Today, NoWait announced that it has raised $2 million to expand its network of casual dining establishments and grow its platform for helping restaurants accept walk-in guests and manage wait lists.

Let’s be honest, not every restaurant that you honor with your patronage is high-end. All too often, you delve into the middle crust. The annoying thing about middling to middle restaurants is that they aren’t the most reservation friendly – in other words, you might just have to show up and put your name on a list to get a table.

Thus, you’ll find yourself in line for food that will, in all likelihood, disappoint. Still, casual dining is a massive market, and waiting for a desultory Olive Garden table is probably in your future. Enter, NoWait.

Here’s the gist of the application: it runs on an iPad, and prospective diners provide a cell number for restaurants to contact them when a table is free. When space opens up, the restaurant shoots them a quick text. That way, instead of tethering each group to the patio with a beeper device that only works in a seven-foot radius, customers can freely move about; where they have cell signal, they can be reached.

This is better for both the diner and the establishment; I can go next door for a pint, and they can reach me without lighting up a Christmas-tree-themed piece of plastic in my pocket.

NoWait has a free tier, but I suspect that nearly every restaurant that would use its service would exceed the 200 ‘parties’ per month limit. The service costs up to a few hundred dollars a month to manage several thousand groups monthly.

Casual dining has all manner of downsides, but NoWait might just cut back on some of them. For that, I say thanks.

NoWait

Top Image Credit: Chris. P