With its newly launched ControlCenter, BuzzTable’s guest communication platform now comprises three parts: WaitList+ for hosts, the BuzzTable app for guests, and ControlCenter, a web app that delivers to operators information gathered by the first two. That includes wait-time analytics, customer demographics, loyalty reward redemptions, guest feedback, and the ability to export customer data like email addresses.
In short: a whole lot of information that can help restaurants figure out what’s selling, to whom, and what they can do better, straight from customers’ mouths in real time. This kind of constant feedback could have huge implications for the management of both single storefront eateries and national chains. And it looks like corporate heads are catching on.
BuzzTable is currently being incorporated at all Famous Dave’s locations nationwide, and they are now working with major chains like California Pizza Kitchen, On The Border, TGI Friday’s, Boston’s, Joe’s Crab Shack, and Macaroni Grill. BuzzTable reports that in the last 120 days, they have increased their registered restaurants by over 350%.
The company was founded in 2011 to streamline the process of seating guests at casual dining restaurants and improve customer experience by nipping the chaos and aggravation of waiting for a table in the bud. The hungry masses can check their progress on the BuzzTable app (iPhone and Android; those without the app can sign up for SMS messages), receive rewards updates, and give feedback.
Meanwhile, restaurant hosts use Waitlist+ (iOS, Android, and web) to manage their lists and automatically build guest profiles. These profiles include history with the restaurant, preferences, and birthdays — and this information is shared between chain locations nationwide, meaning an Applebee’s in Milwaukee will know you as well as one in midtown Manhattan. BuzzTable reports that use of their products has reduced guest complaints by more than 50% and cut guest walk-away rates by 28%.
BuzzTable CEO and co-founder Warner Siebert said the company’s goals for the next year are all about sales.
“We’ve developed a number of distribution channels that allow us to train and launch at restaurants all across North America right from our offices in New York City… so, it’s time for us to step on the gas,” he said. “In terms of platform development, we’ve completed our core products, but we still have a few features that will launch later this year to further differentiate ourselves and enhance the dining experience from both a B2B and B2C perspective.”
BuzzTable has raised $1M to date from strategic investors, according to Siebert. This list includes hospitality vets like Michael Bonadies, formerly of the Myriad Restaurant Group (Nobu, Tribeca Grill).
In early May, the company announced an investment from Microsoft’s Bing Fund. BuzzTable graduated from the ER Accelerator in 2011.