Hostme Blog

Learn from Kafe Leopolds how to manage crowd in popular places

Washington, D.C. is home to hundreds of brunch, lunch, and dinner spots. While each establishment has crafted its own menu and created its signature dishes and drinks, they all have one thing in common: crowds.

If you're going out in the District, you're going to wait for a table. It's something that Washingtonians have come to accept - but that doesn't mean they won't reward businesses that make wait times a little more enjoyable.

The people behind Leopold's Kafe & Konditorei know a thing or two about managing a crowd. Tucked away in historic Georgetown, the Kafe is one of the neighborhood's most sought after brunch destinations. After years of struggling to keep up with demand, the team adopted Hostme, a modern, customizable front-of-house system that allows restaurants to manage their wait list, reservation system, and loyalty programs from one central hub.

Before they made the switch to Hostme, Leopold's Kafe & Konditorei's staff was left to manage large crowds that were effectively tethered to the entrance of the restaurant. This proved awkward for patrons who were already seated, and frustrating for those who had nothing to do but wait. Chantelle Malcher, manager of Leopold's Kafe, says that the complete Hostme system helped her staff better handle the popular restaurant's rapidly growing customer base.

"The pressure was high, and people got impatient," she said last month. "After switching to Hostme, we still maintain a long wait list, but our customers aren't forced to stand around and wait for their table. They can explore Georgetown, and come back when they get the notification that their table is ready. The app is easy to use for both my staff and our patrons, making it easier for us to turn tables and reduce wait time."

With the touch of a button, Chantelle and her team are able to communicate with their guests every step of the way via text message or mobile app notifications, eliminating the need for both out of date pagers and awkward searches for the next party to be seated.

"We're excited to truly bring restaurant management into the digital era," said Hostme, LLC co-founder Evgeny Popov. "Where other vendors have stopped short of full integration, the Hostme system offers restaurateurs the opportunity to improve front-of-house operations by transitioning the business away from cumbersome pager systems and toward a tablet- and app-based experience."

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