Several years ago, Robb Myer went from restaurant to restaurant in San Francisco, trying to be seated for brunch without waiting 45 minutes for a table.
Popular apps like OpenTable make it easy to book at restaurants that take reservations, but “why, with the ubiquity of mobile phones and the power of modern cloud computing, was there not a solution to eliminate waiting at your favorite casual-dining restaurants?” asks Luke Panza. Now there is.
Panza and Myer founded NoWait in 2010 as an AlphaLab startup. In 2011, NoWait launched its Host App for restaurants, a wait-listing tool that optimizes seat management and communicates with diners through texts when their table is ready.
In February, NoWait launched its Guest App, which allows diners to get in line remotely at their favorite casual eatery. The app enables users to check wait times and remotely add their name to the wait list without even leaving the house.
The company's growth has been fast. In 2013, NoWait served 700,000 diners a month. That number grew to seven million with the launch of the consumer app this year. To date, NoWait has served more than 90 million guests and thousands of restaurant partners in all 50 states. In May, the company announced $10 million in venture funding.
NoWait recently doubled its engineering team, growing to more than 30 full-time employees with another half-dozen openings available. The company is planning a move to larger offices in Pittsburgh's Oakland section and has opened a fast-expanding office in New York.
And NoWait is looking at new markets for its technology.
“We remain steadfast in our goal to eliminate waiting in daily life,” explains Panza. “The opportunities are limitless. For example, you wait for your room to be ready at hotel check-in, you wait at a busy golf course, you wait for your car at the garage, the hospital, at the doctor’s office. Why should you have to do that? NoWait is starting with eliminating wait times at restaurants and has the potential to truly improve the quality of life for American consumers.”
Source: Luke Panza, NoWait
Writer: Elise Vider