Don't Wait, Be Your Own Hero


Don't Wait, Be Your Own Hero

Although meet and greets are a fun and often rewarding experience, they always come with a long, unpredictable wait time. The opportunity to meet entertainers who have been there for you during good times and bad is a once in a lifetime opportunity. An opportunity you don’t want to miss when given the chance, even if it means cutting into previously made plans.

If you’re heading to the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (C2E2) this weekend, you’re probably eager to meet the people you consider your heroes and share the memories you’ve had with them -- even if those memories were just on a screen or comic strip. The connections you’ve made with these characters goes far beyond that, of course.

Well, much like a meet and greet, what you do to celebrate after the fact is built around an experience of sentimental value. And what better way to do so than getting a nice dinner with the people you went to the expo with? The people who are just as ecstatic as you are about meeting the kids from Stranger Things.

This situation sounds a bit too good to be true, doesn’t it? All the restaurants near C2E2 are going to be slammed. A lot of restaurants in the city these days don’t take reservations, either, so where does that leave you and your friends?

Instead of putting your name on a waitlist and hoping for the best, try being your own hero this weekend and head to a restaurant that uses NextME. You’ll know exactly what place in line you’re in, so you can head to that meet and greet all while making it back on time to get seated. Waiting at a meet and greet is a process in itself. Let NextME take care of the rest.

Know a restaurant that can use NextME's wait list app? Let us know the restaurant on our referral page and we'll pay you $50.00 cash if they sign up.

Happy Waiting!


NextME App Updates

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NextME App Updates

We're happy to announce that we've made some updates to the NextME App. We want to thank all of our existing customers for their valuable feedback as their input has gone a long way into helping us to determine new features to include. With that said, lets take a look at whats new!

After launching NextME, one of the most requested features has been the ability for hosts to easily track table numbers. The addition of table tracking as a feature allows us to offer more robust analytics and contributes to the accuracy of our quoted wait times.

Table tracking is accomplished by simply adding the table number you anticipate seating your patrons in the “Table #” field on the live waitlist.


New Navigation Bar and Icons

If it's your first time using the app in a while, you may notice the addition of new icons and an updated navigation bar on the waitlist page. The updated icons allow every member of your staff to quickly understand and interact with each party (without clogging the waitlist page with too much text). You are now able to view the number of text notifications sent to guests, quickly mark parties complete and queue them up in the waitlist. With the new navigation bar in place, you can use the buttons to quickly filter the queue by table size and that's not all!


Diner Communication

NextME 1.0 allowed hosts to communicate wait times for diners through a generated page sent directly to their cell phone. Diners would receive a text notification letting them know that their table was ready and to return to the restaurant in the allotted time (grace period). With updates to the app you now have more control over that process. You are now able to adjust the grace period to match the pace of your restaurant. In addition, if you've taken a party off the waitlist (whether purposefully or accidentally) you can easily return them to their place through the addition of new menu options.


Take advantage of the Mobile Marketing Platform


Use the web link found in your patron’s text message to display menus for diners to browse -increasing table turns, upsell bar specials, and/or boost your social media pages- keep your patrons engaged during long waits increases retentions and sales.

In order to get started on NextME’s mobile marketing platform, we will need your marketing collateral for us to display. The following content(s) is what is most popular with our restaurant partners: Menus, Social Media Pages and Bar Specials/Images.

Submitting images, files and marketing collateral for your landing page is simple. All you have to do is send a quick e-mail over to with at least 48 hours in advance of the post date to make your landing page is tested and ready.

For the full list of updates and to receive an updated training guide for NextME click here.

If you want to schedule a demo for your restaurant, give us a call at 408.909.6398 .


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How to grub like a champ after the Shamrock Shuffle


Competitive running is challenging at every level. Succeeding at hitting your goal time requires a lot of work. You have to develop the discipline to commit to training and changing your diet as well as become efficient enough in all of your other tasks in order to pack it all in.

We applaud everyone who pushed through these obstacles in preparation for tomorrow’s Shamrock Shuffle sponsored by Bank of America. We know that you’ll push hard to cross that finish line, and that the last thing you’ll want to do after all that work is celebrate in a long line at a restaurant. You’re king of the 8k and should be shown right to your seat. With that said, you should check out some of the restaurants using NextME.

