You are all dressed up at a nice cocktail party at a friend’s house. Everyone is in high spirits and having a great time. The bit sized spanakopita pairs nicely with your glass of crisp pinot grigio wine. Everyone is getting hungry for the main course of dinner. The restaurant you are heading to does not take reservations on a Saturday night. Everyone leaves the house only to find there is a 1 hour wait before you are to be seated at the restaurant. They hand you a circular disc beeper that they promise will flash like the lights on a winning slot machine, when your table is ready.
Does this sound scenario sound familiar? It happens to most of us when planning to go out for a nice dinner, especially on the weekend.
However, this is the 21st Century. Surely there should be a solution to alleviate this sort of stress. Once again, another iPhone application is born. The Onion and Invoke have recently partnered to create an iPhone application that is golden to you in this type of situation.
It is called WaitList. Users logged onto the application can view a map with restaurants and bars that are in the area. Other users post live wait times so that everyone can plan what restaurant to attend and when a good time to check in would be.
This is a great idea as it helps you to decide what restaurant to go to. If you and your party are very hungry and want to leave immediately, then using WaitList you can find the restaurant with the shortest wait time. However, if you are set on going to a particular restaurant, then you can check WaitList to see how long the wait is before you leave. If the wait is still another hour, then you have time for some more hors d’oeuvres before you go.
Now, a smart tactic for restaurant owners would be to ensure that the host/hostess have an iPhone with WaitList preloaded so that they can be the ones updating it in live time. This would be a great social media marketing tactic that could actually increase overall traffic into the restaurant, and ensure an even flow of customers.