How Queue Management and Virtual Waiting Rooms Helped a Charity Bless 320 Kids With Gifts | NextME Waitlist App

How a Local Charity Teamed up with NextME for Their Annual Toy Drive

How Queue Management and Virtual Waiting Rooms Helped a Charity Bless 320 Kids With Gifts | NextME Online Waitlist

How Queue Management and Virtual Waiting Rooms Helped a Charity Bless 320 Kids with Gifts

1 Village, a non-profit organization located in metro Atlanta, has the fundamental goal of “helping communities better themselves”. Each year on Christmas Eve, they host a much anticipated toy drive for families in need. 1 Village works tirelessly throughout the year gathering donations and building sponsorships. Even the Spyder Squad ATL (motorcycle club) dropped off loads of gifts for the event this year.

The Problem: Health and Safety Measures. Outdated Check-in Processes

They had the gifts and sponsors but organizers were facing tough challenges this year due to restrictions from the Covid-19 pandemic. They needed to tackle their intake and check-in process. 1 Village decided to digitize the way they held events to ensure everyone’s safety. The answer? A modern waitlist solution with a Virtual Waiting Room and QR codes. 

The Solution: A Queue Management System with a Virtual Waiting Room

1 Village teamed up with NextME to employ a waitlist management system for the event. They customized their Virtual Waiting Room and Self Check-In features based on their specific needs. And after some quick and friendly onboarding from NextME staff, the organizers we’re ready to take on the event. (we supplied our service for free)

How Queue Management and Virtual Waiting Rooms Helped a Charity Bless 320 Kids With Gifts | NextME Waitlist App

How It Went

“The app was definitely helpful and fairly easy to use... Overall it was a good day. We were able to bless 320 kids with gifts. - Niesha (Nikki) Hicks, Co-Founder

  • The organizers had implemented a pre-registration process ahead of the event (to ensure they had enough supplies for the demand this year)
  • When a guest arrived at the event, they checked in by scanning a QR code on one of their many check-in signs located outside. 
  • The guest filled out their custom form and jumped on the waitlist
  • Organizers filtered each guest coming on to the waitlist into their respective queues, based on their party size and pre-registration status
  • While the guest waited in their car, they were engaged in the Virtual Waiting Room - updating them on their spot in line, highlighting different sponsors, and capturing their emails in order to reach out to them for future events. 
  • When space opened up inside, the organizer simply notified the next guest in line via the NextME App.
  • The guest received the final text to come inside, with instructions on where to enter the building. 
  • Gifts and smiles all around - with an email to attend their next event on the way. 

1 Village plans on using NextME at all of their future events, pandemic or not. From a managerial perspective, NextME increased throughput and efficiency which helped the event run smoothly. And from a guest perspective, the Self Check-In and Virtual Waiting Room features provided them with a better guest experience - and that made their day a little more special. 

If you’d like to donate to 1 Village, contact Nikki at [email protected]

Request a demo or give us a call at (877) 639-8631 for more info!


Too many Delivery Drivers at your restaurant's door? There’s an easy fix.

How Waitlist Management Apps and Virtual Waiting Rooms Help Delivery Run Seamlessly

Overwhelmed with Third Party Delivery Apps?

You’re not alone. Even Restaurant Week is takeout-only this year. The push for delivery was starting to emerge pre-pandemic but this last year has accelerated that pace significantly. This increased demand for delivery has created a third-party delivery company boom. And created a new set of challenges for the restaurant industry.

Without getting into commission fees, the increased demand for delivery apps has made the pickup process increasingly hard for restaurants to manage. There are over 10 (and counting) major delivery apps out there. If a restaurant is accepting orders (willingly or not) from these companies, several delivery drivers from different companies are often coming by at peak hours to pick up orders. 

How can you manage this chaos?  

Restaurants and tech companies (not the delivery app ones) are finding creative solutions to adapt to this new environment. Waitlist management apps have come out with new features like Self Check-In options and Virtual Waiting Rooms . These awesome features, however, are primarily used to manage the customer intake process. Self-Check-In features provide safe and easy options for the guest to check in. And Virtual Waiting Rooms keep guests informed and engaged during their wait. Both reduce negative reviews, build brand image and most importantly, increase efficiency. Can Self Check-Ins and Virtual Waiting Rooms be used with delivery drivers, you ask?