NextME allows restaurants to use your cellphone number to hold your place in line, and give you a countdown on when your table will be ready giving you time to hop in the shower at your hotel, ice your knees and stretch, or anything else you’d rather spend your time doing over waiting in the freezing foyer of a restaurant after running your butt off. Take a look at NextME partnered restaurants:

If you're interested in using NextME at your restaurant click here to set up a demo and we’ll come to you.

If you're waiting to dine in, NO need to download an app! Just ask your resturant host to NextME :-)

Good luck at the race everyone!

Happy Waiting, NextME Team



Your Ultimate "H-anger" Cure This St. Patrick's Day


You know, when you’re so hungry and angry at the same time that you can’t think straight.

Heading to Chicago next weekend for St. Patrick’s Day? Yeah, so is everyone else.

It’s going to be absolute chaos, and I mean that in the best way possible. If you live in the city, you probably have friends coming in town. And, whether you’re a local or visiting, you probably couldn’t be more excited to run around the city with your friends like a bunch of drunk leprechauns. That is, until you’re insanely hungover the next day.

Whatever you did the day, or even night, before; you’re probably going to resort to desperate measures to cure your hangover — and you’re probably going to be hangry while doing so.

Maybe you want some greasy food, or maybe you just want to keep drinking. But, when it comes to the ultimate cure for your St. Patrick’s Day hangover, all arrows point to getting brunch. But, just like the chaos of the parade and Chicago Riverwalk, every brunch spot in the city is going to be slammed with long waits.

As an avid restaurant goer, I can say that the best brunch spots to go to on a busy weekend like St. Patrick’s Day are the ones where the host can text you a web link of your position in line using their wait list app. Not only do you not have to fight for a spot at the bar, but you’re able to explore the city until your table is ready and you receive that magical text notification (because, let’s face it, you’re probably going to be waiting at least an hour).

Having that “text-when-ready” option opens up endless possibilities of things to do while you try to distract yourself from the fact that you’re incredibly hangry. We all know how that is: It’s hard to focus on anything except for how hungry you are at that moment. Why add on unnecessary stress when you can explore the Riverwalk, visit nearby bars and more while you’re waiting to get seated?

Want to prevent a hangry dining experience? Share your hangover cure with your favorite restaurants and ask the hostess to NextME.



Your Friday Night Just Got Better

We’ve all been to a restaurant when it’s busy: The waits are long, and if you live in a city like Chicago, the waits are even longer. Although Chicago doesn’t have a shortage of fantastic restaurants, everyone seems to know which ones are the best. For example, if someone wants deep dish, they’ll probably go to Lou Malnati’s. If they want a good burger, they’ll go to Kuma’s Corner. (I may be a little biased because I work at Kuma’s Too, but that’s beside the point.)

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This is the famous Kuma burger, and you probably got hungrier just looking at it. Whether you’re in the industry or not, we all know what it’s like to be hangry. We trade an hour wait for the certainty of a delicious meal. Yet, knowing this, we’re always filled with an irrational mix of anxiety and rage until the host says that message from above — “Your table is ready!” As a hostess myself, I’ve seen customers’ faces light up all too many times after giving them the good news. I’ve also experienced the looks of panic and subtle death stares when I tell people they have to wait 45 minutes to an hour to be seated. The servers constantly bringing out burgers, mac and cheese plates and wings that saturate the room with a delicious aroma of homemade buffalo sauce doesn’t help, either. Lucky for me, working at Kuma’s has its perks: Between the friendly staff, delicious food, and awesome beer selection, I definitely haven’t had much to complain about. Plus, they have an awesome digital waitlist app called NextME that I use when the restaurant gets packed. It not only makes my life easier, but helps increase table turns and decrease hangry customers. Since Kuma’s doesn’t take reservations, NextME does a great job at managing our walk-ins. All I have to do is enter the patron’s name and number into the digital wait list, and the app will send diners an automated text saying which spot in line they’re in using a web link. When it’s someone’s turn to be seated, I press a button that sends them another text telling them their table is ready. I don’t even have to tell my customers to download anything!

With NextME, I never have to worry about using pagers, taking notes on what patrons look like, or shouting names over people in a loud room. I have more time to help everyone who walks in, and the customers are seated faster. Everyone wins! Want to learn more about NextME? Head to their website to see what it’s all about! And don’t forget to check out Kuma’s Corner to get your ultimate burger fix. Happy Waiting!