If you’re anything like me (too impatient to boil water), you hate waiting to be seated at restaurants — those blinking, vibrating beeper things really are instruments of the devil, no? Well, The Onion’s A.V. Club has come up with a solution for you: a crowdsourced iPhone app that lets you know about wait times at local eateries.
According to The A.V. Club’s website, the idea was inspired by popular Chicago hot dog maker, Hot Doug. If you’ve ever been to Chi-Town, you’ve probably partaken in Hot Doug’s wondrous wares — dude even braved a fine for serving up foie gras hot dogs during the ban of that particular duck product in the Windy City. In short: He makes good hot dogs, and the line is often long to procure one.
First came a Twitter feed, designed to keep tabs on wait times, and then the Onion partnered with Invoke to develop WaitList, a free iPhone app for the hungry and the impatient. Basically, it’s like a super-specialized Foursquare. Simply send a tip with regard to your wait time the next time you’re stuck bar-side and other app users will benefit from your frustration. But, hey, if you pay it forward it will pay off for you eventually. Still, all users will have to be active on the app in order for it to really work.
This idea reminds us of Google’s Open Spot app, which crowd sources users to share news about open parking spots. Both require users to be active with checkins in order for the app to work best. (However, this particular app doesn’t encourage people to check in behind the wheel.)
Currently, the app is only available for the iPhone, which is a pain for all of us Android users out there. I hate waiting…
In the meantime, check out some screenshots below: