NextME Notches Top Honors on Clutch.co!

Clutch Ranks NextME #3 Mobile Marketer in Chicago

The future of digitization, information technology, and better business lies with us. At NextME, we specialize in leveraging data and technology to predict peak wait times for businesses. We’ve also developed a unique online storefront for each business to help them create unforgettable guest experiences during dreaded wait times, which brings about improved customer satisfaction and overall customer retention. Through our exceptional consulting, optimization, and digital skills, our team has garnered recognition as one of the IT world’s top app marketing companies, all thanks to the analyses of Clutch and its sister companies.

B2B
research and reviews agency Clutch ranked NextME the no. 3 mobile
marketer in all of Chicago, an achievement that we’re proud to have
accomplished. Since Clutch thoroughly evaluates firms for their market
presence, client satisfaction, and industry experience, among a host of other
data, taking home such a distinction reflects strongly upon the quality of
strategy and service that NextME customers can expect to find with our team.

NextME
has a great tech team.
They’re responsive and fix any glitches or issues as they come up immediately,” detailed a client in
one of several five-star reviews of collaborating with us. “Their
app is very easy for everyone to understand
—our guests and
employees respond well to it. It's also
reliable and doesn't crash.

“The NextME app really allows us to do things
that we weren’t able to do before. It’s
just an awesome partnership,
” effused a second happy client. “The app has
really taken off and it’s been so impressive to watch. The success and the journey we’ve taken with them has been really cool.
They’ve grown a lot in their business, which is helping us grow … They really want to make sure our
experience is positive
.”

The Manifest and Visual Objects Feature NextME As Top App Marketing Agency

Beyond such recognition, we’ve also racked up praise from the sister companies of Clutch. News website The Manifest applauded our talent by featuring NextME in its collection of leading app marketing agencies, while portfolio curation platform Visual Objects now showcases our creative, digital, and industry experience by displaying examples of our best work.

The support of Clutch, The Manifest, Visual
Objects, and our loyal clients means a lot to NextME and speaks volumes about
the caliber of excellence that we provide through our digital waitlist and mobile
marketing services. As businesses only continue to grow and improve, we’re
excited to play a role in their development, and we invite you to reach out to
us here
to better understand how we can launch results for you. Success is short,
sweet, and simple, waiting just around the corner for you, so let’s see what we
can do together!


6 Tips for a Memorable & Profitable Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is known as one of the busiest day of the year for restaurants. And it’s right around the corner! You may be wondering how to handle the extra demand. Here are our best tips for creating a special day that your guests will remember fondly for years to come!

Staff Up

No matter how amazing your staff is, they do have their limits. Don’t try to run Mother’s Day as if it’s the same as any other holiday. Be sure to staff up with some of your best hosts, servers, bartenders, and kitchen staff. If at all possible, avoid scheduling folks for Saturday night and also Sunday morning. You want energetic, fresh staff members, not ones who barely got to sleep last night.

Include Brunch

Even if you normally don’t serve breakfast, Mother’s Day Brunch is pretty much the gold standard. This also allows you to extend your lunch hours into the late morning, which means you can accommodate more table turns and really cash in on the extra traffic. Put together a special menu with all of the usual egg dishes, pancakes, and the like. But also include options from your normal lunch menu to provide variety and versatility.

If this is truly out of your norm, you might even try a prix fixe menu. This will allow you to streamline your kitchen’s efficiency while offering dishes that aren’t part of your normal routine. It also makes ordering ingredients much easier when you have a more limited menu to take into account.

Avoid No-Shows with a No-Res Policy

For important dates like Mother’s Day, it’s not uncommon for guests to choose to book two or three restaurant reservations, and then let Mom choose the one she likes most. Other guests will book for a large party, in case siblings and other family members want to join in the fun, but then show up with only a few people. And then there are those who come and want to spend extra time enjoying the celebration and reminiscing about childhood memories, while keeping your tables full for much longer than you expected. You can avoid these difficulties and more by not offering reservations.

