More than CX, an Advanced Network Streamlines Ops, Improves Security

3/16/2020
Donna Cobb, Executive Director, Strategic Partnerships and Influencer Marketing at Comcast Business

Being nimble with technology has become more important with the pace of change in restaurants overall and technology. What should restaurants look for in network partners to foster this flexibility?

Cobb: Brands need to prepare themselves to stay relevant in a competitive market. They need to be flexible and partner with a provider that can build a faster more reliable network to support their technology needs so they can focus on the core of their business processes and invest in technology to meet and exceed guest expectations. They can’t lose sight of the fact that the underlying infrastructure and network is what powers the experience. A managed approach can lighten the burden of network management and keep up with the rapidly changing digital landscape. 

Systems integration remains a focus and top goal for restaurants moving into 2020. What strategic steps will be necessary in order to achieve this? How must technology suppliers support operators to enable integration?

Cobb: All the software used to run a modern restaurant – from customer-facing kiosks and remote applications, to IoT devices that regulate temperature, or even manage staff schedules, requires bandwidth, speed and security. None of these initiatives will run at maximum efficiency without a network designed to support them and keep them secure.

Technology providers can support operators in enabling integration by providing a single-source solution, customized to work with every restaurant and franchise across the country, without worry about vendor lock or incompatible security systems that could leave the business at risk. Consider managed IT services by networking experts to help ensure a trouble-free integration and seamless experience for customers.

As online ordering becomes a major business driver, how should restaurants leverage networks to bolster omnichannel strategies and foster customized, digital guest experiences that drive guest and employee satisfaction?

Cobb: Online ordering coupled with new delivery models requires additional considerations when leveraging networks. Orders generated outside the four walls of the restaurant need to make it to the restaurant – requiring not only a primary network but a cellular/backup/failover solution as well.  

As important, a robust ordering system can help restaurants customize the guest experience and drive higher guest satisfaction. While it may seem strange to equate employee satisfaction and great customer experience with speed, security and connectivity, the network is a major contributor to the overall experience because it makes everything work seamlessly.

Providing the infrastructure that supports a seamlessly positive customer experience, improves business. Employees are more productive and provide better service because they not trying to solve endless issues that cause customer complaints that lead to frustration and burnout.

The majority of diners (56%) say that access to free Wi-Fi will drive dining decisions. How has this demand changed how restaurants need to build out networks? 

Cobb: Free Wi-Fi has become table stakes for most restaurants. Customers are hyperconnected and expect to have a frictionless Wi-Fi experience. If you don’t meet their needs, those customers will go elsewhere. The escalating demand means the restaurant must accommodate greater bandwidth, without losing sight of the critical need to maintain security and performance. Consider a configuration that allows dynamic allocation of bandwidth, based on usage.

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