Yelp Inc. has acquired Nowait, a restaurant technology company with the industry’s leading waitlist system and seating tool, for $40 million in cash. The announcement comes after the company had previously disclosed a strategic investment in Nowait and integrated its services into the Yelp app.
According to a press release, the purchase of Nowait, which was founded in 2010, will add to the customer experience when booking tables with Yelp Reservations and ordering food for pickup and delivery through Yelp Eat24. Nowait is the first mobile network for waitlist restaurants, giving eating establishments the ability to share real-time seating availability with diners while also allowing customers to add their name to the waitlist remotely.
The service also allows for real-time communication between the restaurant and the customer and is a replacement for paper waitlists and buzzers. The system, which is live at about 4,000 restaurants across the United States and Canada, can help boost business for busy restaurants, as well as save customers the time and hassle of traveling to an eatery with an exorbitant wait times.
“Yelp already plays a big role in millions of purchase decisions every day as consumers actively seek out businesses and services that save them time and money. The full integration of Nowait allows us to provide real-time seating availability that better equips diners to make informed decisions,” said Jeremy Stoppelman, Yelp cofounder and chief executive officer. “Nowait has quickly become an important feature for Yelp users and a valuable addition to our overall restaurant offerings. With this acquisition, we’ll make even bigger strides in the restaurant industry by allowing Yelp users to more quickly move from search and discovery to transacting at a local business.”