PITTSBURGH, PA, iOS Restaurant Seating App that helps restaurant owners optimize turnover while liberating diners from long queues, today announced $2 million in a Series A round of funding led by Birchmere Ventures.
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NoWait, the iOS Restaurant Seating App that helps restaurant owners optimize turnover while liberating diners from long queues, today announced $2 million in a Series A round of funding led by Birchmere Ventures. Joining the round are Sand Hill Angels plus other strategic and prior investors. As the industry market leader, NoWait has seated over four million restaurant patrons in 45 U.S. States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. Restaurants nationwide can find NoWait for Apple iPads, iPhones and iPod touch devices at http://www.nowaitapp.com.
NoWait's cloud-based, mobile software serves as the OpenTable for Casual Dining. In no-reservation restaurants, NoWait's application 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 cell number into an iPad running the NoWait Host app. Within seconds, guests receive a message indicating the wait time until their table is available. If they have a smartphone, the system will send both a text and a link to "What's my Place," a feature unique to NoWait that not only indicates the estimated wait, but also a diner's position in line. This frees up guests 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 solves an enormous problem busy restaurant management face every day: long queues that clog front of house and lead to potential lost sales," says CEO of NoWait, Robb Myer. "With NoWait, we are revolutionizing the way patrons wait and are seated at casual dining, no-reservation restaurants." NoWait also gives every restaurant instant, actionable analytics about wait times and diner turnover.
Approximately 300,000 restaurants in the U.S. are "table service," meaning they have a server who waits on guests. Only 30,000 of those take reservations, the market that OpenTable serves. NoWait is cashing in on this market opportunity by approaching the larger restaurant table-service market and expanding rapidly thanks to the iOS platform.
"We believe NoWait is perfectly positioned to serve up much-needed innovation when it comes to seating management without friction or frustration. They have the undisputed best tool to displace proprietary, expensive pager hardware with the elegance of an iOS App," said Sean Ammirati, Partner at Birchmere Ventures. "With this round of funding, they can bring tablet-as-a-service to thousands of new restaurants across North America."
David Ambrose, the latest industry veteran to join NoWait's advisory board, added, "NoWait is reshaping how consumers interact with small businesses, the 'Fortune 1,000,000' as I've called it. It's about giving control back to restaurants." David is the founder of local commerce pioneer Scoop St. and head of mobile product and development at Travelzoo.
Restaurants like epicurean destinations Comal in Berkeley, CA, Barley Swine in Austin, TX, and Nicli Antica Pizzeria in Vancouver, BC use NoWait to make their guests and their hosts happy. "Time spent arguing with a customer about how long they have been waiting is lost time when we could be selling them food and drinks and getting the table cleared and reset," said Todd Sapet, managing partner at Texas Roadhouse, a national steakhouse chain.
NoWait is a mobile seating management service that enables restaurant owners and mangers to get a view of the queue and optimize turnover, while diners have the freedom to wait where they want until their table is ready for seating. The company is backed by Birchmere Ventures, Sand Hill Angels, 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.