Restaurant pagers annoying to guests

Restaurant pagers annoying to guests

There are 8 comments on the Chicago Tribune story from May 15, 2008, titled Restaurant pagers annoying to guests. In it, Chicago Tribune reports that:

If you've eaten in any number of casual restaurants over the years, you're likely to have encountered the light-up, vibrating guest pager .

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Chicago Tribune.

Tim

Woodland Hills, CA

#1 May 15, 2008
Yes, coaster pagers are annoying! There's a better way. QLess lets customers use their cell phones.

http://qless.com/coasters/
TNTech

Toronto, Canada

#2 May 27, 2008
I would disagree with the generalization of paging systems statement "They would go off when we weren't ready for a guest or wouldn't go off when they were supposed to." Those restaurants who encouter this problem are as a result of having other restaurants nearby who have the same system under the same frequency. High quality products such as tntech canada's restaurant paging system use different frequency/id number for each restaurant, preventing intercommunication between difference systems. The benefits of paging system surpasses its disadvantages by far.
http://tntech.ca/index.php...
John Smith

Dallas, TX

#3 Jun 11, 2008
Tim wrote:
Yes, coaster pagers are annoying! There's a better way. QLess lets customers use their cell phones.
http://qless.com/coasters/
Cell phone paging allows the customer to leave and search for another place to eat that is not on a wait. Way to lose a customer!!!
Randall

Dallas, TX

#4 Jun 11, 2008
How about another article titled, "Low-Quality Restaurant Pagers Annoying To Guests"?

Ms. Franz: Honestly, please explain how it is that you can single out the problems that a few are experiencing with their low-quality, penny-priced pager systems and make that a commentary on the entire restaurant pager industry as a whole?

Imagine that we were talking about cars for a moment and were looking at the poor customer satisfaction scores on the Buick Terraza minivan (according to Consumer Reports) Most would find it horribly swift and judgemental if I were to pen an article in a major metropolitan newspaper titled, "Minivans Annoying To Drivers", wouldn't they?

Just as there is long line of drivers willing to sing the praises of their top-performing minivans, similarly, there is another long line of business owners and restaurateurs offering to sing the praises of their pager systems. Choosing to single out an underperforming product and blame it for the abolition of all such systems, even the good ones, is terribly irresponsible.

In addition, why would you give two opposing testimonials, one good and one bad (Bandera & L. Woods) yet mention L.Woods' satisfaction at the end of the article? Almost as an afterthought. You spent 202 words on how bad they are and only 48 describing the benefit. Perhaps your article could have been titled, "Restaurant Pagers: Love 'Em Or Leave 'Em", or something similar. At least that gives some inkling that there happen to be a FEW people who like their systems and that there are a FEW diners out there that appreciate the shorter wait times they experience as a result of these evil pager systems - systems that go to great lengths to reduce the amount of time YOU'RE spent waiting for a table, as you so errantly stated. Was your last sentence not motive enough to have a device to speed up the length of the dreaded wait?

I can't help it if Bandera made a decision to go with a poor system, or the Buick Terraza of pagers, if you will. However unfortunate their experience with pagers, how can you legitimize the time Bandera employees waste walking around the bar, lobby, front entrance (or restrooms) trying to find guests based on their "descriptions"... "Is that a red shirt, or maroon, sir?" C'mon! How silly and wasteful is that? Not the way I'd like to spend my Friday night date night with my wife as our movie time slowly approaches, no less.

Single out the LRS & JTech pager providers of the world and learn from Bandera's mistake. To borrow from the car analogy I so seem to love, when you buy a Buick Terraza, don't expect the Honda Odyssey's performance and return on investment.

PS - Business owners & restaurateurs: Stay away from cell phone paging and its "convenience". As John from GA put it, you're allowing your customers to walk away with no reason to stay put, or remain engaged. Not to mention, you're already excluding some of your guests, because not everyone is keen on receiving text messages via their cell phone. Remember, standard text messaging rates do apply. I mean, do you really want your host/hostess asking your guests about their data plans and the like? Maybe if you could give them their own phone that alerts them - for free - when their table is ready... Oh, they already do that... It's called a GuestCall pager.
Tim

Woodland Hills, CA

#5 Jun 29, 2008
Randall wrote:
PS - Business owners & restaurateurs: Stay away from cell phone paging and its "convenience". As John from GA put it, you're allowing your customers to walk away with no reason to stay put, or remain engaged.
But if you have a wait list, there is no reason for your customers to stay put, until their table is ready. It wastes their time, and annoys them. What you really want is for them to be willing to wait _longer_. Our studies have found that customers are willing to wait over twice as long for a table at a restaurant using QLess than one without. QLess keeps your customers engaged by sending them status updates, and letting them request them on demand.
Randall wrote:
Not to mention, you're already excluding some of your guests, because not everyone is keen on receiving text messages via their cell phone. Remember, standard text messaging rates do apply. I mean, do you really want your host/hostess asking your guests about their data plans and the like?
A valid point, which is why you should make sure that any cell phone paging system you consider supports both text messaging and voice calls. We have found that the vast majority of customers prefer text messages because they are less intrusive, and an easier way to communicate in a noisy environment. But for those guests concerned or confused about text messaging, QLess lets them use voice calls instead.
Randall wrote:
Maybe if you could give them their own phone that alerts them - for free - when their table is ready... Oh, they already do that... It's called a GuestCall pager.
Their own phone that is disease-ridden, bulky, has a limited range, and is expensive to replace when your guests decide to walk away with it, sure. Or you could just let them use their cell phones.
Alex

Los Angeles, CA

#6 Jun 30, 2008
I agree with Tim 100%. People just hate bulky pagers with limited range that only God knows where they've been before --bathroom floor, etc. Allowing guests to use their own cell phone is inevitable --you can slow down admitting the future is there, but you cannot stop the passage of time. Not to mention the huge amount of useful data a restaurant can collect from cell phone paging systems that traditional pagers miss out on, allowing personalized service and more.
Pagercall

Dungannon, UK

#7 Jan 2, 2009
Now I have to admit to being slightly biased on this topic as I do run a company supplying paging systems for restaurants http://www.pagercall.co.uk
Not everyone is happy to have a restaurant collect their personal data, i.e. cell phone number.
Any restaurant that encounter problems with their pagers going off when they are not called should contact their supplier. Either they have a fault or they have been supplied poor quality equipment.
if a paging system is suffering from interference from another system nearby this can be simply rectified.
Chris
http://pagercall.co.uk
SmartData

New York, NY

#9 Jul 29, 2015
Yes, I agree that guest pagers are outdated solution for a businesses in 21st century, check out LineBuzzer.com , scan QR code from hostess front desk using your smart phone then enter your info and get in virtual line, the host will buzz you when you’re up (like a pager). If you will download the mobile app. you can even re-enter the virtual line of your favorite restaurant remotely from work :)

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