Beating the line at restaurants

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Every once in awhile, a mobile app comes along that is so slick, yet so simple.

Check out NoWait.

It's designed to allow you to game the wait times at casual restaurants that don't take reservations.

Say you want pizza. The free app will tell you that there's a 20-minute wait at Pizzeria Vetri and a 10-minute wait at Nomad Pizza. Want to get on Pizzeria Vetri's list? Great. Click and you're on it. You can even see where you are on the list.

So far locally, only Nomad Pizza, Pizzeria Vetri, Village Whiskey, PYT, Day By Day, Simply Shabu, Mad Mex in University City, and a couple of Chickie's & Pete's locations are offering the service, which costs the restaurants $59 to $199 a month, depending on business volume, said NoWait CEO Ware Sykes.

Sykes said it takes a restaurant about 15 minutes to get the system running on an iPad at the host stand. Customers are notified by text message, rather than by pager.

I found the app easy to use, reminiscent of the Uber app.

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