How Customers Handle The Restaurant Waiting List

Customer experience is a top priority for restaurants. However, many hospitality venues are ignoring the fact that customers dislike long restaurant waiting lists for tables. 

Thankfully in recent years, things have changed. Find out how restaurants today can help customers enjoy their time waiting for tables with the helping hand of smartphone technology. 

Read more: Why you need to quote restaurant wait times to customers.

reducing restaurant waitlist times

By Fouquier via Flickr (creative commons 2.0)

Customers May Feel Overlooked

It can be really tough for customers when waiting for tables is impacting their time, patience, and energy. Throw hunger into the mix and customer impatience can only follow one direction and increase.

Unfortunately, customers can’t snap their fingers and make waiting for tables disappear. Neither can restaurants.

Learn more: How many customers do you lose due to the wait?

From the customer’s perspective, though, being on a seemingly endless restaurant waiting list can leave them feeling like they’re being overlooked. Though untrue, the impression still counts. This can lead to a customer feeling trapped, fed up, and even hopeless about the wait ahead. Restaurants have watched customers leave time and again — and this is partly why.

If customers are feeling undervalued, they’re not going to endure forty minutes or so on a restaurant waiting list. As such, customers will dine out elsewhere. Nothing stops them from heading to other venues that will put their needs first.

What Customers Do For Themselves

Being on a never-ending restaurant waiting list for a table can be very isolating. Customers have come to restaurants to enjoy good food and have a great time — not feel stuck in place, only to miss out on all the fun.

So what customers do for themselves is important. They don’t hide it. As soon as they learn they have to wait, they instantly reach into their pockets, pull out their smartphones, and use them to cope. 

According to a BBC report, people are spending about a third of their waking time on smartphones. It is no surprise that they make a regular appearance in hospitality settings. 

Discover more: Ever wondered what makes the perfect restaurant experience?

The reason why is simple. When feeling undervalued, customers are trying to escape the waiting room or restaurant lobby through their own devices. Smartphones offer an escape, and their multimedia functions — texting, scrolling, using social media — lessen the pain of having to wait. Smartphones have made a big difference in our lives, from altering the way we communicate to the ways in which we pay for things.

They also offer customers a sense of control over the restaurant waiting list experience. Industry experts have argued that a sense of control is paramount to successfully face difficult waiting lists. As such, it is time to re-shape the way restaurants make use of waiting lists — to help empower guests during the inevitable wait. 

Customers Prefer to Control Their Time

A great tactic is to get rid of all negative ideas associated with restaurant waiting lists, to let customers conquer feelings of being trapped and forgotten, to let them leave and do what they want while they wait.

Restaurants can let customers do so with the aid of new technology. Translating the pen-and-paper guestlist to the digital realm, today’s smartphone technology empowers guests to leave restaurants only to return later and be seated at the correct time.

It works because it turns a negative situation into a positive one. The wait becomes not only bearable but enjoyable too.  

Here’s a quick breakdown of how smartphone technology has a positive impact on customers.

  • Customers Feel in Control. The power of movement is awesome. With smartphones in hand, restaurants can liberate their customers to do as they please. In turn, customers no longer feel trapped inside a restaurant’s doors. They can take action on their own plans — go to a bar, walk in a park — and no longer feel tethered to the chains of a pen-and-paper guestlist.
  • Promote Positive Reviews. To manage the feeling of being undervalued, a customer will typically allow negative feelings to escalate, then complain about them. But with instant smartphone communication via real-time messaging services (such as SMS and WhatsApp), guests feel appreciated. They feel their time is valuable. Find out more.

Carbonara App Brings Enjoyment to the Table 

Seizing pockets of joy during a wait won’t make customer problems disappear. They can only cope so much. Restaurants today need to go further, to grant guests the ability to enjoy their time on restaurant waiting lists, beating the queues and the lobbies.

Give customers the power to have fun while they wait. They’re already using smartphones, so restaurants should use them too. 

Improve your restaurant’s waitlist management at no cost whatsoever. Speak to us about how your guests have responded to restaurant waiting lists in the past. 

And if you liked this article, why not learn more about a waitlist app’s features? Our article, the Ultimate Guide to Restaurant Waitlist Apps provides comprehensive information on everything you need to know.

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