The Top 5 Restaurant Wait-in-Line Apps to Try Right Now

Sarah Buckholtz
Post by Sarah Buckholtz
October 24, 2022
The Top 5 Restaurant Wait-in-Line Apps to Try Right Now

As restaurant owners, we want to make sure that our customers have an enjoyable experience—this starts the moment they walk in the door to make a reservation. It’s our goal to get them seated and enjoying their meal as soon as possible.

Long Range Systems, one of the industry's top providers of technology that improves the guest experience, was so curious about the amount of time hungry patrons spend waiting in line that they conducted a survey with 267 restaurant owners and managers.

The results indicated that nearly ninety-three percent of restaurants have at least some wait-time periods.

On average, the study found that people waited almost a half hour for a table, with restaurants recording waitlists of an average of 6.6 hours per week.

With those numbers in mind, and as businesses continue to lean into the digital age, a smart investment for restaurants could be leveraging a waitlist or wait-in-line app. These platforms can help you manage bookings, text patrons when their table becomes available, and, overall, make the experience of waiting for a table more convenient for your customers.

Here are our best recommendations for wait-in-line apps for restaurants that help you smoothly run your business while also creating an enjoyable experience for your customers.

Photo by Rob Hampson on Unsplash

The Benefits of Your Restaurant Registering for a Wait-in-Line App

A row of empty tables at a restaurant before opening

Wait-in-line apps have a few distinct advantages. 

Makes a Great First Impression

When people have a good time in your restaurant, they’re more likely to leave a better review, which in turn can actually help you boost your bottom line.

For instance, Qless reports that a restaurant's income is anticipated to increase by five to nine percent with a one-star boost on Yelp.

According to that report, five percent of customers say they are unlikely to return after a bad experience that can be attributed to poor customer service, subpar cuisine, or excessively long queues at restaurants.

In other words, a great customer experience starts from the very moment your customer either makes a reservation or walks in the door.

The right waitlist app can ensure that your food and beverage business makes a great first impression.

Keeps Walk-In Customers From Walking Out

Here's another way to think about it: If your restaurant doesn't take reservations ahead of time, a waitlist app might be just the thing to set your walk-in customers off on the right foot. By leveraging a waitlist app you ensure that a customer is more committed to actually sitting down at one of your tables for a meal. Knowing they have a place reserved in line, your patrons will be more likely to grab a drink at your bar while they wait, for example, or chat with friends and family outside. Or even just go shop next door. 

Wait-in-line apps can actually keep your walk-in customers engaged and keep them from walking out. 

Keeps Operations Safe and Contactless

Additionally, without a doubt, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way that restaurants, breweries, and bars do business. During the height of the pandemic, and even still today, contactless service became one of the core components of any food or beverage business.

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Wait-in-line apps are a great example of a way restaurants have leveraged technology to keep their operations contactless.

Not only can these apps keep your front of house organized by taking digital reservations, but these apps can also streamline the overall consumer experience.

By focusing on client loyalty and excellent customer service, a waitlist app is an innovative and profitable approach to keeping your place packed and your tables turning.

With that in mind, we’ll show you five of our favorite wait-in-line apps that will help your restaurant efficiently manage online reservations while keeping your customers happy and hopefully increasing your bottom line.

A photo of a busy bar-b-q food counter
Photo by Esther Lin on Unsplash
Your Menu In Minutes!

Top 5 Restaurant Waitlist Apps

Open Table

One of the most well-known waitlist apps, OpenTable has dominated the restaurant reservation market. Today, the app reports connecting businesses with 23 million guests.

That’s a pretty sizable number!

With OpenTable, your customers can make a reservation from a variety of places, including your own website, Google, TripAdvisor, etc.

Sending guests text updates on where they are in the waitlist along with reservation reminders is a huge benefit of OpenTable. From a business perspective, this minimizes no-shows to keep those profits rolling in.


The days of glancing through a calendar to find an opening are long gone. Businesses can save time and hassle by letting customers self-book and amend reservations using TablesReady, giving you time to concentrate on other important tasks.

Customers can join your waitlist by sending an SMS, scanning a QR code, or adding their names to the list at a kiosk or on your website.


For restaurants, HostMe offers an all-inclusive solution. A cloud-based service, HostMe can be used on any desktop or mobile device.

Never miss a reservation again by accepting online bookings twenty-four hours a day via your website, social media accounts, or the HostMe booking platform. HostMe enables your patrons to register online, doing away with those bulky pagers.

With one-click table assignment, HostMe’s Table Management feature offers visible table status evaluation. Plus, restaurant occupancy tracking on a customizable floor map means you can seat more customers.

But what makes HostMe unique is the Guest Book feature. Patrons can store previous preferences and specific requests in their online restaurant reservations, meaning you can make your guests feel valued and provide them with a memorable experience each and every time they visit.

Waitlist Me

Waitlist Me removes the need for a bulky reservation book covered in ink or those pulsating buzzer disks. Perhaps most importantly, this app clearly communicates customer wait times.

Customers who are placed on a waitlist receive a text message showing their current place in line. From there, your patrons can use their phones to check in to learn how many parties are in front of them and how long they should expect to wait.

When it does come time to seat a party, your staff simply calls or texts the customer.

Waitlist Me helps increase customer satisfaction, decrease walkaways, and boost your company's performance.

Yelp Waitlist

This waitlist management tool helps businesses increase the number of seated diners and income while also improving the dining experience for customers.

Customers remotely sign up for the waitlist using a smartphone, can view real-time wait times, follow their position on the list in real time, and get text notifications when a table becomes available.

By shortening client wait times, Yelp Waitlist helps restaurants retain diners who would otherwise leave due to lengthy lines.

Don’t Wait to Add Your Restaurant to a Waitlist App!

Investing in waitlist apps can help your business both increase profits and enhance the customer experience. Apply any one of these apps to simplify your reservation techniques and see a difference in your restaurant’s flow.

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Sarah Buckholtz
Post by Sarah Buckholtz
October 24, 2022
Sarah Buckholtz is a Content Writer and Editor for Untappd, Oznr, and Hop Culture. For more than a decade she has interviewed everyone from artisan makers to Grammy nominated musicians to Jefferson Award winning preservationists. She is a former blog writer and marketing manager for American Pickers creator and host, Mike Wolfe, covering stories about heritage tourism and preservation coast-to-coast. Sarah grew up on the shores of Lake Erie in Pennsylvania and is currently drinking a Jackalope Thunder Ann in Nashville, Tennessee.