Restaurant technology is evolving to help franchise and enterprise leaders tackle the toughest challenges, both in the kitchen and throughout the organization.
Building a successful restaurant business is stressful, particularly when owners add multiple locations into their mix. From the dynamics of distributed staff, cooks, and behind-the-kitchen admins to on-boarding new hires — line cooks, front-of-house, and management — the benefits of a business communications platform for restaurants turn on shareable information, scalable training, and cohesive messaging, regardless of location. Here are the ingredients that make this happen:
On the Line: Unified Communications Bring Efficiencies to Restaurant Technology
One approach to keeping all the parts of a restaurant in touch is to leverage unified communications technologies. Especially when it comes to video and web-based conferencing, unified communications complement the restaurateur's need to scale without sacrificing internal consistency, controls, and the ability to fine-tune over time. Video and web benefits for restaurants include:
1. Device Agnostic, Reach Intensive
People in the restaurant business will say that they seldom sit down in front of a desktop computer — the food industry happens on the line, in the kitchen, at points of sale, and across locations. But calling a face-to-face meeting with cooks, cashiers, and managers is now a cloud-powered reality thanks to video conferencing accessible on any device. Enterprise-grade high-definition solutions mean that showcasing new dishes and demonstrating new processes comes with crystal-clear images and experiences free of lag time on every device at every location.
Virtual communications are expandable and scalable solutions, adding capacity as franchise count expands.
2. Dynamic Interfaces for Rich Information Sharing
Web conferencing means dynamic ways of communicating. Features such as screen sharing, desktop sharing, virtual training rooms, chat, and closed captioning open countless possibilities around collaborating on recipes, menus, store layouts, and marketing strategy, all without the need to travel to each site to investigate, explore, and put the desired changes in action.
A manager can use video to show a restaurateur the new table configuration at one of their locations, or a chef can demonstrate the correct technique for preparing a dish to line cooks across franchises, which they can watch during their next shift. And a call with video always feels more interactive than one with audio alone, keeping staff engaged and more likely to remember what they learned.
3. Learning from Participants
Application programming interface capabilities that come with unified communications technology allow systems, once in place, to deliver analyzable data regarding how participants use training solutions. From the conferencing features employees use to details around session timing and duration — plus the qualitative feedback trainees and employees create in chats that's capturable and thus always referenceable — the solutions suite and training schedules get better and smarter as franchisees learn what works, when it works best, and how.
Make Once, Serve Many Times
When a restaurant hits upon a dish that people like, they keep it on the menu and build a loyal base around it. Similarly, among the unified communication advantages for restaurants is the concept of preserving what works.
Video and web conferencing offer the powerful option of recordable media, for example. When a training session achieves its goal, it's time to save it and offer it as an on-demand refresher for anyone, at any franchise, at any time. That's efficiency and enrichment at work for the busy restaurateur. Plus, capturing a solid process for repeat reference is one way industry experts say restaurants can be less stressful overall, as reported by The Toast.
Quick, Scalable, and Supported
Unified communications deliver video and web conferencing advantages in a cloud-based package. That means no time-consuming, expensive setups, and it means no need to replace outdated hardware as time passes. Virtual communications are expandable and scalable solutions, adding capacity as franchise count expands.
If something does crash, unified communications solutions bring a layer of live support that restaurateurs can access day or night — on-call support has them covered. And that's especially critical in an industry that often doesn't keep standard nine-to-five business hours: If a franchise doesn't open until lunchtime, for example, downtime might not be discovered until midafternoon or later when employees arrive. Knowing that customer support is an always-on scenario makes the difference in these cases.
A recipe for business communications success in the fast-paced restaurant world has to be quick to deploy, free of expensive and space-consuming hardware, and wrapped in a layer of support and expertise that allows restaurateurs to stay focused on the food. It also has to provide dynamic, collaborative, and engaging experiences, franchise by franchise. Unified communications technologies deliver on these orders and more, from the first breakfast order to the final meal of the day.