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Executive Q&A: How Mobile Device Management Boosts Efficiency & Satisfaction

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Yadhu Gopalan, CEO & Co-Founder, Esper

How can the right mobile device management enhance the restaurant customer experience?

Restaurants are continuing to bring more devices into the restaurant customer experience to engage customers with dynamic content, increase revenue, and decrease operating costs. But we all know that when devices don’t work properly, the exact opposite happens. The right device management tools ensure devices are doing what they’re supposed to be doing all the time. That’s delivering exceptional customer experiences, simplifying staff experiences, updating devices rapidly, and minimizing device downtime.

Please speak to the benefits of streamlining operations, both front of house and back, with mobile device management.

When devices are operating optimally—they’re engaging, fast, and integrating with your entire business infrastructure—everyone benefits. New staff is trained faster, experienced staff sees continuously improving operations, customer satisfaction goes up, and even tips go up. The role of device management is to ensure those devices—whether they are self-ordering kiosks, point of sale terminals, kitchen display systems, or digital menus—are always working, always secure, and always delivering the latest and greatest experiences.

And in the real world, technology is not perfect, so device management also must enable remote issue resolution. We see our restaurant customers getting tremendous value from being able to manage, monitor, and troubleshoot devices remotely from a centralized location.

Please speak to best practices for maximizing the value of restaurant technology hardware.

There are several things, from tools and technology to practices and philosophies, that you should be thinking about to get those benefits.

On the tools and technology side, device management infrastructure that enables remote management and remote support is critical to reducing OpEx since they help eliminate things like truck rolls and shipping broken or new devices. Second, use device telemetry data for early issue detection, so you can proactively deploy a fix before the customer even notices. Finally, look for ways to integrate your device software with your other business tools, so you can automate as much as possible. Our customers use our automation to save hours per week of what would have otherwise been manual work.

On the practices and philosophies side, be really cognizant of aligning your technology processes with your business processes. A pretty clear example would be to schedule updates to occur outside of business hours. You don’t want a firmware upgrade to run while your restaurant is open, taking a POS terminal offline.

Safety and security are always top of mind. Please speak to critical considerations when implementing mobile device management.

There are some device management capabilities that you should consider as table stakes when it comes to safety and security. Controlling access and experience, along with geofencing, are effective ways to control usage. Kiosk mode locks the device down to a single app, preventing misuse. A good kiosk mode makes the device virtually unbreakable. Geofencing sets a physical radius for where the device can operate. If a device, such as a line busting tablet, goes beyond the radius, you can set up an alarm or even brick the device, making it useless for whoever has it. Both of these capabilities disincentivize misuse and theft.

But probably even more importantly, your device management tools should ensure that you have software support down to the OS and firmware level. There inevitably will be security vulnerabilities, but if you’re able to deploy regular security patches to your devices, you can ensure you’re doing everything you can to protect your company and customer data.

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