizer, entree, dessert) so they can turn more tables.
  • Track your revenue. Compare shift revenue for a certain day to the average from the past month. View each shift’s average spend per cover (meal) and party as well.
  • Reporting. View, filter, and export your restaurant’s reservation information, including totals and tips. You can also view your restaurant’s most frequent visitors.

Learn more about OpenTable's waitlist app.

How much does it cost?

OpenTable’s GuestCenter platform costs $249/mo + $1 per seated online cover. Their Connect plan is $0/mo + $2.50 per cover.

TablesReady is a top waitlist app.

3. Top Waitlist App for Customization: TablesReady

Overview of this waitlist app

TablesReady is a customizable and flexible restaurant waitlist app that helps you eliminate crowds in the front of your restaurant. When you get busy, you can use multiple tablets to enter guest information, which will automatically sync in real time across the devices.

Best features of this software

TablesReady comes with many excellent features, such as:

  • Customizable notifications. Notify waiting guests when their tables are ready with a customized notification that you can send with the single press of a button. You can also send confirmation texts when someone is added to your list, next-in-line notifications, and follow-up notifications after they’ve dined at your restaurant.
  • Promote your restaurant. Add links to your website, social media, or event calendar through the app.
  • Flexible digital waitlist. Manage your waitlist from a tablet, computer, or mobile device. You can filter and sort through your waiting guests, and the wait time counter will turn red when someone has been waiting longer than what you quoted. Let people sign up via text or from your website as well.
  • Syncing. This waitlist software syncs between multiple devices in real time. Reservations will also show up in line with your waitlist.
  • Displays. Display your waitlist in your waiting area or send a link via text so people can see their place in line.
  • Accurate estimates. Estimate your guests’ wait times based on waitlist length and historical data.
  • Reporting. View detailed analytics and trends.

Learn more about TablesReady's waitlist app.

How much does it cost?

TablesReady offers straightforward pricing at $69.95/mo.

Waitlist Me is a top waitlist app.

4. Top Waitlist App for Easy Use: Waitlist Me

Overview of this waitlist app

Waitlist Me is an intuitive and user-friendly waitlist app that’s easy for employees to use with little to no training. Their app combines great features with a low price, offering a highly scalable and reliable text and call messaging system.

Simply push a button to send a text or automated call when each customer’s table is ready.

Best features of this software

Of Waitlist Me’s features, these particularly stand out:

  • Web widget. Add your waitlist to your website or Facebook page.
  • Self-scheduling. Allow guests to check the wait time and add themselves to the waitlist from home or from their phone.
  • Kiosks. Use an iPad as a self-check-in station for guests to use when they arrive.
  • Statistics. View estimates of average wait times by group size so that your staff can give more accurate wait time quotes.
  • Reporting. Export reports on your restaurant’s activity, demographics, and more. You can also get weekly email summaries regarding your restaurant’s performance.

Learn more about Waitlist Me's waitlist app.

How much does it cost?

Waitlist Me pricing ranges from free to $39.99/mo, depending on the features that you need.

NextME is a top waitlist app.

5. Top Waitlist App for Customer Engagement: NextME

Overview of this waitlist app

NextME is a restaurant waitlist app that allows restaurants to manage their waitlists and get more customers through the door. You can track visits and wait times and grow your business with custom reporting that will help you streamline your customer service.

Best features of this software

NextME offers the following great features:

  • Customizable engagement platform. Create a personalized digital storefront that customers can access through a link sent via SMS text. Guests can view your marketing and social media pages while they wait, as well as their place in line.
  • Faster service. Add customer information twice as fast as typical processes using the easy interface.
  • Easily recognize repeat customers. This waitlist software can recognize returning customers and auto-populate customer information to speed up your service. This gives you the chance to reward them for being loyal customers.
  • Syncing and booking. Sync your waitlist over multiple devices and add future reservations to your waitlist.
  • SMS notifications. Regardless of the device your customers are using, SMS notifications will send them alerts at the appropriate times.

Learn more about NextME's waitlist app.

How much does it cost?

NextME offers a variety of prices and feature packages to meet the needs of your restaurant. Contact them for more information.

Waitwhile is a top waitlist app.

6. Top Waitlist App for Data Management: Waitwhile

Overview of this waitlist app

Waitwhile is a waitlist app that removes the hassle even when your restaurant is incredibly busy. Easily keep guests informed, track your data, and provide estimated wait time quotes. Guests can also sign themselves up on your online waitlist.

This waitlist software is easy to use and can be managed from any device, even without WiFi.

Best features of this software

Waitwhile has many awesome features to take advantage of:

  • Quickly add guests. Add a new guest to your waitlist from any device. You can also choose the information you want to collect from new guests, such as their email address, phone number, party size, and more.
  • SMS texts. Once a guest is added to your waitlist, they’ll receive a confirmation SMS text that offers helpful information, and then an automated text alerting them when it’s almost their turn.
  • Public waitlist. Guests can see where they are in line on your public waitlist. They can also remove themselves from the list if they won’t be able to dine after all.
  • Check-in. Guests can sign up on your waitlist and even check themselves in on a check-in station at your restaurant.
  • Guest history. View your complete guest history and learn which customers are the most loyal. Export your data into Excel as well.
  • Analytics. Get insights into your wait times, busy hours, and other trends to better manage your restaurant.
  • Customization. Customize your waitlist and text alerts however you want.

Learn more about Waitwhile's waitlist app.

How much does it cost?

Waitwhile ranges from free plans to their starter plans ($59/mo), business plans ($159/mo), and enterprise plans (contact them for a quote).

Find a waitlist app and run a restaurant worth waiting for with Lavu.

When it comes to finding the right waitlist app for your restaurant, it’s important to take a close look at your restaurant’s size, style, budget, and general needs. From there, you’ll be able to narrow down the choices to the perfect match. Start exploring these options for yourself!

If you’re looking for more ways to efficiently manage your restaurant, check out these additional resources below:

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