Why a Restaurant Waitlist Sheet Simply Doesn’t Work

Downloading a restaurant waitlist sheet is not as quick as you think. Employing a digital solution is far easier.

We provide you with a restaurant waitlist sheet, but we also show you how today’s alternative works much better for restaurants and their teams.


courtesy of Dave Crosby via Flickr, creative commons 2.0

What is a Waitlist at a Restaurant?

You’re probably looking for a pen-and-paper waitlist sheet to improve your restaurant’s sense of organisation. A paper waitlist demarcates customer details — name, contact number, estimated waiting time.

But with such a system in place, your customers will have to endure the queue. This means that a first-come-first-serve policy will make everybody line up in droves during busy periods.

Choosing to forge ahead with a pen-and-paper system in place is a plain mistake. Here’s why.

A Paper-based System is Holding You Back

You’d like to believe that a free printable restaurant waiting list sheet will help you improve your staff workflow. This is a misconception — and a free digital waitlist proves this.

A popular restaurant with thousands of diners just cannot keep pace using a handwritten restaurant waitlist sheet.

Consider the case of one quirky London restaurant that saw over 30,000 diners requesting tables on its opening week. All those names would take a whole book to fill — less a restaurant waitlist sheet, more an overflowed kitchen sink.

Managing guest capacity is increasingly hard these days due to uncertain table limits. The demands of government-fed regulations limit the amount of people in small spaces. 

To counter these changes, an app can help you navigate the current field. Discover how it helps you to manage guests during the aftershock of Covid-19.

So, what is a Digital Waitlist?

A digital waitlist transfers your existing registry book to the digital sphere, recreating a restaurant waitlist sheet on all smart devices (e.g., iPad, smartphone). 

In sum, a digital waitlist reduces all the headaches. Dispensing with the physical queue (which, by the way, is a much safer option in 2021), a wide range of features ensure you keep in touch with your customers while they wait. 

In sum, a digital waitlist:

  • uses a cloud service to allow access to multiple users at one time
  • gives you a free SMS messaging service to send and receive texts from customers, ensuring you stay up to date on the progress of their wait
  • supplies average wait times to create a more satisfying, first-rate guest experience

Considering the above, a digital waitlist amplifies the quality of your customer service. You’re now able to communicate effectively with customers while allowing them to leave behind the painful and tedious queue. 

Since a digital waitlist works in tandem with your restaurant’s existing way of doing things, it builds on the strength of your restaurant’s workflow.

Digital Waitlist vs. Restaurant Waitlist Sheet

There will always be limitations or unresolvable problems associated with a restaurant waitlist sheet. Print it and transform it into a paper document and you’ll deal with three things:

  • limited space
  • unclear entries (i.e., messy handwriting)
  • storage problems

On the other hand, a digital solution offers you a more efficient system. It resolves the issues typically associated with pen-and-paper methods. A digital waitlist: 

  • supplies unlimited space
  • provides both consistently clear and accurate details (no messy handwriting) 
  • offers accurate wait-time quotes for waiting customers, increasing your turnover rates

Also, a digital waitlist app goes further than mere data entry. It collects data for your restaurant to use free analytics and improve your restaurant’s services. To analyse average guest waiting times will allow you to deliver better seating arrangements.


courtesy of J Stimp via Flickr, creative commons 2.0

Enjoy a Digital Waitlist 

Did you know a pub in England lost 35 per cent of its customers due to over-queueing? On a busy night they had to refuse 400 customers entry due to limited space. 

With a manual system in place, these are the consequences all successful non-booking restaurants must face.

A pen-and-paper system leads to long queues. A long queue leads to lost revenue. Therefore, a pen-and-paper system places a cap on your restaurant’s profits.

On the other hand, a digital waitlist transforms your restaurant’s processes — so, why not try it out?

Carbonara App provides restaurants with the digital waitlist, allowing hospitality venues to build guest momentum, to efficiently organise their guest flow. 

Studies have shown that digital waitlists help restaurants to maximise table turnover, therefore maximising revenue. Using an app can help your business employ specialist techniques to ensure you keep your tables full, creating a revolving-door system of your seats. 

Promote business growth all at low cost. Learn more and download the app on the App Store or the Google Play Store!

Download a Printable Restaurant Waiting List Sheet

Alternatively, try out our free printable restaurant waiting list sheet below; discover how a pen-and-paper waitlist is really holding you back, eventually impinging a detrimental effect on your staff’s workflow. 


How to Use

  • Change “Restaurant Name”
  • Use it in three ways: (1) Use online. (2) Download locally; use it on your restaurant’s desktop. (3) Print and use it offline.

No doubt, you’ll quickly find that a restaurant waitlist sheet has the opposite effect, slowing down your processes rather than speeding them up. In today’s world, it’s better to go digital — especially when your customers are doing the same.

Contact us for guidance on a free restaurant waitlist sheet — or try out our app for a better service.