In 1995, LRS saw a messy problem in the lobbies of even the most well-run restaurants. Hungry customers wedged into cramped spaces, waiting for a frenzied host to yell “Smith, party of six!” over the din of a crowded eatery.
They crowded the host stand, peering over shoulders to see how far down they were on the list. Clusters of customers crowded at the front door, creating a fire hazard. Customers coming in would turn away upon seeing the size of the crowd.
So LRS invented a better way. Thus, the guest pager was born.
This created the ability for guests to relax. They could sit and talk, not worried about knowing when their table was ready. Or better yet, they could wait in the bar area – ordering drinks and appetizers. Good for the bottom line and the guest experience.
It’s hard to believe that 20 years have passed since restaurant hosts started handing out small coasters to waiting diners – coasters that would vibrate and flash, signaling hungry patrons that their table was ready. It was a device that forever changed how restaurateurs manage wait times.
But restaurants were just the beginning for the guest pager. Over two decades, guest notification has been adopted by a wide range of industries to solve an even wider range of challenges.
From dining to auto repair, fishing to healthcare – and beyond
The concept of waiting for service is not unique to the restaurant industry. Other industries saw the success of the guest pager in dining and imagined a solution for their service business as well. Over the past 20 years, LRS guest pagers have been used by businesses from the high seas to healthcare.
Here are some real world examples of service businesses putting guest paging technology to good use:
- A Honda service department in Texas eliminated tedious waits in the customer lounge. The dealership uses guest pagers to notify customers when their car is ready. So waiting customers have the freedom to move about the dealership and even check out the new model Civic hybrid. The result? A better customer experience in a more peaceful customer lounge free of intrusive loudspeaker announcements.
- Healthcare facilities like Auburn University Medical manage the intake of hundreds of patients with LRS pagers. By not shouting out patient’s names, there’s less chance of a HIPAA violation. In addition, the waiting room is calmer, and patients are free to grab a coffee or make a phone call.
- LRS waterproof pagers even help commercial fishermen comply with federal marine regulations. Crews page inspection officials before bringing a catch aboard, so there’s no time lost waiting for the inspector. Even for fishermen, time is money.
And new applications keep popping up. Anywhere customers wait – amusement parks, blood donation centers, customer service counters or campgrounds guest pagers improve efficiency and the guest experience.
Here’s to another 20 years
It has been 20 years since LRS debuted the first guest pager, and with its proven track record of innovation in so many industries, the evolution is far from over.
Sure, restaurants will always have a soft spot in our hearts. That’s where it all started. But wherever someone has to wait on somebody else, that’s where you’ll find us – innovating.
After all, new uses for the guest pager are only limited by our customers’ imaginations.
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Jason Barge is a marketing manager at LRS and an expert in communications for the hospitality industry.