Modernizing Restaurant Wait Time
IN2 has worked to build & visualize short term strategic visions for LRS, as well as design several of their milestone products.
LRS, who makes guest management systems, recently partnered with IN2 on a range of initiatives. Our team helped LRS build and visualize their strategic vision for the next several years, which took shape in a new Tech Roadmap. LRS then asked IN2 to help design and develop several of the milestone products of the new roadmap.
First up was the next generation of their classic Guest Pager product line. You commonly find these pagers in restaurants, retail settings, healthcare, entertainment, logistics – or, in other words, places where businesses need to communicate with their waiting guests.
Why a pager, you might ask? You might not think of it, but the pager fits into a bigger story about creating Experiences in the modern, cellphone-dominated world. If you’re interested in Experience innovation, we wrote about this aspect in detail here.
The pager is the connection point that tells a client "We've got you."
Think of the interaction between a restaurant and a guest. The pager serves as the (nearly literal) handshake that says they’ve got you. You’re important to them, you’re in the system, and as soon as the pager lights up and buzzes, you can give it back in exchange for a table or your food. Our research showed that this handshake results in reduced anxiety levels for people while they wait. The guest gets to unplug and relax.
Customer Journey Map (above) illustrates the anxiety associated with waiting.
It was important for the updated pager to reinforce that we’ve-got-you feeling, while modernizing the experience. That means maintaining a simple, comfortable interaction with a look and feel that is relevant today.
Physically, the new device features rounded corners and a soft-touch bumper so the product feels good in your hand or fits in your pocket. This also protects from inadvertent drops. Additionally, our team noticed that people tend to fidget while they wait, so the design includes a small divot in the back so you can spin the pager in your hand.
In the restaurant-guest interaction, the pager’s primary purpose is to facilitate clear communication. To that end, the redesigned housing includes a bright LED light ring so you can see it better, along with a stronger vibration motor for better tactile alerts. In a dimly-lit, noisy environment, it is easier than ever to let someone know it is their turn.
Our team packed a lot of digital innovation inside the pager as well. This includes enhanced processing power for quicker response times, a longer-reaching antenna for better communication over distance, and an extended battery to ensure the product is ready to go when you need it.
Prototypes & Manufacturing
On the manufacturing side, IN2 built in several improvements to streamline pager production. That meant we could deliver this upgraded pager within tight per-unit cost constraints. We’re also pleased that our sister company, IN2 International, can participate with LRS in the manufacturing process of these products.
By providing a better user experience, the upgraded Guest Pager products have boosted LRS’ pager sales and helped solidify their market leadership. This is a big first step along their strategic plan to reimagine the future of guest communication.