I’ve worked in several restaurants since high school as host and server before working here. Previously I had worked at restaurants on reservation systems, mostly Open Table.
Here we don’t take reservations and it’s a lot easier to manage customers. When I worked at reservation places, we dealt with a lot of no-shows, or last minute cancellations, or incomplete parties. On busy nights, we ran a wait list too, which was really complicated to deal with when we were unsure if reservation parties were showing or running late.
I have to say that first-come first-served seems more honest. We simply tell people when we believe a table will be ready based on what’s really going on in the restaurant and not wondering if reservations will arrive or be on time.
Before we had Q, customers would call a lot asking what the wait time was. Once we started using Q, it provided me a way to help customers see the wait time from their phones instead of calling, and even better, they could add themselves to the waitlist, which solved a lot of problems for us.
For customers that walk-in, Q has a really great texting system. It’s super easy to use, and I like that it has a response from customers that tells me they are on the way, or need to cancel. It makes managing the waitlist so much better. Previously we used the phone to call waiting parties. Most of the time we got voicemail because people didn’t recognize our phone number and think it’s a robocall. Then, they called us back, which means I needed to be on the phone at least twice for each waiting party. It was really bad. Once we started using Q, I was able to spend way more time seating and clearing tables instead of being on the phone.
I think Q is way easier to use than any other system, I’ve kind of become the resident expert and trainer, but new hosts pick it up almost immediately.
Most important, now after using Q for about a year, we’re seeing customers use it more frequently to get on our list remotely. They come in happier, our lobby is less chaotic, and we seem to get more customers coming in because we use Q. I mean, their other choices around here that don’t have Q are a pain for the customer to get in – so I totally understand why they’d want to come to our place. I bet more restaurants will be using Q in the future.