ROI of paging systems

Do Paging Systems Really Pay for Themselves?

It's one thing going out and buying equipment based on what some sales guy might tell you. But it's entirely another when it comes down to getting a return on that investment that they say you will. In some ways, it's rather like believing what you are told and that sales guys always tell it the way it is about return on investment. Of course, all sales guys have one 'flaw', and that is that their job often depends on getting sales... any sales, and you will be targeted accordingly.

In any busy restaurant today though, there really IS a need to ensure that customers are handled effectively and efficiently as possible as anything else will be costing you money. Customers today demand great service and if they don't get it they typically walk and never come back. Long waiting times create a sense within customers minds an idea that the restaurant is somehow less than what they bargained for. And maybe those waiting times are less than perfect.

If your restaurant suffers from long waiting times and walkaways then it might be pretty easy to see that a customer paging system is easily justified And with generally falling costs those solutions are great value. But will those solutions have a good ROI?

 

Tried and tested technology

Of course, the customer paging solutions out there today are very much more advanced than the older outdated pagers. They are often more reliable than they used to be because of a substantially reduced component count, thus reducing operating costs for the restaurant.

Solutions typically work by handing a pager to the customer, and by pressing a button on the transmitter when it’s time to call them back. In fact, it's so common these days that most staff by far are familiar with the operational procedures.

While the customer waits they can be maybe in the bar, or seated at a table which makes the 'queue' of customers not be seen by other new customers as they arrive. In fact, one of the benefits is that 'walkaways' are reduced or banished permanently.

Some of the latest customer pagers solve an issue that has been around for a long time. Older designs often are simply a receiver, but the newest technology from one company has the ability to reply to a received message. This is advantageous because on those older type of systems (sold by all other companies currently) if the pager is out of range then neither the customer receives the recall, but most importantly, the staff member does not know that the message was not received. Staff find out about 10 minutes later when the customer has not returned!

The moral is, to ensure that the pager is a two way receive and transmit type to ensure your restaurant has the best equipment for the job and that you don't suffer as described above. One way pagers reduce the return on investment and can frustrate customers somewhat if they don't receive the recall message. Those LRS pagers have at last taken the customer pager to an unbeatable level - perfect for fast casual and other hospitality, but also suitable for other sectors.

 

How the ROI is achieved

Operationally the solution saves time and as we all know, time really is money... let's take a look:

If a customer returns in 3.5 minutes as opposed to 5 minutes that increases the throughput of the restaurant on busy days by around 30% (and that is not taking in to account those walkaways we mentioned earlier). Obviously, its the profit we need to consider from this increased throughput and that will be different for differing types of restaurant. Typically for fast casual you may serve 100 customers an hour at an average cost of £8.00 per sale in busy times and maybe 60 at other less busy times. This can easily total many hundreds of pounds per day in sales and over a year the increase can be very substantial indeed. If we assumed actual profit from the extra sales even over three months, then it's very likely that the solutions ROI would have been met in most circumstances.

But it's not just that ROI that matters. It should be pretty obvious that the customer recall system will actually be generating increased turnover, more efficient staff, increased bottom line, reduced 'walkaways', improved customer experience, smoother operating premises and more.

Thinking of things in this way actually makes you question why you would not have a customer system as we show on other pages of this website.

 

But that's not the end of the story

And moving to the next step, it's pretty simple these days to integrate the customer paging in to a wait list and table management solution along with staff paging too. The benefits are exponential and the core program needed is completely free with no ROI involvement. All you would need is the hardware for the rest of the system as described above. But that solution makes the overall ROI even shorter than standalone solutions usually have. There are two winners too - the customer AND the restaurant.

Also consider that the staff efficiency is increased and contributes to ROI and profitability and in some circumstances staff can be redeployed to different tasks within the business thus the restaurant effectively 'gains' labour time that was once 'wasted' on inefficient tasks that now no longer exist within the restaurant.

 

Conclusions

When purchasing ANY equipment for a restaurant (or for that matter any business) a solid understanding of how the ROI will be achieved is essential and we hope that this short document contributes to that. While we can't talk specifics, you should be able to see that these types of solutions will not only offer a fast ROI, but also contribute to the on-going profitability and effectiveness of any business. Do take a look around this website to see some of the very latest technology that can help you achieve your goals.

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