It’s Simple: Use NextME’s waitlist management app for your delivery drivers.

Step 1. Delivery drivers check themselves in when they arrive for the order using either a QR code posted outside or by clicking on a simple link sent to them in the automated message through the third party delivery app.

Step 2. They fill out your custom intake form, including their mobile number, third party delivery company, order number, or anything else you would like to include.

Step 3. Delivery drivers wait in their cars instead of in a cluster around your door. While they wait, they enter your Virtual Waiting Room, learning about your pickup processes and are updated of their spot in line. 

Step 4. Once the order is ready, the driver is simply notified with a second text to come pick up their order. 

And using NextME’s filtering features, you can separate your delivery drivers by company into separate queues for better organization. You can even add “order number” and “customer name” fields into the custom intake form to maximize your pickup process. At last, your staff can breathe a sigh of relief. 

A Solution for Restaurants Big and Small

NextME’s waitlist system is being used to manage delivery drivers at restaurants big and small across North America. A Jet's Pizza Franchise, located in Ohio, recently implemented NextME at their business. Since then, they have effectively organized and streamlined their pickup process. Request a demo or give us a call at (877) 639-8631 for more info!


Small Business Spotlight - Gaslight Diner

Most of the restaurants we love are small businesses. And the Covid pandemic has created a ton of problems for the restaurant industry this year. With some restaurants proving to be less-than ideal for this new culinary landscape, experienced restaurateurs have shifted their focus, rebranded, and incorporated tech to better meet the needs of their customers. In the case of Seth Boone and his team in Louisville, they did just that.  

With a retro diner aesthetic and a savvy online presence, Gaslight Diner opened in mid-November to better meet the breakfast-food cravings of their neighborhood. And they’re serious about engaging with their community. Seth Boone has placed a strong emphasis on customer relations and service throughout Gaslight. For one, he’s made checking-in as easy as possible for his guests. After placing NextMe’s Widget on his site, Seth’s customers don’t have to wait in line or out in the cold Louisville winters. His guests can now check-in and wait for their table in their cars. They can even take a nice, socially-distant walk around town while they wait. It doesn’t really matter where they go. What matters is his guests don’t have to wait in line. And that is something that customers remember. 

 

Always building on their customer base, Gaslight uses NextMe’s Virtual Waiting room to boost and drive engagement. While waiting for a table, guests can now browse their updated menus, promotions and visit their social media. They’re also updated with their spot in line so everyone stays calm and collected. 

If you dine at Gaslight Diner (which we hope you do if you’re ever in the great city of Louisville), you can enjoy a virtual check in experience compliments of NextME (and Seth).


NextME Waitlist App - Top CRM Consultants in Chicago by Clutch

NextME Featured on Clutch’s 2019 Top CRM Consultant Report

Clutch Top CRM Consultants 2019 NextME Waitlist App

NextME Appointment Waitlist App Wins Top Honors from Clutch

NextME is the ultimate solution for helping various businesses, event organizers, exhibitors, and restaurants effectively manage their appointments and waitlists while improving efficiency and customer satisfaction. As technology develops, virtual solutions are being used more frequently as a method to manage customer relations, which includes managing a queue if you’re an appointment-based business. Due to our success in improving appointment and waitlist management across industries, we have earned a Clutch award for being one of the top CRM consultants in Chicago.

Located in Washington, DC, Clutch is a ratings and reviews startup dedicated to B2B service firms. Since 2013, Clutch’s platform has connected thousands of prospective buyers with service providers for their business needs. By carefully analyzing industry data and conducting their signature client interviews, the Clutch analysts are able to rank and rate the top companies in a variety of industries. We are very grateful to NextME’s clients for taking the time to participate in the interview process. 

Along with our rating on the main Clutch page, we have been featured on The Manifest and Visual Objects, sister-sites of Clutch. The Manifest is a business news platform featuring how-to guides, state of tech news and industry rankings. We can be found listed among the top CRM consultants on The Manifest. Visual Objects is designed to highlight the work of a wide variety of creative agencies ranging from advertisers to software developers. Each Clutch listing offers buyers a unique look into what we can offer to clients. 

