Why You Should Ditch the Old-school Pagers for a Restaurant Waitlist App

Which queue management solution for your business; restaurant waitlist apps or paging systems?

Restaurant pagers go way back, as ancient as 1995, which perhaps explains why most business owners still won’t let go.

But besides being able to buzz, its water-resistant capabilities, built-in advertising, and the fact that they can notify a client who’s far-off, restaurant pagers haven’t streamlined the eatery business.

Plus, they are costly and have failed to meet clients at their point of need—making it a less-than-effective tool in an era of customer satisfaction.

In the meantime, a new age of app developers has disrupted the market, taking the restaurant waitlist online. Now, cafe owners can send notifications to their clients’ smartphones in an instant.

Why Switch to Restaurant Waitlist apps?

Are you caught between a waitlist app and a paging system? Below are reasons why apps are better than the latter?

1. Cost-Effectiveness

Paging systems can cost to the tune of 1,000 USD in upfront payments, and that’s only for a small restaurant that needs a few pages. Add the replacement costs for any that breaks up, and the figure grows even larger. Apps, however, can be as affordable as 69 USD per month with no extra costs.

2. Serve an Unlimited Number of Customers

Your waitlist grows as your restaurant expands, and having 50 customers in a queue means you’ll need 50 pagers around, which can be way costly. Why not go for an app that hosts as many clients as you can have without further expenses to your business?

3. No Area Restrictions

As hinted before, today’s customers value safety, convenience and flexibility. They hate being limited to a given area. Allowing them to queue from anywhere also makes wait times move much faster. This kind of satisfaction will encourage repeat business with clients.

4. Eliminates Long Queues, Encouraging New Customers

Waiting too long in the queue can discourage a new customer. Restaurant waitlist apps eliminate long lines encouraging your client to wait for their turn.

5. User-friendly

Unlike restaurant pagers, apps are an everyday thing for today’s customers. And smartphones are like their chill spot. These apps also ease waitlist management because you can monitor different aspects of customer wait-times and give updates from a single panel.

6. More Accurate Wait-Time Estimates

Worker burnout can cause staff to quote excessively long waiting times, consequently discouraging clients. Apps, however, use past wait-time data to give more accurate wait-time quotes based on your current waitlist. This can have a tremendous positive impact on customer retention.

7. You Gather Troves of Data

Restaurant waitlist apps beat pagers or physical records when it comes to storing client data. They even offer user-friendly chats to help improve wait time management.

8. No maintenance Needed

With pagers, you have to do frequent charging and repair damaged hardware all the time. But with a waitlist app, after installation, regular upgrades is the only maintenance, which you also do for free.

9. Hygienic

In a time of coronavirus, when everyone is avoiding as much contact as possible, you want to go for contactless solutions like waitlist app. Customers may not fancy the idea of sharing a pager with strangers when they can enjoy the same services and more on restaurant waitlist apps.

10. You can text or ring a Client 

With a pager, the “buzzing” is all you get. However, a waitlist app allows you to write a custom message to the client’s smartphone or follow up with an automated voice message. This approach can help increase client satisfaction and encourage repeat buying.

11. Clients Can Tell Their Place in the Queue

Unlike pagers, where a customer must wait for the buzz, these apps allow clients to see how far they are in the queue. This kind of honesty fosters good customer relationships and may encourage repeat business.

12. Spot & Gift Loyal Guests

While pagers can’t learn anything about your clients, restaurant waitlist apps keep records and can give you valuable customer data like who visits frequently by analyzing phone numbers.

With these insights, you can spot repeat clients and serve them better for staying loyal to your brand.

13. Remote List Monitoring 

A round-the-clock view of your waitlist is an excellent way to stay on top of business operations when working from a remote location.

No matter where you are, an app gives a complete view of the waitlist as long as you’re logged in to the restaurant owner’s back-end with your smartphone or tablet.

14. Get Customer Response. 

Pagers are only as good as an alert device, unlike apps that allow to and fro communication.

This convenience ensures active feedback and quick action because a customer can easily confirm the availability after notification.

Tips to Choose the Best Restaurant Waitlist App

But not all restaurant waitlist apps will serve your specific needs. That’s why you must spend quality time searching for a digital waitlist solution that fits your business model.

Other factors like user-friendliness and how long the app will be in service can impact operations and customer experience alike, that’s why you must do a thorough search.

 Shopping and restaurant waitlist apps

Shopping and Restaurant Waitlist apps

You want a reliable solution that won’t cause difficulties or hamper operations soon after implementation or in the long run. Remember, pagers or physical records can’t suffice in a time of COVID-19 when people are avoiding contact. Perhaps taking the queue online is your next best move.

Because digital waitlist apps are a double-facing piece of technology, you must worry about usability and convenience for both the customer and waitlist management team.

With that in mind, you want to check for the following before choosing.

Is it user-friendly and intuitive? 

  • Ask for a free trial period of the apps you plan to use. This will give you a complete feel of how it operates from both the consumer and agent ends.
  • Understand the onboarding process: Make sure the app is easy to use.
  • To investigate customer user-friendliness, try the waitlist app at an eatery that already uses it.

Will you get unswerving support? 

  • Ask for the details of the level of support and assistance the vendor offers once you implement the app for business uses
  • Do they offer unswerving live chat assistance?
  • Does the service offer affordable round-the-clock assistance?

Is the App here to stay and can it grow with your restaurant?

  • Waitlist management is a critical part of the business. You can’t risk switching from one app to another just because your app provider has run out of business. Think about how that could impact your customer experience and operations.
  • Request the vendor’s roadmap for its restaurant waitlist app. Study thoroughly and ask yourself this; can it support your eatery for the next half-decade/
  • Choose an app that plans to grow with the companies it onboards.

Does it have the waitlist features that matter to your restaurant?

Your restaurant’s specific needs, and those of your clients, should act as the guiding light to choosing a waitlist app.

When searching, inspect for the following

For your staff:

  • Room management
  • Queue management solution
  • Guest training & Management
  • Data and analytics
  • The ability to link with new and repeat buyers

For Customers:

  • Accessibility is a key feature in Restaurant waitlist apps. Is it compatible with iPhone and Android gadgets?
  • Does it allow text messaging and calling?
  • User-friendliness; is it intuitive? How good is its user interface? Does it show updates in real-time?
  • Lastly, does it support social media sharing?

Are there hidden costs? 

It’s important to double-check your contract terms and ask the vendor about all the related costs. Ask them of any hidden charges. Some vendors hide fees in their tricky contract language.

In the end, you want to compare the offers from different vendors to make an informed decision.

While you want an affordable solution, savvy business owners will warn you that cheap is expensive when choosing a solution that you intend to use in the long run–like a waitlist app.

The Takeaway

Pager systems are obsolete in a world of digital waitlists. But besides being able to buzz, waterproofness, built-in advertising, and the fact that they can notify a client who’s far-off, pagers haven’t streamlined the eatery business.

Switching to restaurant waitlist apps can add more convenience to your struggling restaurant waitlist management, especially amid COVID-19 when both business owners and clients want to do everything remotely–and with minimal contact.

While you want an affordable solution, savvy business owners will warn you that cheap is expensive when choosing a solution that you intend to use in the long run–like a waitlist app.

Be sure to double-check all features but double-check contract terms and the long-term prospect of your app of choice before entering a deal.