But doesn’t that mean you’ll have a crazy long line? Probably, yes. But guests without reservations expect to wait on Mother’s Day. And you can manage the line and keep your guests informed about the wait with a waitlist app, like NextME. Our app will text your guests with a link to their place in line, then again when it’s time to head back to the host stand. There’s nothing for the customer to download, and they can even view current specials, your social media, and your menu as they wait. It’s really the best of both worlds!

Partner with Other Businesses & Up Your Mobile Marketing Game

Some of the most fun Mother’s Day specials involve partnerships with other local businesses. Imagine offering moms some fun beyond the meal with coupons for the cute little gift shop across the way or the funky jewelry boutique down the street, or a discounted mani/pedi or massage at a local salon. Anything that might be a good way to pamper the mothers in your community would work perfectly here. Even discounts for maid service packages or getaway weekends at a local spa or resort would fit well for the holiday.

How to manage such promotions? You could do something simple like “just show them your receipt,” but it lacks a bit of flair. Handing out paper coupons is also a possibility, but again, may not set the right “vibe” for your restaurant. NextME can help here too. Through our mobile marketing platform, you can customize the marketing messages your guests receive while they’re waiting for their table. Include fun local coupons here, and they can go shopping or book their salon services while they wait! In addition to being a fun way to promote other local businesses (and earn their promotions in return), this can turn wait time into a fun family experience that adds to Mom’s delight, instead of detracting from an otherwise special day. You also can send guests to your social media pages, which has been shown to increase restaurants’ social engagement by up to 17%!

Adjust the Floor Plan

Mother’s Day brings out families, and sometimes they come in large groups. It’s easy to see how a mother of three grown kids, who all have families of their own, can wind up needing seating for a dozen or more. You’ll most likely need to accommodate plenty of large parties.

And while it may be tempting to cram in as many tables as your space can possibly hold, don’t overcrowd or you’re in for a difficult shift for servers, and uncomfortably close tables for guests. Remember to leave plenty of space for booster seats as you’re likely to use more of them than normal. And make use of outdoor seating areas by investing in heaters if it’s still a bit chilly in your area.

Afternoon Tea

Don’t be afraid to think outside the box too. Consider adding in a mid-afternoon tea for Mother’s Day. With plenty of finger sandwiches and bakery selections, this makes for a shorter, less expensive meal that helps to spread out your busy day a bit by offering unique dining hours. And it’s becoming more popular for those looking for something a bit special and unique. Just be sure to promote it heavily on social media so that guests know you’re offering a special tea service and can plan accordingly.

Ready to introduce NextME to your business? Call us at (877) 639-8631 or schedule a demo from us HERE!


The Mobile App That’s Re-Activating Restaurant Internal Marketing

When it comes to marketing, there are a lot of mediums that stress the importance of relevant targeting, but few that actually get it right. One industry in the midst of a complete overhaul is the Restaurant industry. Challenged by the introduction of several new players in an already saturated market, restaurant owners, investors as well as brands looking to connect with restaurant patrons have been left wondering which way to turn.

After activating a hyper-local expansion of the NextME app here in Chicago, we’ve been able to gain key insight into some of the questions that restaurant professionals have and built a product to address them. Here is what we learned.

Restaurants are a viable target for both Brands and Ad Agencies to target. Restaurants can also find great success through internal marketing methodology.

There is often a gap, however, between intention and execution. Although the intention of a scheduled promotion or brand initiative may be sound, focused, and otherwise fool-proof, we found that many promotions underperform based on an overestimation of the “incentive vs. required work”. This means that we’ve observed several campaigns overestimate the value of their offered incentive vs. the work required to receive it. Consumers don’t like to be low-balled, especially when it concerns their food and they don’t want to do tons of work or opt into spam in order to receive it.

There is an important correlation between “Restaurant classification” and viable internal marketing campaigns.

