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Key Benefits of a Network Solution for Restaurants

Mike Penney, Cox Business
Mike Penney, Solutions Architect, Cox Business

Please speak to the benefits of a network solution for restaurants seeking digital engagement with their guests? 

For any restaurant, leveraging technology can create efficiencies and save costs. To start, the foundation of a network solution should be an SD-WAN connection with LTE failover, so if one connection goes down, your restaurant POS keeps running. A managed network solution delivers a frictionless customer experience that accommodates a range of devices simultaneously for ordering and payments, allowing for a “de-commoditization” of products, which allows for a stickier customer relationship and less cost sensitivity.

Data and analytics are a high priority for restaurant operators. How can a network best capture relevant data and deliver analytics for operators? 

Customer data collection is most effective when the value-add is readily apparent. Utilize the API infrastructure of all network gear (W-Fi, SD-WAN, Edge, Cloud), and couple with customer-facing applications such as POS. Data from a network solution can help to optimize staffing (depending on customer traffic), streamline supply chain, and better deliver guest preferences. Overall, data can be leveraged for both experiential and operational benefits. In the hands of an excellent data scientist, the assumptions that can be made from data can go very deep.

What are some critical considerations for implementing and installing a managed solution?  

Understanding and having a methodology to integrate various technologies, allowing them to work together seamlessly and holistically, is critical. API-based managed network solutions can provide a solid foundation that includes developers and technologists collaborating to create better applications and overall user experience. 

Security is a perennial concern, and some high profile hacking and ransomware incidence understandably concern restaurant operators. Please speak to the best practices.  

Application visibility allows for the most robust granular security, giving flexibility in rolling out additional features and services. PCI compliance and security are critical for handling bank card transactions. A network solution should have “built-in peace of mind” — which is easier than ever to implement. A network should be automated for the most efficient customer experience while also delivering best-in-class authentication and encryption to protect fundamental business interests and data.