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Should Your Venue Make the Transition to Text Messaging for Restaurant Paging?

There are multiple restaurant paging solutions that you can implement in your venue. Some use the tried and true method of having host staff call out names into a crowded restaurant or using a PA system to make an announcement for all to hear. Others use light-up paging devices that quietly alert your patrons when their table is ready. While these are commonplace, many restaurants are making the transition to using text messages for restaurant paging purposes. It is important to weigh the pros and cons of this solution before moving forward with it.

A Cost-Effective Solution
Yelling patrons’ names out in a crowded restaurant when their table is ready can be unappealing for many reasons. For example, nobody wants to hear names yelled out throughout their meal, and those whose names you do yell may not hear the announcement. Because of this, restaurant paging devices are a preferred option, but these can be costly to invest in, and many have a way of walking out of your venue over time. Text messaging is a cost-effective solution that does not require your venue to invest in expensive paging devices.

A Service-Oriented Approach
With text message as your restaurant paging method, you can incorporate a system that has updates sent to your patrons when they are five or ten minutes away from being seated. Many patrons appreciate being kept in the loop with regards to their wait time. In addition, customers do not have to remain in your facility while waiting. They may venture to a shop next door or wait in their car.

The Downsides to Consider
As beneficial as text messaging sounds, there are some downsides to consider. For example, while most people will have their cell phone on them when visiting your restaurant, some will not. Some people do not have cell phones and others may be contending with a broken phone at the moment. Some intentionally do not bring their cell phone in restaurants because they do not want to appear to be rude by checking it when dining with others. In addition, your patrons incur a cost for text messaging, and some may not appreciate that expense being charged to them. A final point to consider is that you cannot always hear a phone chime in a crowded restaurant, and this means that your patrons may need to continuously check their phone while waiting for a table.

There are pros and cons to all restaurant paging methods. Now that you are more familiar with the pros and cons to text messaging as a paging method, you can make an informed decision that is best for your patrons.

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