Basic and straightforward programming to maintain seamless waiting and seating planning. Great for restaurants in office complexes for patrons to get work done while they wait to be seated or pick up food. Docking station is compact with simple button board.
Red light can be difficult to see, and instructions aren't very well written. Inconsistent customer service.
When fully charged, these 10 units retain a charge up to 72 hrs. on standby mode or an impressive 36 hrs. in use. The units have a range of over 300' indoors, or 1/3 mi. in outdoor environments. Prompt modes include flash, bell, vibration, or any combination. The 3-digit LED readout that identifies each paging unit makes this system expandable up to 999 units, a helpful feature for growing businesses.
While the small size of these units makes them handy for customers, it also makes them easy to misplace.
This wireless paging system can be customized to identify specific tables. A large, easy to read display means servers can avoid confusion about where they're needed. 8 available prompt modes to notify servers when they're being paged. The units themselves are small, unobtrusive, and easy to install at each table.
While the signal range of 330' in outdoor environments is adequate, this is reduced indoors, so this may not be a good option for large restaurants with a lot of walls or other signal barriers.
A range of up to 1,000' makes this a good option for users in larger restaurant environments. The 10 units are durable, and can take spills and other mishaps that might result in a restaurant. Units go into standby mode, which can offer a battery life of up to 1 yr., meaning users don't have to constantly change batteries. A clear LCD display with noise prompt identifies the table needing service for easy use by waitstaff.
The units attach to the wall by sticker, a material that can wear out quickly with frequent use.
16-piece pager set that can transmit to 350' indoors and 3,080' in open air. Sturdy charging base with deeper slots that prevent pagers from falling out. Simple programming for the base and user-friendly setup.
Reports of charging base heating up and issues with end-of-range use, even in open spaces.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
The world’s top restaurants pride themselves on not only the quality of their cuisine but also the seamless operation of their establishment, including good communication. A restaurant can be loud and crowded, making communication between patrons and staff more challenging. That’s where restaurant pagers come in: they eliminate obstacles to swift communication.
Restaurant pagers are alert systems that can inform patrons when they can be seated or call on waitstaff with a press of the button instead of trying to flag someone down. Pagers operate on radio frequencies that cover ranges between 100 and 3,000 feet. They buzz, flash, or vibrate to initiate contact. The straightforward system is easily programmable, and it’s designed to interact with other pager sets from the same manufacturer.
If your restaurant is ready to say goodbye to complicated lists and charts and hello to organized, stress-free service, it’s time to invest in restaurant pagers. Our buying guide has all the information you need, including some we think stand out from the crowd.
Radio frequency: Restaurant pagers use radio frequency to transmit an alert between the receiver and the pager. While it could seem antiquated in the 21st century, it’s simply a reliable piece of technology, and in the restaurant industry, there isn’t much room for error. Cell phones can fall victim to outages and difficulty connecting to WiFi, which is why alerts sent via text can be problematic. Because radio frequency doesn’t experience the same types of interruptions, it’s the preferred alert system for many establishments.
Range: Restaurant pagers have transmission ranges between 150 feet and almost a mile, though it depends on the environment. Indoors, pagers usually reach between 150 and 500 feet, but walls can obstruct the range. Outdoors, or in large open spaces, pagers can reach as far as 3,000 feet. The average restaurant pager has a range of about 300 feet indoors and 1,500 feet outdoors.
The number of pagers in a set varies, but in general there are between 6 and 20 in a set. If you’re getting restaurant pagers for the first time, a set of 10 is the average to manage a dinner rush. As a restaurant becomes more successful and attracts more patrons, it could require more pagers. Instead of buying a larger set (with another charging station), there is the option of buying additional pagers and controlling all the pagers from a single transmitter.
Charge station or batteries: Restaurant pagers are generally equipped with rechargeable lithium batteries, so you won’t need to worry about individual batteries and chargers. The pagers fit into a docking station that can charge all of them simultaneously via an AC adapter. However, some pagers that transmit information from the patrons to waitstaff require individual batteries to operate.
Charge time: Completely dead pagers need to be docked for a few hours to fully charge. Restaurants often manage battery life by rotating pagers regularly, so they can all be charged at the same time when business is slow or the restaurant is closed. Because the docking station or base stays plugged in, your pagers will charge while they’re waiting to be handed out.
