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Server paging system

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Looking for opinions, experience, input on server paging.

Currently, the BOH uses the "bellow" method, bellowing out "Order's Up!" until someone comes in to take it where it needs to go.

Even though I've employed this method myself a long time ago, I can't stand this method.

I recently went to a small Mom and Pop diner where the waitresses wore wristbands that buzzed them anytime the customer pressed the console at the table.  We tried it to get our check and it STILL took her 20 minutes to bring our check (only 4 other tables in the place).

The restaurant I am currently consulting for is using Micros. 


post #2 of 4

I have seen several methods. 

Often in small places where dining room and kitchen are close, a simple bell can be used. 

I have also seen a single light over the kitchen entrance used and another with a numbered light system, each waitstaff assigned a  number so when that number lit up, they knew it was their food. 

Small vibrating pagers can be worn on the belt or apron. 

I think the bellow method is crude and unprofessional. 

     Most important I think is the training of the staff to understand the restaurants service priorities and the importance of professionalism as a waitstaff member.  

     I don't know if this would work for your place but I used to tell the staff that if the bell went off and they were not in the middle of doing something, they should deliver the food whether it was their table or not. Food cools off too quickly for territorial concerns. Customers don't generally pay attention to who in particular brought the food. They absolutely remember when they get cold food.  So hot food delivery is everyone's responsibility and of paramount importance. This rule included every member of the staff, including myself.

      I'll add that I think allowing the customers to buzz the waitress is also poor practice. Too much opportunity for abuse and wasted time.

Professional waitstaff have been trained to pay attention to the customers needs and shouldn't need a buzzer. Delivering the check promptly is a normal part of the natural progression of a restaurant visit. Great restaurants pay attention to the entire process from entrance to departure. 

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

Completely agree with all of your points.  I've used all the methods (and had those methods used on me back in the day when I was a waitress).  The staff at this restaurant is pretty well trained and they don't have problems with territory as they understand the importance of getting food to the table. 

My feeling is that ANYTHING is better than the "bellow" method.  I think I might try to incorporate the pager system. 

post #4 of 4
We used it at my last spot and I loved it. We called it a 'shock collar' for the servers. They had to respond within four minutes or they'd get a mark. If they got two marks in a night they'd get a write up at the end of the night. Plus it's fun to harass them with smile.gif
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