|The National Restaurant Association reported restaurant industry sales of nearly $799 billion last year, representing approximately 4% of the U.S. GDP, and nearly 48% of total food dollars spent.|
With this industry-wide growth also comes challenges, as restaurant operators keep pace in an rapidly evolving environment and will need to adjust to shifting customer expectations and preferences in order to differentiate amongst competitors. Operators that respond to challenges quickly and effectively will continue to thrive while others struggle to keep doors open. Among the top issues affecting restaurant operators today is technology.
The most successful restaurants are the ones focused on omnichannel strategy and newer customer-facing technologies to enhance the customer experience. While the intrigue of cutting-edge technology can be exciting, it’s important for restaurant operators to apply the right technology for both their type of business and their customers. Thriving restaurants will continue to maximize technologies associated with their primary infrastructure while considering how to support omnichannel efforts to make sure that all channels are integrated, customer experience is positive, and the brand is enhanced. The most innovative restaurant operators will gather and evaluate customer data to help drive key decisions related to operations, customer preferences and marketing.
Distributed enterprises face even bigger challenges when it comes to technology. Multi-location restaurant operators depend on technology to support critical back office processes (think supplier/vendor management) AND deliver consistent customer experiences (in-store Wi-Fi) across multiple locations. One of the biggest challenges for these distributed enterprises is the lack of skilled IT staff at physical restaurant locations. Getting applications set up and working correctly, as well as maintaining security, makes IT projects in a distributed environment more complex, expensive, and time-consuming. With restaurant operators depending on an increasing number of applications to sustain everything from ordering, to point of sale transactions to loyalty, the need for a reliable and scalable deployment solution is even more critical. The load of network administration can be lightened by leveraging a solution with the same operating system, same network architecture, and a centralized management platform.
Managed, secure SD-WAN is a solution that offers a simple, unified approach to network technology and can both support innovative applications that enhance the customer experience and meet critical security needs, such as protection of customer data. With SD-WAN, restaurant operators can ease the burden of data security and compliance with networking and security that is software-defined – all while continuing to focus on enhancing the customer experience with an application-focused network. In addition, SD-WAN can be easily, rapidly and economically deployed to tens of thousands of locations across a wide geographic space.
Interested in how SD-WAN can help your distributed enterprise with the technology focus it needs to stay competitive? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.