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. Yet most now find that using a digital waitlist is a better tool.

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

Contact us to learn more about what a restaurant waitlist system can do for you.

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 a Better Tool

For restaurants looking to use tech tools to manage queues and waiting guests, Carbonara App offers a low-cost digital waitlist 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.

Read more: Why Apps Cut Down on Restaurant Overhead.

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

Restaurant hygiene is a top priority 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.

An App’s Digital Waitlist is a Better Tool: 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.

Learn more: Diners Prefer SMS Reminders to Restaurant Pager Systems.

4. Why Digital Waitlist is a Better Tool: 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 restaurant 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.

Discover more what restaurant analytics can do for you.

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?

Read more: Carbonara App’s Digital Waitlist’s 2-way communication features.

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.

Discover 6 common wait quotes from customers and how to solve them.

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.

Check out our Ultimate Guide to Waitlist Apps to find out the key things to look out for when choosing the best app.