When purchasing your restaurant pagers, buy a couple individual replacements to keep on hand in case a pager stops working during peak times.
Pagers are handled by many people every day, so it’s important to regularly clean and sanitize them with alcohol wipes, disinfectant, or hand sanitizer to keep germs from spreading.
If possible, program your pagers with combination alerts. The redundancy will help make sure that patrons will still be alerted if they miss a visual or audio alert.
The type of alert used by a pager is important to keep in mind because some are better suited to particular environments than others. Restaurant pagers utilize vibration, light, and sound alerts, and often use more than one at the same time. For loud and dimly lit establishments, the combination of vibration and light is effective. Audio alerts are also effective, especially when paired with vibration, though they can be disruptive and too high-pitched for some people.
Customization is relatively limited when it comes to restaurant pagers. Even the colors of the pagers are limited to three or four, with black the most common. Some pagers have dedicated space on which you can place a sticker printed with a company logo, while others have a removable window to fit a business card or advertisement of the same size.
These pagers have an excellent range of 3/4 mile — a lot farther than many other choices. They fit in the hand like a cell phone and lend a sophisticated feel to your restaurant. The cost isn’t exorbitant for 16 sleek-looking pagers, either.
Restaurant pagers range in price from $99 to $200 so even a fledgling establishment with a small budget has plenty of options.
Inexpensive: Sets that cost between $99 and $125 generally consist of six to ten pagers with limited alert settings. They’re straightforward and have a decent transmission range.
Mid-range: These sets cost between $130 and $160 and include at least ten pagers. They can be programmed with other pager sets from the same manufacturer. These also have customizable alert settings.
Expensive: At the top of the price range, between $160 and $200, the pagers have unique docking stations, advanced alert programmability, and the longest transmission ranges.
Expandable and programmable
This ten-piece pager system is as streamlined as it gets. Easily set pagers to chime, blink, and vibrate up to 500 feet away. The stackable charging base and compact station optimize space, too. As for adding new pagers, this receiver is programmable for up to 999 units, so you’ll never have to worry about the system being too small for your restaurant.
Post the wait time. Even if you use restaurant pagers to manage patrons, you can benefit from posting the average wait time online or on a whiteboard or chalkboard.
Train waitstaff to use the pagers. If the host or hostess is unavailable, you’ll need someone to fill the role. Train your waitstaff how to program the pagers and manage wait times so you don’t have to scramble to figure it out during peak times.
Alternate pagers in the charging station. Because rechargeable batteries only have so many charges, it’s important to rotate your pagers regularly.
Test the pagers when you get them. When you first receive your pagers, test them in the farthest corners inside and outside to confirm the transmission range before you begin using them with patrons.
We’re impressed by the Retekess T-116 Wireless Calling System. With 20 pieces, this set is a cost-effective option compared to similarly priced models that include half as many pagers. Unlike other sets, these coffee-colored pagers are easily visible and won’t get lost in a sea of black electronics. The eye-catching LED light across the top of each pager changes color when charging, so you’ll never have to wonder if they have enough power during a busy night. This set also comes with a two-year warranty with fast customer service.
Q. I’m changing restaurant locations. Do I need to reprogram my restaurant pagers in the new place?
A. Because restaurant pagers operate on radio frequency, programing the location isn’t necessary, although it is important to check the square footage of the new space to make sure the pagers will work. Provided your new location is still within the right range, you can start using them immediately.
Q. I have a very small dining establishment that only gets busy during holidays. Do I need restaurant pagers if I don’t use them very often?
A. If your establishment is short on space, restaurant pagers can help organize the crowd and cut down on the chaos of orders and pickups. It’s not unusual for restaurants to implement seasonal or holiday systems to handle the rush, and pagers are a simple way to communicate with patrons and let them know their orders are being handled.
Q. My restaurant pagers look like smartphones. Are there individual cases available for them?
A. Unfortunately there aren’t. This style of pager generally fits into a docking station, so it’s unable to have the added bulk that could cause it to sit unevenly during charging. A case could also obstruct exterior lights as well. Restaurant pages are designed to be handled heavily and often, so rest assured they can hold up to significant use before needing to be replaced.
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