"Restaurants – In Sydney, restaurants don't take down your name or give you a pager … they just take your mobile number and send you an SMS when your table is ready. Surely this is cheaper than getting all those nifty pagers?"
This is an example of using an existing, popular technology and leveraging it, in this case, for the restaurant industry. If you believe that most, if not all, of your customers carry cell phones, then provide them the option of writing their number down to receive a text message when their table is ready (and giving them a few minutes after the text to check in with the hostess).
– Your customers can leave the restaurant to stroll around nearby shops (and not worry about the range of the coaster/pager). They will not be anxious from waiting or possibly missing their name being called. Instead, your customers will be relaxed and ready to enjoy the meal.
– The restaurant does not have to worry about the loss of equipment (pagers are often mistakenly taken from restaurants, requiring replacement costs) or the maintenance/training for the pager system.
For restaurants considering a paging system, this might be a low cost, yet effective alternative. For those already with a paging system, this can be an additional convenience for your guests.