NoshList, the new waitlisting application for restaurants out of Firespotter Labs, the makers of the food photo-sharing app Nosh (and, as you may recall, the awesome SoLoMo spoof app Jotly), is announcing today that it has now hit 1 million seated since the app’s debut in February of this year. According to company CEO Craig Walker, the fast uptake for the iPad app by those in the industry has been both rewarding and validating for the team.
Today, NoshList has almost 800 restaurants using the platform to seat diners, including a national rollout by Red Robin’s chain of restaurants. Top cities on the platform include San Francisco (due it being Noshlist’s home base – and also, because it’s cool like that), as well as the usual foodie haunts, like New York, L.A. and Boston.
According to Walker, adoption for NoshList is across the board, including “everything from a single, mom-and-pop restaurant to a 330 restaurant chain,” he says. “We’ve talked to breakfast people, cruise ships, even -it’s all over the place,” says Walker. And the reason for the growth? Simplicity. “The technology barrier is so low – getting an iPad and using a very self-explanatory app,” Walker explains, “it appeals to everyone.”
For a little refresher, NoshList is a free iPad app aimed at restaurants which allows them to manage parties – adding, seating and removing them as necessary – just by pushing a button. To add walk-up customers, NoshList users simply enter in a name, phone number and tap a button for the party size. There are even different icons for gender and age groups. At the bottom of the screen, NoshList shows the current wait times by party size for at-a-glance information, as well as the number of total guests waiting and the total seated. When a table is ready, customers are alerted by text or phone.
While today’s current offering will remain free, the plan (much further down the road) is to add premium features for the restaurants who need them. While Walker won’t go into detail on what these may be, some obvious areas for growth include the addition of table-level seating management, so as to completely do away with the charts at the host/hostess stand, plus things like deeper analytics, and 2-way messaging, for example.
At some point, Walker says the company will better integrate its consumer-facing Nosh app with NoshList, so consumers could see wait times for local restaurants and then add or remove themselves from lists as necessary. But before doing so, NoshList needs to increase its traction. However, even before those integrations go live, restaurants on NoshList today can already access the data from Nosh in their online dashboards, in order to see things like consumer feedback about their venue and dishes.To give you an idea of how the 1 million diners seated number compares (well sort of…), reservations service OpenTable hit 1 million reservations served up through its mobile apps in October 2009, following their iOS (Nov. 2008) and Android (Sept. 2009) debuts. Competitor LiveBookings, founded in 2005, began doing 1 million reservations per month last April. Of course, these services hit their numbers before (or just at) the iPad’s explosion onto the scene and its rapid uptake in the business world. Also, they’re for reservations, not waitlisting – two similar, but not identical, verticals. Still, 1 million seated in 75 days is not too shabby.NoshList is available in iTunes here.