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Guest Pager


Case Study

IN2 worked to build & visualize short term strategic visions for LRS, as well as design several of their milestone products. 


Modernizing Restaurant Wait Time

LRS, who makes guest management systems, 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.

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Let’s break down the wait time.  We find this holds true in most instances where you have to wait, and especially when food is involved.  The best-case scenario:  your wait time flies by.  Suddenly, it’s your turn and you barely thought about how long you had been waiting because you were busy having fun with those around you.


The worst-case scenario, on the other hand, is that all you do is think about it.  You feel every second drag by, and your attention fully focuses on how long it is taking, on every agonizing moment that crawls by.  It’s no fun, until you FINALLY get your turn. 


Obviously, the better overall experience is the blink-and-it’s-over wait.  So, for a restaurant, what can help foster that?  We find that one way is through clear communication.  There are a few systems a restaurant might use for communicating to waiting guests:


1. You can take a number

2. They can call your name

3. They could send a text to your phone

4. Or, they can give you a pager

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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 enhanced 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 ranged distances, and an extended battery to ensure the product is ready to go when you need it.

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The Service Side

Another perspective comes into play: that of the restaurant. They shape your overall experience from the moment you step through the door, and the pager becomes a valuable tool in achieving this.


Specifically, when a guest receives a pager, the likelihood of them leaving diminishes significantly, as it substantially increases the chances of them patiently enduring the wait. The pager serves as a kind of tether, introducing a relatively minor emotional obstacle – the act of returning the pager and removing one's name from the waiting list – which effectively keeps people engaged in or near the restaurant. In contrast, there is no such accountability for departure if nothing needs to be returned.


Behind the scenes, the pager system generates substantial data, enabling software to continuously track actual activity during wait times. This data empowers restaurants to optimize their procedures and staff, streamlining the entire process. When handed a pager, individuals may not consider the intricate background operations, underscoring how this unobtrusive aspect contributes significantly to an enhanced overall experience.


One restaurant employee we interviewed summed it up perfectly:  “…Pagers allow us to really own the wait time, rather than the wait time owning us.”

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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, could 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.

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The pagers were designed to be easily branded and customized to fit the visual language of LRS partners.

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