Restaurants, just like any other business, rely on computer systems to maximize efficiency and customer satisfaction. However, managers sometimes take the opinion that IT plays second fiddle to operations. Furthermore, managed IT services are something that they associate with office-based companies, not the foodservice industry.
But that’s a mistake: the restaurant industry can benefit too. Here’s how:
Onsite Device and Computer Management
Because of changing technology, more and more restaurants are relying on on-site computer devices. Food ordering tablets, backend kitchen task systems and even cash tills all now require software to run. However, managing all these systems takes expertise which some restaurants may feel that they lack.
Managed IT services take up the slack by stepping in and ensuring that systems are running optimally, just as they might in any other business. When onsite support is available, it is easy to troubleshoot issues without jeopardizing operations.
Keeping Software and Hardware Up to Date
Occasionally, software and hardware vendors will issue updates designed to improve their products and make them more secure. However, it can be challenging for restaurants to implement them. Updating systems is costly, time-consuming and interrupts operations.
Here again managed IT services can help. They have efficient processes in place to update your systems, negating the need to hire expensive IT technicians. In many cases, they can keep software up to date in the cloud without any downtime. When it is time to upgrade hardware, it is simply a matter of unplugging old devices, removing them and replacing them with new ones.
Self-serve kiosks are now a multi-billion dollar industry. According to a Tillster-sponsored 2019 consumer survey, sales are now well over $11.9 billion. Moreover, 65 percent of customers said that they would prefer to use self-serve kiosks if restaurants offered them.
However, most companies don’t have substantial expertise in self-serve kiosks. And because of this, they don’t know how to use them to maximum effect.
Managed IT services change the dynamic. They let restaurants take advantage of full personalization capabilities and artificial intelligence technologies to improve the customer experience and drive efficiency.
Mobile Payment and App Technology
Finally, restaurants are increasingly seeing the benefits of integrating mobile payment and app technology.
Data from Statista predicts that there will be 1.31 billion proximity mobile payment transaction users worldwide by 2023, up from 950 million in 2019. Managed service providers are helping restaurant businesses transition to new POS systems and helping them migrate to the cloud which offers more payment functionality to take advantage of these trends.
Restaurants are also relying on managed service providers (MSPs) as outsourced contractors to remotely manage apps for them after development. MSPs deal with issues such as updates, changes to menu items, infrastructure and security. In some cases, they can also provide analytics and make further app development recommendations.
In summary, MSPs offer a host of unexpected advantages to restaurants. Foodservice businesses that take advantage of them are far more likely to thrive in today’s competitive marketplace.