PITTSBURGH--(BUSINESS WIRE)--NoWait today announced that restaurant operators have used the company's iPad-based mobile service to seat more than 10 million people across the U.S. and Canada - more than thirty times the entire population of Pittsburgh, where the company was founded less than three years ago.
Since its first round of venture funding in August 2012, NoWait has seen the number of monthly restaurant guests seated via its system grow nearly 300% to well over a million diners a month. The company’s CEO, Ware Sykes, says the explosive growth is coming from a combination of forces: restaurant owners looking for technology to help drive efficiency and profit, and increasing diner and host/hostess use of mobile technology.
“There are roughly 250,000 full-service, non-reservation restaurants in the United States - the majority of which still use inefficient pen and paper or costly buzzers to manage how they get customers from the door to the table,” said Sykes. “It’s not a broken process, but it’s one where technology can and -- from what we’ve heard from our customers -- does make the process remarkably better for everyone.”
Waiting for a table is more than a first world inconvenience. According to The New York Times over 37 billion hours of time are lost domestically every year waiting in line. Making the experience more efficient -- and less frustrating -- helps restaurant operators seat more customers and increase revenue. At the same time, it gives valuable time back to customers.
Here’s how NoWait’s system works:
1. Once a diner enters the restaurant, the host inputs the customer’s name and mobile phone number into an iPad running the NoWait Host application.
2. Within seconds, guests receive a text message indicating the wait time until their table is available.
3. Smartphone holders also may view their place in line via a link inserted in the instant confirmation text.
4. Guests are free to visit retailers or bars nearby – giving them a “Wait Where You Want” experience -- reducing both congestion and the frustration of waiting.
5. Once the table is ready, the diner receives a text to return to the restaurant to be seated without delay.
This week, NoWait’s seating system will be showcased across the second-fastest growing tech city in the country, Augusta, Ga, as the city plays host to The Masters. Working with Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver, NoWait has equipped more than 50 Augusta restaurants with free iPads and two months of its service to help restaurant owners more efficiently serve the more than 100,000 additional patrons who descend on the city for one of golf’s most prestigious tournaments.
"After using NoWait for 3 weeks we have improved the flow of our restaurant and the quality of the wait on busy nights,” said Ryan Kight, General Manager at Mellow Mushroom, Augusta & Evans, Georgia. “Our customers have responded very positively to this new, simple technology and enjoy the fact that they can be quoted a more accurate wait time than before. We look forward to this helping us maximize our profits during the busiest time of the year.”
NoWait is a mobile seating management service that enables restaurant owners and managers to get a view of the queue and optimize turnover, while diners have the freedom to “Wait Where You Want” until their table is ready for seating. The company is backed by Birchmere Ventures and Innovation Works (IW). Based in Pittsburgh, PA, NoWait was built with seed funding from IW’s AlphaLab Tech Accelerator and Carnegie Mellon University Open Field Entrepreneurs Fund. This year, as part of NoWait’s activities at the Masters, the company will be donating $50,000 to the Augusta Warrior Project. More information is available at: http://www.nowaitapp.com/. Follow NoWait on Twitter@NoWaitApp or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/nowaitapp.