Korean Restaurant Call Buttons

One of the novel things to show up in Charlottetown restaurants in the last few years, courtesy of the sudden influx of places operated by Korean newcomers, is the table-side call button. Here’s what they look like at the newly-opened Mr. Sushi on University Avenue:


You’ll find similar call buttons in Ta-ke Sushi on Queen Street and in Sushi Jeju on Grafton Street.

By all appearances Islanders have absolutely no idea what to do with them: I’ve very seldom seen anyone use them, and I know from my own family’s reaction — “we don’t want to disturb them,” etc. — there’s some hesitation to.

Once you crack through the hesitation, though, they are a great innovation: no more need to wave your arms to attract your server — just press the button. Missing a menu? Or a fork. Want to order some dessert? Or need the check. Just press the button!

For someone like me, for whom vagueness about the social cues and customs is a source of some anxiety, it’s a great help. I encourage you to join in and start pressing.

(The Mr. Sushi button system comes from a company called Vellux Wireless Calling Solutions that makes call buttons for everything from casinos to retirement homes).


Oliver's picture
Oliver on May 27, 2012 - 20:01 Permalink

These baffled Sophie and me for our first couple visits to a Korean place here in Portland. We finally asked what they were, but still haven’t crossed the barrier to pressing. It’s no different than the call button system on airplanes, I suppose.

Olivia Rukavina's picture
Olivia Rukavina on May 18, 2022 - 16:24 Permalink

10 years!