Are Text Messages Better Than Restaurant Pagers?

Ask most people if pagers are still a thing and many of them will say no. However, they couldn’t be more wrong. Not only are pagers still a thing they are actually growing in popularity. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed ways restaurants and other businesses help customers with many only allowing a certain amount of people inside the building at any given time.

As you may have noticed, some restaurants use text messaging as a way to alert customers when their tables are ready. This may have you thinking, if you can just text customers about their tables then what’s the point in handing out pagers? Well, text messages definitely have some disadvantages. Let’s go over a few of them right here.


Guests Can Add Their Names To Several Waitlists At a Time

The first problem with using text messages to notify customers about their tables is that they can add their names to several restaurant waitlists at the same time. If your restaurant is located near several others customers can easily add their name to other waitlists and then go to the one that contacts them the quickest. This causes inflated wait times and causes more serious customers to be left waiting when they should already be seated.


Guests Can Travel Further Away From Your Restaurant

Although modern-day pagers can have a fairly long range there is no distance that a customer can travel to be out of the range of a text message. This can cause customers to travel farther away from your restaurant and have to travel further to get back. This can also inflate wait times and leave other customers waiting. Over time this can result in less table per hour being served and less revenue being brought in to the restaurant.


Abandon Rates Are Higher As Guests Get Tired of Waiting

Although notifying customers via text messages has no direct impact on the amount of time they wait there is less of a commitment on their part. Customers have a much easier time ignoring a text message as there is no response required by them and there is nothing to return. When customers have to return a pager to the restaurant they feel more of an obligation to stay and wait for their table to be called.

Pagers are a great way to allow customers the freedom to leave the business while helping them stick around and come back when their table is ready. Although text messages may seem more convenient in the eyes of customers, ultimately pagers are the better option for the business.


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