We are thrilled to have been selected for these awards. Going forward, we hope to grow our client base and expand our brand. If your business could use help optimizing your appointment and waitlist operations, let’s get in touch today! 

 


Best Brunch Las Vegas

NextME's Guide: Top 10 Brunch Spots in Las Vegas

We all know that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. But honestly, Vegas brunches are too good not to share! If you’re looking for some of the best brunch spots on and off the Las Vegas strip, NextME's got the goods right here.

Energetic Brunch at Eureka!

Photo Courtesy of OC Foodies
Photo Courtesy of OC Foodies

With a cozy patio, quirky decor, and handpicked house music spun by a live DJ, Eureka! Is a fun, upbeat option for brunch downtown. You’ll find them on East Fremont Street, just blocks from the Fremont Street Experience. The brunch menu features standards like steak ‘n’ eggs and chilaquiles. But be sure to try some of their delicious fried chicken topped with a jalapeño-infused maple glaze and served with a side of crispy bacon. Or order the avocado toast for a unique twist on this brunch staple (hint: chimichurri sauce). No matter what you order, be sure to try some of their handcrafted drinks, and enjoy some people watching as you munch!

Island Brunch at Kapuna Cafe

Brunch Las Vegas
Photo Courtesy of Kapuna Cafe

Sometimes you just want to get away from it all and enjoy some island vibes. If you can’t manage a trip to the tropics, go for the next best thing with brunch at Kapuna Cafe on North Decatur Blvd. From Kalbi (grilled short ribs) to Mochi Pancakes, and plenty of spam if that’s your thing, they’ve got the island flavors you’re sure to adore. Everything is cooked fresh and served up hot by amazingly friendly staff. Stop by and see why Vegas is called the ninth island!

Diner Brunch at Norm’s Diner

Photo Courtesy of Eater Vegas
Photo Courtesy of Eater Vegas

If you’re looking for an old-school diner style brunch, look no further than Norm’s Diner on S. Durango Drive. They’re proud to serve up some of the best benedicts in town, along with all sorts of breakfast and lunch staples. It’s the sort of place that attracts regulars because the food is just that good. And it ought to be. After all, Norm used to be a chef for the Las Vegas Hilton, back when Elvis played there.

Chinese and Brunch at the Northside Cafe & Chinese Kitchen

Photo Courtesy of SLS Las Vegas
Photo Courtesy of SLS Las Vegas

If you’ve ever craved a side of fried rice with your brunch entrees, we’ve got the perfect brunch spot for you! Northside Cafe & Chinese Kitchen in the SLS Las Vegas Hotel and Casino offers the best of breakfast, alongside over 40 authentic Chinese dishes. The breakfast menu is available all day and night, but the dim sum starts after 11am, so come in the late morning or early afternoon for the best selection. They’ve got dishes ranging from Caramelized Banana Pancakes to spicy Salt & Pepper Squid, with several American, Mexican, and even Italian offerings as well.

Home Cookin’ Brunch at Peg’s Glorified Ham n Eggs

Photo Courtesy of Eater Vegas
Photo Courtesy of Eater Vegas

Peg’s Glorified Ham n Eggs serves up delicious home cooked food in Henderson and Las Vegas. It may be the most extensive brunch menu you’ve ever encountered, so be sure to bring your appetite. From standard egg plates and skillets to their delicious Tex-Mex, Hawaiian, and New York Deli specials, you’re sure to find something perfect for everyone in your party. And while each person is likely to find a unique flavor to dine on, one thing will be the same for all: the food is amazing, perfectly cooked, and served by friendly staff.

Granola Brunch at Rooster Boy Cafe

Photo Courtesy of Las Vegas Weekly
Photo Courtesy of Las Vegas Weekly

The Rooster Boy Cafe on Regatta Drive in beautiful Desert Shores is the sort of friendly, neighborhood cafe where everyone feels instantly at home. They’ve got some really delightful options for all-day breakfast, including several dishes for those with dietary restrictions. But the real star of this show is their delicious breakfast bowls made with Rooster Boy’s own special blends of granola. We’re pretty sure you’re going to fall in love with the decadent tastes, but don’t worry! You can even get bags of granola to go so you can re-create your favorite bowls at home.

