I joined Bigleaf Networks in 2022 after saying goodbye to a remarkably talented team of restaurant tech experts at PAR Technology. PAR has built a unified platform of innovative and critical restaurant technologies, including digital loyalty, back-office data solutions, cloud POS, payment resources, and much more.
When I joined Bigleaf, I was thrilled to find that the restaurant space is one of our best-fit verticals and one in which we’ve delivered incredible ROI and operational efficiencies for our customers—and the best is yet to come!
While consumers and restaurateurs alike are more than happy to put the challenges of 2020 and 2021 in their rearview, the pandemic did create some unique opportunities in the hospitality industry that have not just lingered post-pandemic but have thrived. I didn’t even get through my first interview with Bigleaf before I realized the critical connection between its core mission of internet optimization and the restaurant world I was stepping out of.
Here are just ten of many reasons why network health might be your secret ingredient as a restaurant operator or franchise owner.
Cloud POS systems
Nearly every restaurant uses a point-of-sale (POS) system to manage orders, payments, and inventory. A faster internet connection ensures that these systems operate quickly and smoothly, eliminating wait times for guests and streamlining the ordering and payment process so you can turn tables faster while you keep guests (and your wait staff) happy.
Online ordering and delivery
Many guests (including my five teenagers) prefer to place orders online for delivery or pickup. A better internet connection means quicker and easier online ordering, a better customer experience, higher revenue through additional sales channels, and fewer abandoned orders.
Seamless payment processing
41% of consumers say they never pay with cash. That’s nearly half of the people who walk through your door. Lightning-fast internet speeds ensure credit card payments are processed without delay, reducing wait times and frustration for your guests during checkout.
For better or for worse, I hate to wait, and I like to plan. If I can make a reservation, you’d better believe I will. Random Tuesday afternoon taco craving? Give me that reservation. For restaurants that choose to accept reservations (thank you!), a strong internet connection helps book and manage them in real time. It allows guests to book tables online and receive immediate confirmation for their convenience and customer satisfaction while reducing the risk of overbooked or underbooked tables for the restaurant.
Data backup and security
Restaurants need to store important data, including sales receipts, guest information, and real-time inventory information. Without a flawless connection, data backups stall, inventory becomes inaccessible, and you are at greater risk of compromising guest and employee information.
Social media and online presence
Restaurants rely heavily on social media platforms and a continuous online presence to showcase their menus, promotions, and events. Visual platforms like TikTok and Instagram have revolutionized branding and customer community for modern restaurants. A reliable connection supports the quick uploading of photos and videos, helping the restaurant maintain an engaging online presence and attract more raving fans.
Communication and customer service
Restaurants need to communicate with their guests efficiently and consistently on every digital channel– whether it’s through email, social media, or online chat. Messages are likely to get delayed, lost, and ignored without a strong internet connection. Better connectivity prompts faster responses and helps maintain an exceptional guest experience.
Digital menu updates and limited time offers
58% of restaurant guests say they would like the option to access a QR code menu when they visit a restaurant. Faster internet means faster load times and updates to digital menus and special offers, ensuring you always present guests with the most up-to-date information.
Wi-Fi and ambiance
Never underestimate the power of a good playlist to put your guests and employees in a great mood. In fact, studies have shown that 60% of guests spend more when listening to music while they eat. Some restaurants also provide Wi-Fi access for guests, allowing them to browse the internet or play online games while waiting for their orders. Or, let’s be honest, to keep the kiddos occupied while Mom and Dad attempt to have a grown-up conversation for once. Grab those date nights however you can get them, parents! Stable internet means a better browsing experience and fewer frustrations for kids and adults alike.
Beyond the guest experience, a strong internet connection streamlines various operational aspects like inventory management, staff scheduling, and communication between the back-of-house and front-of-house staff. When you make it easier for people to do their jobs, you get happier employees who create happier guests.
As you read through the list, you almost certainly recognized multiple applications you rely on to run your restaurant. If your internet struggles to keep up with the guest experience you want to provide, we’d love to show you how a network optimization solution like Bigleaf can help.
Find out how you can fix your connectivity issues in minutes without changing your existing ISPs, firewalls, or security policies.