Founded in 1981, Waterman's Surfside Grille is a family-owned restaurant located in Virginia Beach that employs over 100 hostesses, servers, and staff.
As a popular tourist destination, Waterman’s serves up to 1,500 customers daily during the peak summer season.
Beyond assisting restaurant-goers, hostesses were responsible for answering the phone, which exceeded 150 calls daily.
“That’s potential business on the other end of the line, but we just can’t get to them all”
But hostesses needed to prioritize guests. As a result, the restaurant was missing 50% of all calls, Marketing Manager Courtney Brough said.
Even with a dedicated receptionist to manage the company’s 3 phone lines, most calls went unanswered.
The restaurant’s 15-year old phone system also presented problems. To reflect the restaurant’s changing policies, Courtney updated the phone recording each month, which required technical onsite support and didn’t offer a user-friendly menu.
Waterman’s needed a solution to rescue missed calls and efficiently respond to commonly asked questions — all within an aging phone system.
“Numa was so easy to set up. All I had to do was log in, set up call forwarding, and we were in business.”
Numa’s AI-enhanced answering service solved these needs and more.
Now, Numa intercepts calls after 4 rings and gives callers the option to text Waterman’s or leave a voicemail. Hostesses have time to answer the phone during downtime. Otherwise, Numa steps in to help.
Once callers opt in to text, Numa automatically responds and answers questions about hours, menu items, reservation policies and more — so hostesses can focus on serving patrons.
Because Waterman’s already used iPads to manage guests, adding the Numa app was a natural fit.
During downtime, hostesses hop over to the Numa app to answer questions. Courtney also receives Numa desktop alerts when new messages come in, so she can ensure every customer gets a response.
With Numa, Waterman’s answers 35% more calls and doesn’t need an extra receptionist.
“Numa gives us the opportunity to catch business before they call somewhere else,” Courtney said. “Now if we miss calls, Numa answers them two minutes later by text.”
Before Numa, Waterman’s paid a receptionist to answer the phone. Still, one receptionist couldn’t get to all 3 phone lines.
Now, Waterman’s doesn’t need a dedicated resource to answer the phone, so Numa pays for itself in less than two days.
Most of Waterman’s callers ask about policies, menu items and wait times, which don’t require a human to answer.
Numa automatically responds to 40-50% of all text messages that Waterman’s receives — and almost 80% in the peak summer season.
Previously, customers couldn’t text Waterman’s. With Numa, customers get the option to text or leave a message, which appeals to older and younger generations, Courtney said.
“Numa has absolutely improved our customer experience,” Courtney said. “Customers find it really easy to use and like that they get fast responses.”
With Numa, changing voicemails to reflect policies is fast and easy.
Courtney no longer needs onsite support and can record using the team’s voices to preserve the feel of a family-owned business.