“The system works great, and allows us to use less staff. It saves us $60 to $80 per day.”
–Dave Strong, Director of Operations
Burger Life is Market Place’s newest venture joining MarketPlace Grill and MarketPlace Express. These restaurants are considered to be some of the highest volume and most progressive restaurant concepts in Arkansas. Burger Life is a fast-casual restaurant located in Fayetteville where customers can choose every element of the burger, from the bun to the topping. The Angus beef, chicken, turkey, fish or veggie burgers can be topped with one or more of the 24 standard and premium toppings, 22 sauces and at least a dozen Boar’s Head cheeses. Guests can add extras like fried dill pickles and sweet potato fries to their gourmet burger order. At Burger Life, guests can truly build the burger their way.
Guest Paging System
Burger Life, a fast-casual restaurant offering customizable gourmet burgers in Arkansas wanted to implement a system that was “somewhat hip” and would help them reduce staff labor. Burger Life is all about customization and non-conformity, as customers can create a burger with Angus beef, fish, chicken, turkey or veggies and select from several cheeses, toppings and sauces to create the perfect burger. Any customer-facing technology needed to fit with the Burger Life atmosphere and work with existing technology.
Burger Life selected the Long Range Systems restaurant paging system for fast-casual dining that worked with the restaurant’s existing Kitchen Display System (KDS). The LRS paging system enabled Burger Life staff to automatically page customers when orders are bumped from the KDS, ensuring guests receive their meals as fast as possible. At Burger Life, guest orders are frequently split because a milkshake might be ready long before the rest of the meal, so paging guests—whether all or part of their meal is ready for pick up—virtually guarantees that the food doesn’t sit around getting cold.
Guests order and pay for food at the register and then receive a pager. The staff at the register inputs that pager’s number as the table number in the POS system. Guests will take their seats and wait for their order and, when any part of the order is ready, they are paged to pick it up.
Implementing the paging system was simple, and Burger Life feels it is very reliable. The staff can focus completely on guest needs and bussing tables when customers leave. The pagers do create more traffic in the dining room because customers are picking up their food, but that actually helps establish the busy environment they purposely create in their restaurants. There’s also a sense of anticipation created by the pagers because guests are excited when the pagers light up and vibrate.
Burger Life installed the paging system as part of a concept change, but having the system has definitely reduced labor costs. Previously, the staff would find tables by looking for a number on a condiment stand then running the food out to the appropriate table. Without a paging system, they would need at least one more runner to serve customers. Now the food gets to the customer almost immediately, and because the customer is replacing the food runner, the staff can focus on guest needs (which can increase sales) and cleaning the tables quickly. The paging system creates the kind of self-service environment that prompts guests to buss their own tables and take their items to the trash bins, which further reduces labor costs. Initially, Burger Life checked out competitors when selecting a paging system, but selected LRS pagers because of their durability and convenient rechargeable stacking station.
Burger Life plans to continue using LRS systems in this restaurant and any future stores they build.