NYC Jewish Deli Brunch at Sadelle’s

Photo Courtesy of Food & Wine

If the York Deli scene is your passion, Sadelle’s in the Bellagio Conservatory is the place to go. They serve all day breakfast including all the usual favorites, from fried chicken to omelets to sticky buns. But their fresh, hot bagels are the real standout here. Be sure to try out the Sadelle’s Tower, with perfectly smoked salmon and luxe caviar. Looking for sweet rather than savory? Keep an eye peeled for the pastry cart with its fresh and delicious baked goods.

Craveable Healthy Brunch at SkinnyFATS

Photo Courtesy of SKINNY FATS
Photo Courtesy of SKINNY FATS

The tag line at SkinnyFATS is “Live Healthy, Live Happy” and one taste of their mouth-watering food will show you just how well they adhere to it. From chia puddings to smothered breakfast burritos, these dishes will delight just about any taste preference. This eatery features a split menu: half healthy, half decadent, and all incredibly yummy. And with four Vegas locations and an additional two in Henderson, you’re sure to have one nearby, wherever you are.

Ultimate Brunch Buffet at the Wicked Spoon

Photo Courtesy of Cosmopolitan

In a city famous for its buffet options, Bacchanal Buffet is our pick for the best brunch buffet in Vegas. Located in Caesar’s Palace, this huge food hall has everything you could possibly want in a brunch spot. The New York Post has called this one the best buffet in the country, and Thrillist says it’s “the standard against which all Las Vegas buffets are judged,” so you know this one is worth a visit. With seating for 600 in an over 25,000 square foot space, this is an enormous eatery with nine show kitchens and plenty of made-to-order dishes to choose from.

Hidden Gem Brunch at Zenaida’s Cafe

Photo Courtesy of Las Vegas Weekly

Located just off E Tropicana Ave downtown, Zenaida’s Cafe is the kind of welcoming, fun brunch spot you’d expect to draw a huge crowd. Yet it’s far enough from the action of the strip that you’ll find mostly locals here. They have all the usual brunch eats, made to perfection and delivered to your table by their friendly and helpful staff. Check out favorites like the shrimp and grits, tofu scramble, or avocado toast. And since it’s far from the glitz of the casinos, you can also get some amazing food for reasonable prices here!


Restaurants Save Time and Money with a Waitlist App

Technology is everywhere, from the smartphones we carry with us to the advanced systems in our cars, to the tech in use at places of business large and small. And the restaurant industry is no exception.

From touchscreen food and beverage dispensers that offer diners more options and a serve yourself experience, to biodiesel converters that will convert your used fryer oil to fuel delivery trucks and catering vehicles, technology is improving the way we do business. And better yet, it’s improving the bottom line of an industry with infamously tight margins.

But how, exactly, is all of this progress helping restaurateurs to save? We’ll examine how just one inexpensive bit of technology can increase profits, decrease costs, and help your restaurant run more smoothly even at the busiest of times.

Stop Seating Parties Like It’s 1999

Many eateries who don’t accept reservations are still relying on those costly, germ-ridden pager systems they’ve been using for 20 years or more. Yet these systems are pretty much the opposite of technological progress.

In addition to the sizeable cost of outfitting a restaurant with these bits of last century tech, you’re also on the hook for the expense of maintaining them, and replacement costs that can reach up to $100 per unit. Then there are the man hours spent on upkeep, searching for wayward pagers when guests get tired of waiting and just ditch them in the waiting area, and the eyesore of a blinking tower of plastic that greets your guests when they approach the host’s table.

Ditch the pagers, and instead tap into the technology that most of your diners are already carrying with them anyway. With a waitlist app like NextME, you can replace all of that outdated equipment with a single sleek and sophisticated iPad or iPhone. Plus, the app is a simple solution to implement, and new host staff can be trained and up to speed quickly for a minimum of downtime. As an added bonus, guests don’t even have to download the app to take advantage of the NextME system! They simply give the host their phone numbers, then receive SMS texts notifying them of their wait times and positions in line.

