Doesn’t brunch sound much better when you don’t have to watch other people enjoy their mimosas for 45 minutes before getting a table?

This week, the Yelp app added a feature called Nowait, which gets you onto a no-reservations restaurant’s waitlist before you even leave home. When your table is ready, you get a text. Latecomers should note that you can reply saying you’re on the way, but the restaurant is not obliged to hold your seats.

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The best part (besides not having to stand outside in the coming winter) is the service is free to use. Restaurants pay to be listed on the app, but there’s no fee for customers, unlike most other reservation apps.


For now, Nowait is available at 15 no-reservations restaurants in the city, including Crown Heights’ beloved brick oven pizza spot Barboncino with waits regularly longer than half an hour, Times Square’s Bubba Gump Shrimp, and BeeHive Oven Biscuit Cafe in Williamsburg, where the biscuits (with recommended smothering of sausage gravy) are worth standing around for, but why do it if you don’t have to?

Check out the current list of participating restaurants below. The app is free, though Nowait is only available on iOS for now; Android support is coming soon.

Barboncino Pizza
BeeHive Oven Biscuit Cafe
Bubba Gump Shrimp
Burrito Bar
Champ's Diner
Clinton Street Baking Company
Martha's Country Bakery
P.J. Clarke's On the Hudson & P.J. Clarke's Lincoln Center
Patron Mexican Grill
The Grayson

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