3 min read

Despite current challenges, the restaurant industry is adapting to the new reality of social distancing with creativity while doubling down on online ordering and curbside pickup.

For many multi-unit restaurant brands, it’s critical to simply stay afloat at this time, which involves the sudden need to transform the business. Restaurants that embraced curbside point-of-sale (POS) technologies and best practices early on are better prepared for the sudden increase in online ordering and curbside pickup that has put an extra strain on their IT networks. Many are also capitalizing on the opportunity to launch or improve loyalty programs. For many others, there are network security and reliability considerations when preparing the business to accept payments curbside.

1. Maximize your revenue (uptime and connectivity) with cellular failover

So, how do you shift to a curbside POS system and what does it require? First off, you need to never miss a transaction, which means optimal network uptime.

  • While internet service providers (ISPs) typically guarantee 99.9% percent uptime, adding a cellular failover solution will ensure a 99.99% uptime. It seems small at-a-glance, but that .09% can mean hours of lost revenue and the loss of customer loyalty.
  • Cellular failover ensures that payments can be processed at all times.

2. Beef up secure Wi-Fi to handle line-busting and curbside payment processing

To get your to-go business going strong, you need expanded Wi-Fi coverage for line-busting at the drive-thru and to make use of portable POS solutions (tablets with EMV readers, for example) for curbside pickup. To do this, restaurants should consider a dual-band (2.4GHz and 5GHz) access point (AP) device rated for outdoor use.

  • A strong Wi-Fi signal outdoors is as vital to network performance and customer experience as a cellular failover solution for enhanced network reliability.
  • If planning to offer guest Wi-Fi outdoors for customers waiting for a delivery, restaurants need to make sure they are segmenting that traffic appropriately for security and PCI DSS compliance, separating it from POS traffic.

3. Increase both agility and security with SD-WAN

A curbside POS requires network security that scales with your business needs to segment wireless POS traffic, protect cellular POS traffic, and provide full visibility for detection and response of any abnormal activity. SD-WAN technology provides the architecture needed to give restaurant IT teams full visibility of every location’s network and the ability to quickly and efficiently deploy changes globally or individually.

All-in-One Secure Restaurant Networking

Netsurion BranchSDO is a software-defined branch networking (SD-Branch) platform used by many multi-unit restaurant brands and their franchisees to deliver secure branch networking. Think of it as SD-WAN made specifically for restaurant and retail environments. Supported by Netsurion’s Network Operations Center (NOC), it is the only secure branch networking solution on the market today that is purpose-built for the multi-unit restaurant business. It is right-sized and right-priced.

When going curbside, agility is the key. Yet “agility” depends on a strong security posture and reliable network connectivity to deliver optimal customer experience and profitability. By consolidating multiple point solutions into a single edge appliance, restaurants can eliminate hardware clutter at the location, simplify IT management, reduce support calls and service truck rolls, and cut costs. An SD-Branch solution from Netsurion, whether self-managed or fully-managed, can help restaurants adapt and innovate.

Are you ready to hear more? Contact us today to discuss your unique business needs and for insight into your current situation.