The Best Restaurant Pager Alternatives for 2022

The best restaurant pager alternatives for your restaurant business, including Waitlist Apps, Number Calling systems, and QR Code Ticket system.

The Best Restaurant Pager Alternatives for 2022
Photo by The Creative Exchange / Unsplash

Restaurants have been using coaster-style pagers or buzzers as part of their operations since the late ’90s. As of late, more restaurants are adopting them for social distancing regulations, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are the best option for restaurants.

They can be expensive to set up, must be cleaned and sanitized after every use, and let’s be honest, pager stations can take up a lot of space and be a bit of an eyesore. Not to mention the fact that pagers have limited range and sometimes customers can walk away with them.

Are you looking for some restaurant pager alternatives for your business? We’ve listed some of the best restaurant pager alternatives for 2022.

Waitlist App

Waitlist apps offer a great digital alternative to the restaurant pager that’s available on the device everyone already has – the smartphone. With a digital waitlist, there’s no need to worry about disinfecting any devices or whether or not the pager is in range.

All communication is done through the person's phone, the customer usually provides their phone number and they are alerted through an SMS text message when their food is ready for collection or when it’s their time to be seated.

Some of the best waitlist apps on the market are Open Table, Yelp Waitlist (formerly NoWait), and Waitlist Me.

Although a waitlist app is an easy alternative to a pager, the process does have a longer onboarding time and it also means adding another app to your phone that you rarely use.

Number Calling System

Sometimes you can’t beat the classics, and number-calling queue systems are used in a wide range of establishments across all industries.

You may be familiar with the system from places such as McDonald's, and you probably know the drill - You place your order on the self-ordering kiosk, receive a number, and once the food is ready for collection the number appears on the board or is called out by a member of staff.

This system usually works quite well but there can be some issues if the customer doesn't hear their number being called or if they walk away from view of the board. If this does happen, it can slow down the whole calling process for the staff and effect other orders.

QR Code Ticket System

This system is relatively new system and it allows the customer to collect their food with ease. Upon making an order, the customer receives a paper ticket containing a unique QR code, all they have to do is scan their code with their smartphone and it will let them know the status of their food.

When the order has been prepared, a member of staff just needs to scan their QR code and it will alert the customer immediately that the food is ready for collection.

And what if the customer's phone is out of battery and they can’t scan their code? No problem! Each ticket has a unique 3 digit code that can be cross-referenced or added to your restaurant or receipt system so the customer can still know which order is theirs.

The best thing about this is its simplicity, all that is needed for the restaurant to set up this ticketing system is the ticket book and a smartphone. Another benefit of this system is the fact that no number or contact details need to be provided as they do with a waitlist app, and that can be good for those customers who worry about privacy issues and how their data is used.

Wondering where to get started? OrderBee offers affordable pricing plans and support for setting up this system in your restaurant business.

Although a restaurant pager system can work in your style of business, it is always good to stay ahead of the trends with new restaurant technology and be aware of the alternatives.

Have you tried any of these restaurant pager alternatives in your restaurant business? Let us know in the comments.