“Ninety-nine percent of our customers have cell phones, so by offering cell phone paging, we provide a better guest experience and also significantly reduce pager loss. We saw an immediate return on our investment using this hybrid paging/cell phone system.”
-Hal Rundell, Project Manager
BRAVO | BRIO Restaurant Group (BBRG) are the owners of BRAVO! Cucina Italiana, BRIO Tuscan Grille and BON VIE Bistro. BBRG operates several full-service restaurants in many states that are open seven days a week for lunch and dinner. All three restaurant concepts offer upscale, affordable dining with a focus on providing consistent high quality food, superior service and delivering an outstanding guest experience. BBRG offers diners classically prepared food items from original regional recipes using the freshest ingredients. BRAVO! concept was inspired by the traditional Italian ristorante where food is prepared in front of guests. BRIO features simply prepared Tuscan-style food using the finest and freshest ingredients.
Guest Paging System
BBRG was an early adopter of paging systems because their focus has always been to provide unsurpassed customer service and high quality food. Any customer-facing, new technology had to fit with the personal atmosphere BBRG promoted in all of their restaurants, and since many BBRG restaurants were multi-level with 70-100 tables, a new system must also have reliable range.
Upgrading paging systems company-wide had to be carefully planned and executed to minimize disruption, but having a system that improved staff response times, initiated faster table turns, decreased overall system upkeep and reduced pager loss was worth the effort. The upgraded system greatly reduced pager loss almost immediately because a large portion of customers preferred receiving a cell phone message instead of holding on to a pager. BBRG’s restaurants could implement voice paging or texting with this hybrid cell phone paging system, so it also provided the personal touch BBRG required.
BBRG selected Long Range System’s Freedom system, a patented cell phone paging system that combines the use of cell phones with standard pagers. BBRG’s new system included guest and staff pagers, but most importantly, provided the option to page customers using their personal cell phones.
With the Freedom system, BBRG could send a prerecorded message to customers’ personal cell phones, but still provide traditional pagers for customers who didn’t want to give out their phone numbers. A monthly fee applies with cell phone messaging, but BBRG realized immediate cost savings because the cell phone message option reduced how many pagers were handed out, which in turn minimized the number of lost pagers.
There were other cost savings with the Freedom paging system: A portion of customers always choose cell phone paging over a pager, so during seasonal spikes, BBRG can just increase cell phone paging instead of purchasing additional pagers to meet the temporary peak demand.
Initially, there were some system configuration issues, but LRS worked with BBRG to resolve them quickly. The systems are meeting expectations, and BBRG realized immediate savings once staff used the cell phone paging option instead of just handing out pagers.
BBRG upgraded their paging systems to take advantage of the cell phone paging to enhance customer service and reduce pager loss, but having the system has definitely streamlined operations. Fewer pagers are handed out, and restaurants have reduced the number of pagers they need to serve guests.
Customers appreciate having the option to get a cell phone page, and the range is virtually unlimited, so nobody is worried about missing the page. Many BBRG restaurants are located in multi-level malls that have movie theaters and several stores, so customers can shop while they wait and not get frustrated by an extended wait time.
BBRG did a system cost analysis from initial purchase through five years of ownership, and as they expected, they realized significant savings using the Freedom system. BBRG installed the Freedom system in 11 restaurants in 2011, and intends to eventually replace all existing non-LRS paging systems in every BRAVO! and BRIO restaurant within the next few years.
System implementation was quick and easy. BBRG realized immediate ROI because they dramatically reduced pager loss.