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If your restaurant is facing the enviable “problem” of being booked out every Friday and Saturday evening, you need to consider starting a digital waitlist for both your online and offline reservations.

A waitlist creates a buffer to help you maintain a full house at your restaurant. In the event a confirmed booking is cancelled or if a party no-shows, you can whip out that waitlist and offer a table to another party who may still be keen to visit. 

There are many ways you can go about creating a waitlist. The simplest would be to write down the contact details of your guests on a piece of paper. But on a busy service, papers and sheets tend to get messy and scattered. Move your waitlist online instead. Here are some more advantages of a digital waitlist with a Table Management Software such as ChopeBook.

Automate the process of offering tables 

After the disappointment of a no-show, it can be tiresome to offer available tables by calling down the waitlist. Besides, there are already many other tasks that your restaurant’s front-of-house needs to do. For restaurants that use ChopeBook, our proprietary Table Management System, offering a table to a guest on the waitlist is a simple swipe-and-tap. Once a waitlisted booking has been selected, the diner is automatically sent an SMS that informs him or her of an available table. The diner then has the opportunity to respond to the offer and let the restaurant know if he will accept it.

On popular evenings such as New Year’s Eve, you may want to take a deposit for bookings. When guests from the waitlist are offered a table ahead of the actual booking date, you can request a deposit on the booking when the guest accepts the offered table. This process is automated and transacted via a secure online payment gateway such as Stripe or PayPal. The booking is only confirmed after the diner has paid the required deposit.

chopebook waitlist process

A diner’s journey when the restaurant utilises a system like ChopeBook. He joins a digital waitlist, receives an offer for a table, places a deposit for his booking (optional), and eventually attends the booking.

Maintain records of waitlisted diners in your directory and engage waitlisted diners

Diners who have requested to be waitlisted are valuable customers too. One of the key benefits of taking online reservations is that diner CRM can be improved with accurate information about diners’ dining history — with the number of visits, order history (with POS Integrations), preferences and more reflected in their profile.

If a diner on the waitlist was not offered a table, you may want to engage the diner by giving them tips on how to make a reservation in the future by letting them know how much in advance reservations open. You may also consider giving them priority access for their next booking. Gestures like these earn you a loyal customer base! 

View all reservations and waitlisted bookings all on a single dashboard 

Another great benefit of using a digital Table Management System is controlling all your bookings from a single device. ChopeBook aggregates the availability across all your online bookings (Website, Facebook Messenger, Google Maps etc), walk-ins and phone reservations. If guests walk in when the restaurant is already full, you can add them to the queue. Additionally, when guests request for a dining time or date that is full, you can add them to the waitlist. Having all that information consolidated and aggregated means maximising your turns and covers while minimising mistakes and double-bookings. 

Are you looking for a digital waitlist management solution? Get in touch with our support team who are happy to help.


Sarah Yap

As Chope’s Product Marketing Manager, Sarah is excited to share about the opportunities that our technology unlocks to restaurants in Asia.


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