Keep Guests Engaged to Prevent Walkouts

Hosts see it daily. A party comes in, puts their name on the list, and sits down to wait. But when their turn comes and their name is called, the party is nowhere to be found. The host then has to spend valuable time trying to locate them before moving on to the next party in line. It’s a frustrating experience for all involved.

With the NextME waitlist, customers can see exactly where they are in line, along with their estimated wait times - all via SMS texts without needing to download a separate app. Additionally, they can browse the menu, check out your current specials, read reviews on your social media pages, and otherwise engage with your brand while they wait. All of this leads to 25% fewer walkouts over all. But what about those who still leave? Since guests can confirm or cancel their table when they’re told it’s ready, your host won’t have to waste time tracking down wayward parties.

Double Your Table Turns

If you could double the number of tables you could serve per hour at peak times, what would that do for your bottom line? You may be wondering how such a thing is possible, and what it has to do with waitlist apps.

Displaying digital menus to patrons while they wait can significantly cut down on the time spent at the table trying to decide what to order. And since NextME’s customer facing mobile marketing page allows you to display your menu, specials, social media, and other promotional messages to each guest on the waitlist, you can expect tables to turn much faster – up to twice as fast! For those who are counting, that means double the revenue during peak dining hours.

Keep Your Front of the House Running Smoothly

Have you even calculated how much time your hosts spend answering questions about how much longer the wait will be? Or tracking down parties who have wandered off or pagers that have been ditched in the bushes outside? As you’ve already seen, waitlist apps can help eliminate each of these time sinks to allow your hosts to focus on what really matters: hospitality. And that increased staff efficiency means more productivity with fewer FTEs, and a less stressful shift for those working peak hours.

But Does It Really Save Money?

NextME’s track record has been proven, and restaurants can attest to the effect it’s had on their customer satisfaction as well as their bottom lines. Of course, your results will vary depending on the size of your restaurant and the volume of guests you seat on a given day, but it’s not unreasonable to suggest you’ll likely save thousands. In fact, Southport Grocery & Cafe, a tiny brunch destination, saved over $2,000 by switching to NextME. And a larger chain, Lou Malnati's, saved upwards of $10,000 across their 13 locations. So the real question is, can you afford not to update your waitlist?


Top Chicago Brunch Spots for Memorial Day

This year, Memorial Day falls on Monday, May 29th, and it is a great day to spend in Chicago. The city is brimming with summer kick-off parties, events, rooftop/ outdoor patio bars, and new restaurants. Nothing beats a good Monday off filled with good food and drinks with family and friends.

Planning reservations for brunch on Memorial Day can often be a hassle, especially in a city like Chicago where wait times for a table can be very long at the most popular restaurants. I’ve noticed that many of the brunch spots on Yelp that are tagged as “takes reservations”, DO NOT actually take advance reservations, which can be pretty frustrating. People get irritated by waiting up to an hour for the next table to open up, and we all know how that feels when we’re hangry.

To avoid waiting in line on Memorial Day, we’ve compiled a list of top brunch spots in Chicago below that DO NOT take reservations but are using NextME, the simplest digital waitlist app for restaurant hosts that allows diners to hold their place in line with just their mobile number and SMS text.

Top Memorial Day Brunch Spots in Chicago:

Corridor Brewery & Provisions,

Dryhop Brewers

Kanela Breakfast Club

Le Pain Quotidien,

The Bongo Room

Son of a Butcher

Southport Grocery & Cafe

Whisk Chicago

Here’s how it works: NextME sends you a text message confirming your placement on the list and provides a weblink to a countdown for you and your squad to check your position in line. The best part is, you don’t have to download the app! Just visit a participating NextME restaurant below, and provide your host your mobile number to connect. As you can imagine, having a countdown means that instead of standing on your feet in line for 45 minutes or so, you’ll be making the most of that extra time. When the queue gets low and approaches your position, NextME will send out another text notification to let you know when your table’s ready, which you will reply “1” to keep or “2” to cancel your reservation.

If your favorite brunch spot is NOT already using NextME, we’ve put together a nice referral program to help you battle our fight against hangry dining. Make sure to request NextME to the restaurant and we will compensate you once they sign up!

To learn more about how NextME app can help your restaurant serve smiles while you wait, visit our website.

All the best to you and your squad this Memorial Day weekend!

Happy Waiting,

The NextME Team