Does your restaurant need an iPad or tablet?

getWaiter! is the perfect restaurant app for the iPad or a tablet. It turns the gadget that can waste endless hours of your life on Facebook, Angry Birds and Twitter into a device that instead will turbo-charge your business, and help deliver fantastic table service for your customers. And when you’ve got happy customers, you’ve got healthy profits.

So at getWaiter! we’d certainly recommend an iPad or tablet, because that’s all you need to get all the great benefits from our service. No specialist software, no complicated equipment, just a tablet and you’re away.

In fact, there is so much power in getWaiter! that you’ll never want to close down the app. Which is how it should be, because we recommend that you always keep it running. That way, at any moment all you need to do is glance at the screen to see exactly how the business is performing. Now of course, there are other things you can do with an iPad in the restaurant industry, from managing bookings to creating interactive wine lists, or even flying dishes to customers’ tables with an tablet-controlled mini-helicopter (yes really, Yo Sushi in London had a go) but we bet there’s nothing else out there that can boost your performance and profits anywhere near as well as getWaiter!

So take our advice: devote your tablet to getWaiter!, and you won’t need any other gimmicks because your restaurant will be wowing customers with brilliant table service. And at the end of the day, isn’t that much more appealing?

getWaiter! is free for iPad so to find out how getWaiter! can help your business, read more here.

Will computers take over the hospitality industry?

We live in a pretty futuristic world. We can use gadgets to buy anything, from anybody, any time, anywhere.

Thanks to e-commerce giants like Amazon and eBay, and supermarket delivery services like Ocado, we can now purchase almost everything we need without ever interacting with another human being.

So is the same going to happen in the hospitality industry? Will advances in mobile technology mean that soon there will be no waiters, no sommeliers, nobody to show you to your table and no-one to bring the bill?

Here at getWaiter!, we don’t think so.

Yes, we’re proud to have an app that uses the convenience of smartphones and tablets to drastically improve customer service in restaurants, bars, hotels and cafes. But we also strongly believe that technology can – and should – only go so far. That’s why getWaiter! hasn’t been designed to replace waiting staff. Instead, it helps them to do a great job by connecting them with their customers in a really simple but effective way.

So even though boffins can do very clever things with gadgets so customers can potentially book a table, order all the food, and pay the bill without dealing with a human, at getWaiter!, we think we will always need waiting staff. Here’s why:

Customers want a warm welcome
First impressions count, and your staff play a vital role. Diners want to know that you are genuinely happy that they have chosen your place, and they best way to do that is to tell them. With an enthusiastic welcome, a smile, and if they’re a regular, maybe even a handshake or hug if your that kind of flamboyant restaurateur.

Get rid of your staff, and all you’re left with is a sign saying ‘please choose a table and order your food’. Not quite the same, is it?

People aren’t predictable
Restaurants have to have menus, but they need to be flexible. There will always be customers who want something slightly different to what’s on offer, perhaps because they are allergic to the cheese in the sauce, or simply because they’d rather have poached, not fried eggs.

That’s why with getWaiter!, customers don’t order from a digital menu in the app. Staff still personally take their orders, because that way, customers can ask for exactly what they want. And when you give people what they want, they’ll probably come back for more.

Diners love personal recommendations
Customers are reassured when their waiter really knows what they are talking about. What exactly is in the seafood salad? How big is the lasagne? How spicy is the chilli? However detailed your digital menu, you’ll never cover off everything.

And it’s not just extra information customers need. They like to ask opinions too, whether it’s about which wine goes best with the lamb, what’s good here for pescetarians, or simply “which pudding do you like best?” If there’s no-one to ask, choosing from a complex menu can feel too much like guesswork, and can add stress to what is supposed to be a relaxing experience.

getWaiter! loves hospitality staff
Those are just three reasons why we designed getWaiter! in the way we did. We know how important waiting staff are, and we know how tough their role can sometimes be, so we wanted an app that made life better for them and their customers.

If you want to see how our free app can harness the power of technology while enhancing the personal touch that’s essential for great customer service, go to www.getwaiter.com/merchant

Calling the Waiter – 5 ways to get attention in restaurant

There’s more to a good restaurant than just the food. Dining out can be a fantastic experience, but even the best meals are nothing without great table service. So how do you make sure you get it?

Imagine it’s a special occasion, and you’ve decided to celebrate with a meal in your favourite restaurant, followed by a fancy night out at the theatre. This means you want lovely food, but with the show starting in an hour, you need super efficient service too.

But it’s a Saturday night, and the restaurant’s packed, so your waiter is really busy. How do you make sure you get noticed when you want to order, and when you want to pay the bill? Here are four ways that are far from perfect:

1. The eyebrow dancer
Often the preferred choice these days for diners who don’t want to be a nuisance. They’ll try to make eye-contact with their waiter from the other side of the room, and with a little raise of the brow, show they’re ready to order. This does assume that the staff has zoom lenses where their eyes should be. It may be polite, but unless your waiter is a peregrine falcon with vision 30 times better than the average human, you could be waiting a long time (Effectiveness rating: 3/10).

2. The flirter
Not quite as offensive as the ‘finger-clicker’ (see below), but you’re on shaky ground with this one. You may think smiling sweetly at your waiter is going to get results, but you’re far more likely to seem like a creepy customer who thinks they can flatter their way to preferential treatment. And if you’re having a romantic meal with your partner, you’re just asking for trouble (Effectiveness rating: 4/10 (including possible relationship crisis).

3. The finger-clicker
This one is an absolute no-no. In fact, do this, and you’ll probably guarantee you’ll be kept waiting for as long as possible. It’s really offensive to treat staff like servants at a medieval banquet, and it makes the clicker look like bigoted idiot with no respect. In other words, use the finger-click, and you may get another finger gesture back in return (Effectiveness rating: 0/10).

4. The drowner
Perhaps the most obvious technique, but far from perfect. Yes, waving your arms about is going to get you noticed, and it’s certainly better than the other options. But there’s a major flaw: you can’t use a knife and fork while you’re doing it. Which means that in a busy restaurant, you could end up spending more time waving your arms than actually eating (Effectiveness rating 7/10 (but gets surprisingly tiring).

5. The effective way of Calling the Waiter 

So if all those don’t work, what’s the best option? Well you could try getWaiter!, our new smartphone and tablet app, which takes all this hassle away. It means you can call your waiter over, order another round of drinks, or ask for the bill, all by simply pressing a button on your device. It instantly notifies the member of staff, so you can guarantee they’ve noticed you – Effectiveness rating: 10/10!

Click here to find out more.