Paging system or digital number board?

What do you all think…I am going to be counter service so should I use a paging system to call out order numbers that are ready, or should I use a digital number display board like the ones at www.microframecorp.com ? Paging numbers out loud just seems to break up the conversations of guests and can be annoying. What do you other counter service places do? Thanks for the help!

I think you should look at Pei Wei’s setup. Give them a number that goes on a clip at the table. Bring it out to them.

We are a ny style pizzeria. We give them New York street signs then take the order to them. I worked at a place before were we called out the names. It was very annoying, and some of the time the customers would not hear and it would just sit on the counter forever.

My servers are trained to remember the face of the person that orders and when their order is ready they look at them and read back their order, thank them, and tell them to have a nice day or evening. This works for me because we usually fill an order within a few minutes.
Any personal touch leaves a good impression. I would not use a digital number board. Maybe in your case you could take the person’s last name and when it is ready call out the name. Like “Order for Mrs. Brown”.

In my old full service days, we use to give the tables and booths a number and a letter of the alphabet.
If there is a way you could see where they sit, assign the table/booth to their order by the no. This way you just walk out to their table and present the food.
An example might be that the row on the left of the dining room is a, the next row is b, etc…
Then the first table in row a is a1 and the 3rd table in row b is b3, etc…The only kink in this process is you have to know where they sit.
Bubba

How about doing something with your theme? I heard about a place before that would give out decent sized stuff animals. An elephant, bear, monkey, etc… then your sever just has to find the stuffed animal!

Kinda funny I just got one of my pizza mags today and there is an article kind of about this same subject! That stuffed animal idea is pretty cool, I wonder what the health department would say though? My biggest problem with this decision is that the place is over 11,000 square feet, and seats 400 people! I am afraid it will just take too much time to find people and deliver their food to them. I agree with you guys about how impersonal the digital number board is, and paging can be very annoying! Decisions, decisions!!! Thank you guys for your insight and help, I am going to have to kick this one around for a while! I better hurry though because I should be opening in 3-4 weeks!