The agony of waiting on long lines at a restaurant is universal, but apparently Israelis—not known for their exceptional patience—have figured out a way to skip the wait. And Israel being Israel, the answer is obviously an app.
Skeeper, the app which helps you skip the line but keep your spot, was co-founded by CEO Alon Schwartzman two years ago to eliminate waiting times and limit the number of no-shows, benefitting both the diners and the restaurant. And now he’s bringing it to the U.S.
The thousands of Skeeper users can simply give their name and number at the door and receive an automatic text message as their turn approaches. This allows you to shop, check in with a friend, reapply that lipstick before a date, or do literally anything besides stand around waiting without fear of losing your place in line. And it’s not only for restaurants—Skeeper is also being used by other businesses that suffer from crowded bookings, such as nail parlors.
Schwartzman, who grew up in Tel Aviv and worked in a high-tech company in Silicon Valley for several years, told Tazpit Press Service (TPS) that to date 100,000 people have downloaded the app in Israel. The app is free, since Skeeper draws revenue from subscription fees of restaurants seeking to improve service and ensure that customers return.
“We work with a lot of large and small restaurants that are famous for their long waiting lists, such as Benedict and dozens of others. Managers know that waiting is basically a bad and annoying experience. You don’t want to waste your time at the entrance. The last thing the business wants is for people to go in frustrated,” Schwartzman said.
Moreover, countless man-hours have been saved for more than 2 million customer uses, according to the analytics provided by the app. And the numbers are still growing.
“We also reduce the walk-aways,” Schwartzman said, referring to the hopeful diners who give up before the meal. “If there is a long line people register and then get tired and leave. But with our app there are 50% less no-shows.”
With so much success in Israel, Schwartzman plans to launch Skeeper in the United States this year.
Alexander J. Apfel (TPS)