Augusta, GA (PRWEB) March 20, 2013
Residents of America’s second-fastest-growing tech city can expect a more efficient wait for an open table thanks to a partnership between the town’s mayor and a two-year old Pittsburgh-based technology startup.
The company, NoWait, is working with Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver to equip the city’s restaurants with an army of iPads outfitted with NoWait’s seating management technology. NoWait is giving interested Augusta-area restaurants free iPads and free service for two months as part of the program. The technology will help restaurant owners more efficiently serve the more than 100,000 additional patrons who descend on the city as it hosts one of golf’s most prestigious tournaments.
“For 11 months out of the year, Augusta is a normal, vibrant and bustling city,” said Copenhaver, who has presided over Augusta’s rise to the second-fastest-growing tech city in the country. “But every April, Augusta overflows with hungry golf fans. It’s an exciting time and one where we believe technology like NoWait’s can reduce the normal stress and frustration of waiting in line for a table.”
Copenhaver believes the technology will have a positive impact on the local economy. “Customers tethered to a plastic restaurant pager for upwards of an hour are customers who aren’t spending money. Because NoWait’s system is phone-based, customers can move freely between local establishments while they wait. That is revenue we wouldn’t normally receive...revenue that means jobs.”
In no-reservation restaurants, NoWait’s cloud-based, mobile seating service streamlines operations and optimizes turnover thanks to its ease of use, speed, and overall simplicity. Once a diner enters the restaurant, the host inputs the customer’s name and mobile phone number into an iPad running the NoWait Host application. Within seconds, guests receive a message indicating the wait time until their table is available. Smartphone holders also may view their place in line via a link inserted in the instant confirmation text. Guests are free to visit retailers or bars nearby, reducing both congestion and the frustration of waiting. Once the table is ready, the diner receives a text to return to the restaurant to be seated without delay.
NoWait’s customers represent a middle market in the restaurant industry that has largely been ignored by technology. Texas Roadhouse, Mad Mex, Red Robin, Moretti’s Ristorante & Pizzeria and TGI Friday’s are among a fast-growing number of big restaurant brands using NoWait’s technology. More than 2,000 establishments in the US and Canada use NoWait.
Augusta restaurants using the technology include Malibu Jack’s Surf Grill, Road Runner Cafe, French Market Grille, The Boar’s Head Public House, Crazy Turks Pizza, and Chili’s.
“NoWait is a win for both our guests and team members,” said Greg Cyrier, co-owner and president of Hielan Management, which operates 43 Chili’s Grill & Bar restaurants across Georgia, South Carolina, Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska. “It allows us to communicate more transparently, and it turns what is traditionally a negative experience into a relationship-building experience. Guests gain confidence that their wait time is actually being tracked, and the application with text alerts allows them to stay in-touch without the worry. Additionally, the more guests we can seat, the more fluid the flow, and the better it is for our operations. The training and product are very easy to use, and we were up and running in an afternoon. I believe many restaurant owners & operators would greatly benefit by using NoWait over their current paper and pencil or pager system.”
According to Ware Sykes, NoWait’s New York City-based CEO, the company is now seating more than a million diners a month, with plans to roll out significant enhancements to its system over the next 60 days.
“Restaurants are adopting NoWait at a rate of more than 50 restaurants a week,” said Sykes. “This is in large part because our implementation is frictionless. We make life easier for those at the front of the restaurant and restaurant management. But they are also choosing NoWait because, unlike other restaurant technologies, ours puts the customer relationship back in the hands of the restaurant. We look forward to helping restaurants manage their entire front of house operation”
As part of its commitment to the city, NoWait will make a donation to the Augusta Warrior Project in the name of each participating restaurant. The company will contribute $500 for each of the first 49 restaurants in the Augusta area that sign up for its service. If more than 50 restaurants sign up, NoWait will double its contribution to $1,000 per restaurant. The company currently has 20 Augusta restaurants on-board.
“When business and the community work together anything is possible,” said Jim Lorraine, Executive Director of the Augusta Warrior Project, an Augusta, Georgia based not-for-profit organization with the mission to provide warriors (veterans/currently serving) and their families a model advocacy program in order to enhance their quality of life and capitalize on the Augusta region’s ability to contribute to the warriors and their families. “The Augusta Warrior Project is delighted NoWait chose to support our efforts of improving the lives of our local military veterans and their families. As the Augusta Warrior Project is focused on improving the quality of life for our Warriors, NoWait will improve the quality of service for our local restaurants.”
“It’s amazing what a couple of weeks’ effort and a community rallying around technology can accomplish,” said Sykes. “We are so proud to be working with the Augusta Warrior project, and my hat’s off to Deke and Augusta for recognizing not only the economic benefits of technology like ours, but also the human aspect of giving time back to the consumer and control back to business owners.”
NoWait is a mobile seating management service that enables restaurant owners and managers to get a view of the queue and optimize turnover, while diners have the freedom to “Wait Where You Want” until their table is ready for seating. The company is backed by Birchmere Ventures and Innovation Works (IW). Based in Pittsburgh, PA, NoWait was built with seed funding from IW’s AlphaLab Tech Accelerator and Carnegie Mellon University Open Field Entrepreneurs Fund. More information is available at: http://www.nowaitapp.com/. Follow NoWait on Twitter @NoWaitApp or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/nowaitapp.