Any diner can appreciate black-and-white tile and chrome fixtures. Retro is always in, baby! But there’s a line between old-school cool and remarkably outdated.
Wondering where your restaurant falls? One easy way to tell is to check what’s waiting for queuers at your hostess stand. Is it a mobile device with a waitlist app, like Waitlist Me? Totally this-century. Is it a grease board and a dirty rag? A little grody looking, but still sitting on the fence. Is it a basketful of buzzers? Time for an overhaul!
Don’t believe us? Listen in to what your customers have to say when they’re handed a buzzer and told to wait ‘til it goes off.
“I’m not holding it.”
At 5, a buzzer is a novelty. It vibrates! It lights up! You get to be the first to know when it’s your turn! Unlike watching a cat chase a laser pointer, though, it’s a novelty that grows stale with age. While many customers are totally down for coloring alongside the kids—um, if you’ll upgrade that crossword puzzle, please—they’re ready to leave the buzzers to the grade schoolers.
“Gross! I don’t want to touch it.”
When was the last time you cleaned those greaseballs? Even though customers get them before their food, buzzers tend to be streaked with dust, grease, and who-knows-what else. In the age of germaphobia and a rising spate of super-bacteria, customers would really rather not come that close to a buzzing petri dish, thanks.
“Darn, what if I don’t hear it buzz?”
You’d think a hand-held buzzer would be easy to notice but often times, they aren’t. In fact, if customers set them down on the bar or slide them into a jacket pocket, the flashing lights and rattling plastic are easy to miss. To prevent this, one or more guests will disengage from the social atmosphere you’ve worked hard to create, all to ensure that they don’t miss out on their table.
“Someone needs to hold my drink.”
Short of a menu taller than a toddler, there’s nothing clunkier than a restaurant buzzer. Customers either need to set them down (where they tend to be forgotten), balance them on a limb (where they tend to fall), or hold them in one hand (where they take up much-needed real estate). For those that are keeping tabs of coats, bags, children, phones, or beverages, this becomes a nuisance they quickly resent.
“How close do you think we need to be?”
Will a buzzer work outside the lobby? How far from the front doors can customers wander? Being handed a buzzer on a crowded evening puts guests in a precarious situation: They need to pinpoint a space where they can comfortably wait and where the buzzer will still work. For long wait times, this can create anxiety. With every minute that ticks by, they wonder if maybe they missed their table. Cue constant check-ins with your staff, which defeats the purpose of the buzzer in the first place.
A better solution
Replace those outdated, expensive buzzers with a more up-to-date solution. Waitlist Me is so simple you can get started in a few minutes, and your guests will appreciate receiving a text instead of a clunky buzzer.