5 reasons to outsource your restaurant IT management

Published September 4, 2020

The impacts of the global pandemic are still disrupting operations, and consumer behaviors continue to shift. One of the toughest changes was the need for many restaurant brands to lay off, furlough or reallocate employees—which also impacts other areas of their restaurant business, including IT management. 

But one way to keep your restaurant brand operating efficiently through all this change is to outsource the management of your restaurant technology. In fact, a good IT services provider can support you across everything you need to run your business, including maintaining and managing the global footprint of all your franchisees. Here are five ways outsourcing your IT can help your restaurants. 

1. You’ll get the technical support you need to keep up with the pace of change.

While your customers understand that COVID-19 has been difficult for restaurants, their expectations still changed—and likely permanently. Never has there been greater demand for seamless digital and safe experiences inside and outside your restaurants. That includes things like online ordering for off-premise consumption, contactless ordering and payment for on-site dining and rewarding digital loyalty perks, and making sure it all feels like one simple, amazing experience.  

The pace of this change is only increasing, and the amount of tech is expanding rapidly. Not having the resources to manage your IT systems and environment can significantly impact your customer service. It can also hinder your ability to pivot quickly, from new menus to new operational models.  

But outsourcing your restaurant technology management, from your IT help desk to deploying new technologies, makes it easier. You’ll be confident that you can offer consistent uptime and availability for all the technology in your operations, while providing the safest, most convenient and modern guest experiences. 

2. Your business gains the flexibility to recover faster.

Even if your dining room is only operating at 50 percent capacity, your restaurant POS software and technology should be operating at 100 percent capacity. Not only should it be a platform that runs your restaurant end to end, so you can focus on delivering differentiating food and service, it should be agile and flexible so it doesn’t just keep you ready for change, but also turns that change into opportunity.  

From contactless order and pay onsite, to intelligent signage in the drive-thru, technology plays a pivotal role in your success and business strategy. Restaurant brands that did not have a robust technology infrastructure are now racing to catch up to those that were better prepared to transform their operations.  Working with an IT service provider to implement technology like contactless payments, online ordering, loyalty or geo-fencing can enable you to optimize your spend and quickly test and deploy new ways to deliver what your guests want, helping you recover quickly. 

3. It add skills to your business that you didn’t have before the pandemic.

With the shift to digital ordering, curbside pickup and delivery, accelerating all things digital is critical to staying in business and meeting customer expectations. If you currently don’t have team members that understand how to integrate third-party partners, like delivery services, or clean and sanitize your equipment for top performance, working with an IT services provider can help you gain access to industry experts who can quickly solve these problems for you. 

4. Outsourcing enables your team to focus on developing their skills and careers.

For a lot of restaurants, pivoting to a new way of doing business meant all hands on deck. For the restaurant, cashiers became curbside food runners. Servers became social media managers. But it also impacts employees behind the restaurant brands, too, who also suddenly had to make do with fewer resources. Maybe your operations team had to take on becoming cleaning and PPE program experts. Or your product dev team had to pivot to franchise help desk support. Either way, asking staff to continue to fill multiple roles just isn't sustainable.  

Outsourcing your IT management can help you refocus your staff on the roles that matter. They can have time back to go from good to great, no matter their role. And your IT management team can get time back, too, since they’ll be offloading the management of day-to-day technology infrastructure tasks. It all adds up to happier employees and smoother operations. 

5. It keeps trained eyes on all of your technology.

More and more of your guests will expect digitally-enabled interactions, from ordering online to seeing the menu, ordering and paying via their mobile device. Digital restaurant technology can also help your business run smoother, from POS to payments to inventory management to employee scheduling. It can even help your kitchen run easier and better, thanks to kitchen production systems, digital displays and connected smart devices. 

With all of these devices and experiences (and the pressure-cooker of market and consumer expectations) consistent uptime and availability is mission critical. Unpredictable IT failures can be costly and chaotic, potentially risking your customer experience and brand loyalty.  

But when you outsource your restaurant IT management to a trusted service partner who understands the restaurant industry, you’ll have expert eyes not only focused your technology, but also keeping it running and simplifying your operations. And that’s the biggest benefit of all: giving you back the time and resources to focus on what’s mission-critical to you—your restaurants, your guests, your employees and your business. 

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