For example, a Fast Casual Restaurant wouldn’t seem like the best surface level target for a luxury watch line, but if we consider factors like the type of food, the price point, and brand focus, we might find enough of a correlation to develop a fruitful strategy. I say all this to explain that there is too often a lack of proper research done on both sides before activating internal marketing and cross-marketing campaigns.

The best time to target Restaurant Patrons is while they are waiting in Line.

Although wait times differ across categories like restaurant size, location, classification and more, at no other time is an individual more concerned with a restaurant, its food offerings and it’s associated partners.

So, in response to these findings, we positioned NextME to solve the wait-list debacle and subsequently re-align internal marketing for our entire restaurant inventory. NextME avoids traditional barriers by requiring no consumer download. When patrons enter a restaurant, a host places them onto the app’s wait-list using their name, phone number and other relevant information.

NextME then uses SMS messaging which allows the app to communicate with patrons cell-phones directly to share a customized link via text to their personal wait-list page that not only contains their wait time but menus, specials, partnered ads and more. We call this page the mobile marketing page and we’re currently getting an average of over 30 minutes of engagement from each patron.

We’ve gone through great lengths to simplify our platform so that restaurants can easily activate internal marketing campaigns and reach their patrons. We’ve also spent considerable time segmenting our existing restaurant inventory in a way that allows brands and agencies to pursue relevant targeting within restaurants themselves.

We are interested in having conversations about advertising within NextME’s restaurant inventory. Feel free to contact us via e-mail at info@nextmeapp.com with any questions, comments, or opportunities that you are interested in discussing. We are also porting the app to new industries. If you have appointments and walk-ins, we have the app to address your need for wait-list management and structured internal marketing. Learn more on our website.


How NextME Can Help Your Restaurant Improve Customer Retention

The restaurant industry is highly saturated, and with whatever initiatives you start, it’s essential to keep them going and supported. Many businesses start programs and never maintain them long enough for anyone to reap the rewards. This means that instead of running a ton of programs all at once, try to focus on one or two with flawless execution.

  • If you’re doing a rewards program, set a time length and stick to it (if not indefinitely).
  • Make sure your rewards are worthwhile (if you’re not sure what that is, list a few options and run a survey). With that said, regular surveys are a great way to learn how your customers feel about your restaurant in general. Best practice is making your surveys hyper-focused on one or two categories at a time so that they aren’t too long. You can even administer to customers at your restaurant with the receipt in exchange for a small discount. Not many people would turn that down.
  • Social media and online visibility tactics are important. Use tools like NextME that help with ops as well as increase customer engagement via social media to build the community alongside your brand.

NextME not only manages wait-lists (allowing your hosts to hold reservations in-app with only a cell phone number) but also can drive customer engagement with your restaurant earning you a lot more money. Here’s how . . .

1.) When someone visits your restaurant on a busy day, they speak with a host who adds them on the waitlist.

2.) The NextME app will send the patron a text message with a clickable link that will take them to a custom page that shows their position in line (The quoted wait time is entered by the host/ess). We call this page the mobile marketing page

3.) This page will be styled and branded based on what the restaurant wants to drive traffic to. Host your menus, drink specials, social media profiles and more. On average we are getting 30 minutes of consistent engagement from each customer which means people are staying on this page interacting with the digital assets we place on it. That’s an extremely healthy amount of time when it comes to advertisements and engagement.

4.) Because the app uses SMS messaging, patrons are free to leave the restaurant to shop, or other activities while they wait (opening up opportunities for you to cross advertise using the mobile marketing page) and leverage other businesses to market your restaurant.

When its close to the time they should be seated, a text will prompt them to confirm if they want to keep the reservation with a reply of “1” or cancel it with a reply of “2”.

We’re currently in hundreds of restaurants and growing fast. Here’s why...

Customers DO NOT have to download the app. The app interacts with customers cell phones and mobile browsers.

You can add people to the wait-list who do not have a cell-phone.Hosts love us, because it significantly reduces the chance of error and resulting fallout from seating the wrong party at the wrong time.

Hosts love us, because it significantly reduces the chance of error and resulting fallout from seating the wrong party at the wrong time.

