Food & Drink

Yelp's New Feature Gets You Into Restaurants Faster

Published On 10/18/2016 Published On 10/18/2016
crowded restaurant
Anthony Humphreys/Thrillist

This morning Yelp unleashed a feature that, believe it or not, serves a purpose other than allowing you to complain relentlessly about arbitrary things in restaurants. The restaurant review site collaborated with Nowait, another dining-oriented tech company, to pioneer an in-app system that lets you add your name and party size to wait lists without ever having to trek down to a bar or restaurant in person. It's the ultimate restaurant hack for the digital age.

Nowait originally developed the feature for its own app, but this game-changing partnership links the network up to Yelp's massive national base, connecting it with 4,000 restaurants already signed on to Nowait. And that number’s only expected to grow.

There are still some kinks to work out, namely that for now the reservation cheat only works when using Yelp's phone app and not the full desktop site. Yelpers are also unable to filter out joints not yet participating in Nowait's program, so they’ll have to seek them out on a case-by-case basis. But seeing as it was just released today, we'd bet updates and user-focused improvements are on the horizon.

Unlike folks hoping to score a spot on the list, participating restaurants must agree to a monthly fee in order to use the service. You're able to cancel your reservation online, and if somebody ends up being a no-call no-show, the host just moves along to the next person in line, analog-style.

Now you can use the extra time -- in true Yelp fashion -- to complain that the Chinese restaurant you're leaving didn't offer hummus.

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Meredith Heil is a staff writer for Thrillist. She needs a civilization, some sort of reservation. Yelp said a mile south there's a fast-food station. If you found her wallet in El Segundo, please let @mereditto know.

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