Over the last few years, restaurants have used a little app called NoshList to communicate with and provide estimated wait times to their customers, but it found that same functionality had applications across multiple different industries. As a result the company has rebranded the product Waitlist Me to work in lots of new businesses and serve a much broader range of customers.
NoshList was founded as one of the early projects within Firespotter Labs, an incubator of various different projects from the people behind Dialpad and Grand Central. (Both of those companies previously had been acquired and became the basis for Yahoo Voice and Google Voice, respectively.)
While NoshList had some early success, the folks at Firespotter began to focus more acutely on the problem of communications and collaboration, which led to the launch of UberConference. Eventually it took the scalable SMS and voice infrastructure it built for UberConference and rebranded the whole thing as Switch, with most of its weight behind this new cloud-based enterprise communications suite built on Google Apps.
Even so, the company still has a small dedicated staff that has been working on NoshList over the years. The service enables businesses to create a list of guests, give estimated times for seating, and send text and voice messages to customers when it’s their turn in line.
By doing so, it not only replaces pen and paper (or those weird flashing restaurant buzzers) but it creates more transparency around how long it will take for customers to be seated. Customers get a text notification when they are added to a waitlist and can check in to see how many parties are ahead of them and what their estimated wait time is from their phones.
As a result, the application has a dedicated group of restaurants that rely on it to help manage waitlists and reservations. That includes popular food chains like Red Robin and Buffalo Wild Wings, which use the app for their own stores and make it available to franchisees. Since being founded, the company says more than 57 million customers have been served by NoshList.
But a funny thing happened over the last few years: The company found that businesses in industries besides food were using NoshList to help manage customer communications and expectations around wait times. Its customer base included businesses in the child education, bowling, and urgent care segments, among others.
So to serve those customers (and to not have its customers’ customers be confused like, “What the hell is NoshList?”), the company decided to rebrand the service as WaitList Me.
Under the new brand, the app will become truly cross-platform, with updated mobile and tablet apps, as well as web access. It provides a more flexible, customizable interface so that businesses can create custom notifications to interact with customers.
Businesses can also use Waitlist Me to get survey feedback from their customers or leave comments about their visit. And finally, the company is rolling out an API that will allow third parties to build custom integrations with its platform.