8 reasons why a digital waitlist
is a better tool than restaurant pagers and buzzers

Table-service restaurants that do not accept reservations have used guest pagers (aka buzzers) as part of their guest management operations for many years. Some restaurants are now adopting them for social distancing regulations, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are the best option for restaurants.

Below are a few reasons why moving from a pager system to a digital waitlist system would be a better option for restaurants.

1. Pagers are expensive

Acquiring pagers is a notable expense. Prices vary, but the most popular brands charge around $600 for 10 pagers, or $60 per pager. 10 pagers is not very many as restaurant operators can tell you. There can be far more than 10 groups waiting for a table during the busy rush on a Friday or Saturday night, meaning that a restaurant will want to have more than just 10 pagers (and thus will have additional expense).

CArbonara app

Carbonara Digital Waitlist is FREE

For restaurants looking to use tech tools to manage queues and waiting guests, Carbonara App offers a digital waitlist that is not only 100% free to use, but also is available on the device everyone already has – the smartphone! Carbonara can be downloaded at any time, and all members of staff can log into the same waitlist simultaneously to keep track of waiting guests just by checking their phones.


2. Pagers can be lost

Pagers must be handed out to customers when used, which means they can easily get lost if customers leave and forget to return them. This is an ongoing and unnecessary cost.

Carbonara Digital Waitlist is used on phones and tablets. Unless you lose your phone, the risk of losing Carbonara’s digital waitlist is non-existent. It is even possible to have access to the waitlist from another device. No costs and no loss!


3. Pagers need to be disinfected continuously to avoid risks of contamination

Pagers are being promoted as social distancing and covid-19 solutions to avoid crowds, queues and limit the risks of contamination. This may seem appropriate at first, but in order to completely avoid risks, pagers must be disinfected after every use since guests will hold them and later return them after use.


Carbonara Digital Waitlist – Alert Customers over SMS

There is no contact whatsoever using Carbonara’s digital waitlist. The restaurant operator simply pushes a button and sends a text message (SMS) to the customer when it is time to recall them. So there’s no individual disinfection required. Plus, customers appreciate that they don’t have to handle this thing that has passed through 1,000s of other guests’ hands. 


4. Pagers don’t provide statistics


Wouldn’t it be great to have daily statistics about your restaurant activity? Pagers don’t do that. Their technology is limited to a single use.

Carbonara’s digital Waitlist provides you with detailed daily reports

Restaurant owners have a huge advantage when provided with detailed reports about their activity, it allows them to understand their business better and find ways to increase their revenue. Carbonara’s digital waitlist provides restaurants with reports including number of guests seated, lost, average waiting time and much more.


5. Guests still have to wait near the restaurant, if not directly in front. Buzzers will not work at a long distance from the restaurant.


Guests who are given pagers while they wait for their table, won’t be able to go too far from the restaurant, as buzzers have a limit to how far they can be from the restaurant, otherwise they lose signal and eventually won’t work properly. That would never happen with a digital waitlist, where guests waiting for a table are notified via SMS. Guests are able to go as far as they wish, without the stress of being too far and losing their table because of the pager system distance limitations.


6. Pagers are a 1-way communication


Pagers can only notify customers when their table is ready. But what if guests want to inform the restaurant that there will be an extra person at their table?

Carbonara Digital Waitlist – a 2-way communication

Customers and restaurants can message back and forth as needed through Carbonara digital waitlist app, with no additional charges. If there is an extra guest at the table, or if customers are running a little late, restaurants can easily be informed.


7. Pagers don’t have as many tools as a digital waitlist


Pagers are not an alternative to pen & paper. Restaurants who use a waitlist will still have to write down guests’ names and information on a piece of paper even if they implement pagers in their management system.

Carbonara gives you a digital waitlist with helpful tools

The digital waitlist helps restaurant managers to keep all guest information in one place (name, phone number, number of guests and much more), in a neat and organized way. No more messy handwritings and piles of paper.


8. Pagers are unsustainable 


According to HappyCow there were 2500 vegan restaurants in Europe in 2019! The hospitality industry is becoming more conscious for the wellness of the planet.

Acquiring pagers means acquiring unnecessary hardware.

Carbonara Digital Waitlist – an eco-friendly alternative

Carbonara’s digital waitlist is used on hardware everyone already has, no need to buy new equipment. This means less waste and better for the world. Go green, go digital!

If your restaurant doesn’t take reservations, throw your pagers (in the recycling bin!) and download Carbonara App today.