Built in Table Tracking

Managers and Owners love us because of the fine-tuned data we produce that help them make high level decisions.

We are inexpensive with a low price point. Our most popular plan is $59.99 a month but we have plans as low as $19.99 a month. View NextME Pricing.

Ready to introduce NextME to your business? Call us at 408.909.6398 or schedule a demo from us HERE!


Latest Tactics in Restaurant Marketing

We have seen a lot of new trends in the restaurant industry over the past year or so. Most of them revolve around visibility tactics to let people know A.) You’re here, and B.) You’re serving great food that people want to eat. At a base level, this is restaurant marketing. Different platforms work best for different restaurants, but there are several factors which contribute to that.

Do you have a dedicated social media staff member, or are you dedicating a host/hostess to throwing up some posts in their free time? Are you giving your patrons incentive to share posts about you and give solid reviews? Before you even answer all that, are you maintaining an updated social media presence with which your patrons can connect with and reach you?

The latest tactics shouldn’t revolve solely around the newest craze in social media, but rather what we have established as functional and fruitful. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are those core platforms. LinkedIn is also viable and depending on the size and classification of your restaurant, you will be able to source some great talent from the site as well. The main thing here is not overloading yourself with work you cannot handle and letting your social media profiles go long periods without updates.

Incentivize your patrons to leave reviews on your Facebook page (it goes a long way). Host giveaways in exchange for page likes and post shares.
Use Instagram to share HQ images of your restaurant and feed them directly to the Twitter profile.

Focus on improving internal operations and find the right tools to do it. Get rid of the pen and paper waitlist and switch to NextME , the only digital waitlist app that diners themselves won’t need to download and the only one that lets you advertise internally.

NextME allows diners to use their cell phone number to hold their place in line. The app sends out text notifications to confirm they’ve been added to the list, and sends out a direct link to a countdown page which lets them know their place in line. The countdown page allows restaurants to host their menu in digital form but also links to the restaurants social media profiles, and other partnered ads which all help to increase restaurant visibility, table turns and patron satisfaction.

Ready To Introduce A Digital Waitlist App To Your Restaurant Employees?

Have any questions or curious as to what benefits a digital waitlist app like NextME can do for your restaurant? Comment below or reach out to us!

It’s time to say goodbye to outdated pager systems! Try a 14-day FREE trial of NextME and replace your expensive pager system with SMS text!

 


Best Mobile pp for FOH Restaurant Staff

Most people are sharing apps that list/rate restaurants or tie into food delivery. The NextME app is quite different. The NextME app is one of the greatest apps a diner/patron will never have to download to use. Now, that might sound a little crazy without understanding exactly what NextME is.

NextME is a digital waitlist app that allows people to utilize their cell-phone number to hold their place in line. While there are other similar platforms on the market, most require downloads and sign-ins on the consumers’ end which can be a bit frustrating if the app isn’t something you use on a daily basis. NextME allows you to simply walk in and leave your info. When that information is put into the app, you are sent a text message through the app with a special link (that works on your phone’s mobile web browser) which will show a real time countdown of your position in line. NextME also sends you a text to let you know the host is ready to seat you, and you are prompted to reply to the app via text if you still want your table.

Restaurants love us because on that countdown page for each person on the waitlist, we can place digital menus, videos, partner ads and anything else you want your patron’s eyes on. With that said, the ability to browse the menu in digital form speeds up table turnover, and increases peak hours because diners know what they want and are instantly able to prompt the host.

Diners love us because they shouldn’t have to learn a new system/app every time they want to go out to eat. A cell phone is a device that most, if not all diners have. It just makes sense to build an app around their number.

Ready To Introduce A Digital Waitlist App To Your Restaurant Employees?
Have any questions or curious as to what benefits a digital waitlist app like NextME can do for your restaurant? Comment below or reach out to us!

It’s time to say goodbye to outdated pager systems! Try a 14-day FREE trial of NextME and replace your expensive pager system with SMS text!