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Choosing the wrong 2-way radio for your restaurant, which can include choosing the improper frequency band, the wrong number of channels or insufficient power level can be like throwing money away.
Because of the sizable investment involved, you and your employees could be forced to live with a two-way radio error for years. Instead, be certain to select the right radio for the job.
One of the worst moves would be to purchase a VHF Walkie Talkie. The difference between UHF and VHF can be explained with frequency penetration. VHF waves travel about twice the distance of UHF waves on open ground, rolling hills or through foliage. However, VHF waves are very poor at penetrating walls, buildings and rugged terrain.
So, if you are working exclusively outdoors with open land, rolling hills or heavy trees, VHF radios are the best. In any other situation, including indoor to outdoor use, UHF radios will be the choice.
Choosing too much power could be a waste of money for the upgrade, as well as choosing too many channels.
Any standard restaurant will have sufficient coverage with a 1-Watt UHF radio. Any wattage beyond that is not useful, unless you plan to go off site as well. In this case, you may want to look into a 2 or 4 watt walkie talkie.
The number of channels is important as well. Try to think 2-5 years in advance and think about the maximum number of channels you will need. If all of your employees will always be on the same channel, no matter what, then a 1 channel radio is right for you. If, however you need multiple channels, be sure to get the proper number.
For instance, say you wanted your car valets on one channel and your wait-staff on another (they have no need to communicated with each other). But, you as the manager want to speak to both groups. Then, you will nee a radio with at least two channels. You will need at least 4 channels if you have 4 groups of people speaking at the same time, same for 6, 10 etc.
Fortunately, Motorola designed a 2 Way Radio from scratch that is specifically meant for the restaurant industry. It is small and lightweight, but durable and powerful. The CLS series radios solve all of the problems of past radios.
For a single channel CLS, you will want the CLS1110. For up to 4 channels, you will want the CLS1410. If, by chance you need more coverage than a typical restaurant. You may want to look at the XTN radios, such as an XU2100 or XU1100.
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