Tom Petty once sang “the waiting is the hardest part.” He was speaking about a girl, but waiting – for anything to arrive – is the hardest part. It’s frustrating and takes an immense amount of patience. In Canada it’s become habit to lineup to order our morning coffee at Tim Hortons, or sit quietly in the waiting room to see our doctor, or wait to be seated in a busy restaurant.
One startup in Burlington, Ontario is tackling the waiting game and giving back valuable minutes of productivity. Sebastian Dwornik, founder of Qriffic, aims to improve the waiting times of various businesses, specifically restaurants and walk-in clinics, by using SMS technology.
We’ve seen this strategy arrive in Canada before. Last year a Montreal-based walk-in clinic used texting to notify patients via text or voicemail of when a doctor will see them. The downside was that the patient was charged $3 per visit and only was given a 60 minute alert notice, so you basically had to come back and wait.
Qriffic replaces the clunky restaurant pagers and is a web app that manages a queue to better service waiting customers. Since it’s compatible with any device – smartphone, tablet, PC, Mac – all you need to operate it is an internet connection. When a customer arrives at your establishment and sees a long line, they simply give their name and mobile device number. This information will be inputed into their system and the customer will be greeted with an introductory message. Once your wait time is over, Qriffic will inform you via text. Dwornik stated in an interview with BetaKit that upon being notified your personal info is cleared from its history – so you can be confident that nothing will be shared or receive SMS spam.
Qriffic, who’s taking on others such as NoWait and BuzzTable, has been in development for the last year and is currently testing its service in two restaurants (Dymond’s Social Kitchen & Bar in Burlington and the Sunset Grill at Blue in Blue Mountain). Dwornik said that he’s personally funded the business and is now in an open beta that gives anyone who signs up a free trial. The pricing structure has not been finalized and will possibly be based on a monthly or yearly model.