Restaurant Waitlist Platform NoWait Raises $10 Million Series B

Mobile wait listing service for restaurants NoWait has raised $10 million in Series B funding, the company is announcing this morning. The new round was led by Drive Capital, the $250 million Ohio-based fund focused on Midwestern companies, and co-founded by former Sequoia partners, Mark Kvamme and Chris Olsen. Existing investors also participated in the funding, which NoWait says will be put towards expanding its presence in restaurants and with consumers, plus further product development.

The company today offers a consumer-facing application that shows you a list of nearby restaurants, wait times and distances and lets you join wait lists from your phone. And for its restaurant partners, NoWait provides a wait list and table-management application, which lets restaurants alert their patrons to available seats via text message, as a replacement for restaurant buzzer systems.

In addition to texting diners that their tables are ready, NoWait also lets the restaurants send brief marketing messages along with that text to promote specials or appetizers, for example. And more recently, the company has been working to introduce push notifications in the consumer app so diners could search, add their names to the wait list and then be notified in one, more seamless, experience.

In January of this year, NoWait expanded its consumer app nationwide, saying that it expected to reach a thousand restaurants by the end of 2014. The company has seated more than 50 million diners to date, and is now seating over 5 million diners per month, up from 3.1 million at the beginning of the year.

Some bigger name brands using the NoWait platform include First Watch, On The Border, and Buffalo Wild Wings, but it’s also popular with a number of non-chain hotspots, like Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group’s Eataly, Jose Garces’ Village Whiskey, Marc Vetri’s Pizzeria Vetri and Hubert Keller’s Burger Bar, for example.

Today there are “thousands” of restaurants using the NoWait platform, some portion of which are paying for the premium tier of the service, which ranges from $59 to $199 per month, depending on the size and volume of the restaurant. Nearly 1,000 restaurants have been onboarded over the past few months, when NoWait launched nationwide.

Pittsburgh-headquartered NoWait previously raised $5.5 million in seed and Series A rounds. The company is currently a team of under 30 employees and now plans to add to its headcount across the organization, as well as roll out customer-requested features, such as enhanced reservations and guest data.