Boomerang Reinvents Pager From Technology Tool To Centerpiece Of Customer Experience


“It's all about the experience,” says Daniel Rhodes, president, Boomerang Pagers. “We concentrate on the experience, more than just the functionality.  The first point-of-contact with a venue that a guest has is normally waiting for a table, so the first thing the restaurant ever gives them is a pager.  If it's ugly or old, that's the first indication of what the rest of their experience will be like.  What does your brand look and feel like because this is the first contact a guest will have with you?”

The message is prerecorded by the restaurant owner. The voice will replace the beep, the flash and vibration will occur. These pagers are very beneficial to restaurants because, at the same time they're notifying the guest of his table availability, they can also promote the restaurant.  “We have a custom insert so restaurants can brand the pager with their brand and when the customer adds his own voice, it adds a little bit more to the experience,” he adds.  “Guests aren't just using the pager, but seeing your brand.  It's promoting the brand of the facility, at the same time. We are not the only brand that offers advertising space in the pager. Ours is the biggest one. Others are stickers or oddly shaped papers, ours is a square or rectangular shape, easily printed and cut.”

The pagers can be prerecorded by guests.  “It's another tool of advertising.  We did one for Papa Joe's.  The pagers said, 'Thank you for ordering from Papa Joe's.  Your pizza is ready.' It's just another way to personalize a guest's experience,” says Claudia Hernandez, Sales Manager.

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The really nice part is that guests can leave the restaurant, and within a certain range, still get the call. That's because Boomerang also sells high-range transmitters that help restaurants, based on their geographic design, send out the call to the pager.  “People can move away and still get called.  The transmitters are very powerful and have a huge range,” says Rhodes.

And the restaurant?  These pagers make things flow much more easily. “For guests, you can avoid mispronouncing their names, and you save time.  Rather than looking for the lady in the blue shirt, you know she's going to come to you.  You won't have to spend time looking in different places for her.  It turns the tables over much more quickly,” says Hernandez.

Don't forget the germs, from the massive numbers of people handling the pagers. “Customized branding is our big benefit, but just as big is our micro band® additive.  Our pagers are anti-microbial.  They don't carry germs.  They don't grow germs.  If you were to go to a restaurant, where does the pager end up?  In kids' hands.  Then you take it and sit down and eat your French fry,” says Hernandez. “I like to compare it to the grocery cart.  Everyone has a little wipe these days.  Our pager already does that for you.”

The pagers, launched in 2008, are part of the hospitality communications systems that Boomerang offers.
The company's AdverCoasters are particularly tailored to people drinking at the bar.  “You're waiting to be called to the table, and you hear your song.  Who wouldn't rather hear that instead of an annoying beep or vibration?” says Hernandez.

“The concept of voice has been around for a few years, but these pagers can be set up to Vibe/Flash/Beep or any combination. There is no melody or prerecorded message,” says Rhodes.  “Voice pagers in the past had a script and could only say one thing.  'Your table is ready, please return to the hostess, thank you for coming.’”

There are 4 boomerang Guest pagers, Ultra, Optima,  AdverCoaster and Volt coaster. Ultra, Optima, Volt have the Microban. Ultra is the only one with voice capability. AdverCoaster is the most basic model. VOLT coaster is the only pager in the market that doubles as a cellphone charger.

The company also offers staff and management communications for within the restaurant as well.  “Our waiter-paging system allows waiters to spend more time on the floor, where they can make more sales,” says Hernandez.  “Typically, waiters have to take many trips to the kitchen to see if the order is ready. They abandon the sales floor.  They need to be out there suggesting more drinks, or dessert.  If they spend more time in the kitchen, that hurts business.  With our pagers, they only go to the kitchen when required.  They can spend more time taking care of customers.  Better service leaves people with a better taste in their mouths.  And this turns tables a lot faster, too.”

The pagers are distributed through our company BluFi Wireless Inc. in North and South America, and international distribution is handled in Australia, where the company is based.  “We have distributors on every continent,” says Rhodes.

Boomerang also sells a range of two-way radios.  “You can talk to staff not directly in front of you, people who are mobile,” says Rhodes.  There are two models for restaurants and a broad range of headsets.
There are two models of the radio based on the different style of communications of managers vs. staff. “A manager might need a more feature-rich one,” says Rhodes.  “Now they can speak privately to each person on the floor.”

Its newest device, is the Volt, a standard pager that also has the ability to recharge a guest's cell phone or smart device while they wait.  “It looks like a normal pager, but has USB ports on the back,” says Rhodes.  “You plug a cable in, and you can sit and charge your cell phone while you're waiting.”

Also launching soon, is an Android-based communication system for restaurant staff, so they can carry just one smart device.  “It acts as a two-way radio, pager, order terminal, voice, text, speech,” says Rhodes.
A “ruggedized” Android device that sits at the hostess stand, and in the kitchen, is also coming soon.

“Rather than having to buy guest paging, server paging, and voice communication systems, this all comes on one single platform.  When you put electronic devices in a kitchen, they must be waterproof and greaseproof.  We have a device that allows that.  Rather than a steady old transmitter that's all metal and looks pretty, but doesn't have any functionality, ours allows you to put a very intelligent device in the kitchen now, for a much more flexible way to communicate with staff.”

Fuze is on its way, too.  For staff members, this is a strong Android phone where people can talk like they're using a two-way radio, Rhodes says.  “You can send messages to it, direct staff where to go.  Staff can be hands-free, they can have ear buds with Blue tooth, you can talk to a group, and any message coming to the headset will be spoken into their ears, so they can be hands-free and mobile.”

Finally, there's Boomerang's GPS – guest positioning system.  “In restaurants where guests order their own meal, and it's then delivered, they take our GPS device to the table, and it locates where the guest is and where to deliver the meal. It saves the necessity to walk around trying to find table numbers. There's a similar pager out there but it requires a special mat on the top of the table for their device to work, so it's not aesthetically pleasing,” says Rhodes.  “We don't need that.  We're able to see where the person is sitting, what zone, all the extra types of features and functions our competitors don't have.”

It's easy for customers to upgrade.  “We work upon the concept of Legos,” says Rhodes.  “Buy a box this week, buy a box next week.  They all connect together.  We sell our products like that. You can add more functionality in the future.  They all build on each other.  Good communication makes everything run more smoothly in a restaurant,” he says.  “Therefore, as the Boomerang comes back to you, the customer will come back to you, too, because of the service.” For more information, visit: