Mama Lu’s

Mama Lu’s offers a modern take on traditional Mexican cuisine in a vibrant and wholesome atmosphere. With a focus on the customer experience, everything is fresh and made to order and attention to every detail is paramount. Thanks to NextMe’s waitlist system, Chef and owner John Larson is able to improve the waiting experience for his customers while increasing revenue during peak hours.

Mama Lu’s boosts revenue with a Virtual Waiting Room

The Need

Long waits for a table are all too common at Mama Lu’s. With a very limited waiting area and an increasing volume of customers each year, guests and staff alike weren’t happy with the chaotic check in process. For years, employees managed the waitlist by yelling out the names for who’s up next into a sea of people. They even tried a rival waitlist system but were unsatisfied with the resulting efficiency and reception from their customers. So much time was wasted. Mama Lu’s wanted to stay true to its focus on the customer experience by improving the waiting experience for their customers. They also wanted to prioritize staff comfort by keeping the Front of House clear of traffic. Above all, GM Austin Burt knew that improving the check-in and waiting process would increase revenue overall. Any way to increase revenue during the wait would be a surprising addition.

The Outcome

Mama Lu’s switched to NextME from their old system because they saw how much we care about locally-owned restaurants and the experiences they create with their customers. More importantly, they saw how much more effective the NextME system can be, especially with our customer-facing Virtual Waiting Room feature. They started seeing positive results almost immediately after implementing the system.

Customers at Mama Lu’s can now either join the waitlist with the host or check in via a QR code upon arrival. When they join the waitlist,  the guest is able to view their Virtual Waiting Room through a simple link in the notification text. To keep the Front of House clear of traffic,  Mama Lu’s prompts each waiting guest to grab a drink across the street at The Flying Noodle. While most NextME Users upsell their own drinks to their waiting guests, Mama Lu’s doesn’t have the space in their restaurant to accommodate that service. The Flying Noodle, however, has the space and is owned by Chef Rob as well. This process in turn creates additional revenue for the sister restaurant. Did someone say, Vertical Integration? 

Aside from crowd control, frequently asked questions can now be answered ahead of time. Waiting guests are now able to view their updated positions in line, menus and specials, and visit Mama Lu’s Social Media pages. Guests can even purchase Gift Cards and Taco Kits while waiting for a table, adding another channel of revenue. 

Austin Burt, GM at Mama Lu’s, says that his guests are now happier during the wait due to the increased engagement, a place to sit down and drink, and updates throughout the wait time. With faster table turns overall, the staff is especially thrilled with the system – allowing them to flip more tables and answer fewer questions. And with a 5% increase in revenue in food and drink sales alone, Chef John couldn’t be happier.

Increase in Revenue
Increase in Food & Drink Upsells
Table Turns

Austin Burt

General Manager at Mama Lu’s

The Virtual Waiting Room allows our customers to come in with a game plan and stick to it. Our servers are saving so much time overall.

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