Introduction to waitlists

Partners participating in the waitlist program must complete the account Setup before they begin. However, some steps in the general guide aren't necessary for use of the waitlist feature. The guidelines on this page explain what steps apply to partners interested in using the waitlist feature on Reserve with Google. We suggest that you read through this overview before going through the integration steps.

Launch process

Figure 1 outlines the process to launch your waitlist-enabled merchants on Reserve with Google.

Figure 1: High-level integration steps
Figure 1: High-level integration steps

Overall, the major data flows between you (the Partner) and Google are captured in Figure 2:

Figure 2: Integration data flow diagram
Figure 2: Integration data flow diagram

Guidelines for all waitlist partners

Keep the following in mind as you implement the waitlist feature:

  • The service for every waitlist merchant must have waitlist_rules populated.
  • Sending out SMS updates is required for the waitlist implementation in the following cases:
    • To confirm the user has successfully joined the waitlist.
    • To notify the user that their table is ready.
    • To notify the user that their waitlist entry has been cancelled.
  • SMS messages must contain a link to a page where users can view their waitlist status.
  • Waitlist-only merchants do not need to provide availability feeds to Reserve with Google.
  • Your booking server must implement all the waitlist-specific steps listed in Implement the booking server. Partners that support both reservations and waitlists can add on the new methods to their existing booking server.
  • Reserve with Google runs a set of test cases for the waitlist methods in the booking server.

Common edge cases

The following are common edge cases in a waitlist integration and preferred solutions for them.

  • If some (but not all) party sizes are not accepting new waitlist additions because there is no wait on these party sizes then returning WaitEstimates for all party sizes in the BatchGetWaitEstimates response and allowing users to join the waitlist for these party sizes with no wait is preferred. Return a WaitLength with 0 parties_ahead_count and/or with an estimated_seat_time_range with 0 start_seconds and with 0 end_seconds for the party_sizes with no wait
  • If one or more party sizes are not accepting new waitlist additions because the wait has become too long then omitting WaitEstimates for those party sizes in the BatchGetWaitEstimates response is preferred.

These approaches are preferred since they give the user options even though the merchant's waitlist may not be fully open.

Guidelines for waitlist-only partners

Keep the following in mind if the booking server is used only for waitlists:

  • Waitlist-only partners don't provide availability feeds to Reserve with Google.
  • Waitlist-only partners do not implement the reservation methods in their booking server. Instead, you Implement the booking server with the instructions for the Waitlist implementation.
  • Waitlist-only partners do not make API calls to Google. This means that waitlist-only partners do not need to set up a cloud project or provide a developer email address. You do not need to complete Real-time API updates. However, merchant and service feeds still need to be provided to Reserve with Google.

Guidelines for partners whose merchants must manually accept/reject waitlist additions

If your merchants require the ability to manually accept or reject new waitlist additions from Google, extra steps are required:

  • Set the waitlist_confirmation_mode to WAITLIST_CONFIRMATION_MODE_ASYNCHRONOUS in the wait_estimate for party sizes which require manual confirmation. This must be set in the BatchGetWaitEstimateResponse and the GetWaitlistEntryResponse.
  • Waitlist entries that have been requested by the user, but not yet accepted by the merchant should be in state PENDING_MERCHANT_CONFIRMATION.

Waitlist test cases

Google tests the following use cases to ensure the functionality of the waitlist methods in your booking server implementation. Google also tests and monitors latency. All of these tests must pass prior to launch.

WaitEstimate retrieval

  • Wait estimates are returned for each party size requested in a BatchGetWaitEstimatesRequest.
  • For party sizes which the merchant has the option to accept or reject new waitlist additions, set waitlist_confirmation_mode to WAITLIST_CONFIRMATION_MODE_ASYNCHRONOUS.

Waitlist entry creation

  • A waitlist entry can be created from a CreateWaitlistEntry request.
  • If waitlist entry creation fails, a business logic error shows up in the response.
  • If a CreateWaitlistEntry attempt succeeds, the same response is returned when the same CreateWaitlistEntry is received again.
  • If a CreateWaitlistEntry attempt fails, the server retries when the same CreateWaitlistEntry is received again.
  • Waitlist entries show up in the merchant's interface.
  • Calls to GetWaitlistEntry successfully return the created waitlist entry.

Waitlist entry states and timestamps

  • Verify that each waitlist entry state is returned properly in the waitlist entry of GetWaitlistEntry responses.
  • Verify that each state timestamp is set in the appropriate timestamp field of the waitlist entry in GetWaitlistEntry responses.

Waitlist entry deletion

  • Existing waitlist entries can be deleted. The response to a successful delete must be the empty proto {}.

Opt out

Sample waitlist service feed (JSON)

Waitlist service feed

Merchant opt out

Google expects certain responses for merchants that previously had waitlists enabled but have decided to opt out.

Immediate opt out

Extended opt out

  • Remove the waitlist_rules from the service feed for the merchant if the merchant is not opting out of reservations.
  • Remove the merchant from the merchant feed if they opt out of all Google integrations.