Have you experienced the pain of an internet outage on a busy night? Many restaurants have. The worst possible news a restaurant owner can hear is that the point of sale system cannot process credit cards. The dining room is full of patrons, and the bar has many tabs open... delivery and pickup phone orders come to a screeching halt. Internet outages can cost restaurants thousands of dollars per year.
Here are 3 Ways to best prepare your restaurant for internet outages:
1. POS Software
The point of sale system is the central technology hub of a restaurant operation. Selecting the right POS software to run your restaurant may be just as important as a manager or chef hiring decision. Many basic providers do not offer offline mode, so when the internet drops - the POS system will not operate. Other point of sale systems have limited offline functionality, so features like credit card processing or offsite reporting will not function. Restauranteurs are often stuck making a very difficult decision balancing features when comparing legacy point of sales to newer Apple iPad based systems. It is important to ask your local POS dealer about all the offline options and features available.
2. Upgrade your Router or Firewall
Some commercial routers offer multiple WAN (wide access network) connections giving you the ability to connect multiple internet carriers. For instance, you can have a cable provider and fiber optic provider’s modems connected to one router. One of the modems can act as a primary internet connection, and the other as an automatic failover internet connection. An alternate connection method is called “load-balancing” - where the two connections help share and improve bandwidth across the network. Restaurants who choose two internet providers have a slightly higher telecom bills, but it's a small expense to pay when compared to the thousands of lost dollars during outages.
Other commercial routers may have SIM card ports for integrated cellular connections. By connecting though a cellular connection, your restaurant router can be configured to use cellular backup when the internet goes down. Placement of the router is important - especially in this scenario - since you want to be sure you have a healthy cellular connection. Some cellular carriers have highly specialized connection accounts with security features designed for business.
3. Add a Battery Backup
Internet outages may also be related to electrical power issues. It’s recommended for the POS to be on its own dedicated electrical circuit, but the reality is that most restaurants are build out to accommodate fridges, walk in freezers, and kitchen equipment - more so than dedicated electrical circuits for point of sale (or employees charging iPhones). Even small power outages, power blips and brown-outs can cause a modem to reboot. This will take a few minutes before reconnecting to the router. Reports show where adding a battery backup with line conditioning to the network area (modem, router, switches) dramatically improved the stability of the internet connection restaurant-wide.
Value Added Resellers (VAR) like Cervion offer real, local solutions for restaurants looking for point of sale systems with offline capabilities. Cervion offers a full line of 4G cellular capable routers and Apple iPad based POS systems with features designed to operate in a busy restaurant environment. With Cervion’s As A Service (AAS) subscription program, these solutions can be easily added to your restaurant operation, and save your restaurants thousands of dollars a year.
Cervion is a point of sale provider with offices in New York, Pennsylvania, and South Florida. Founded in 1996, with over 20 years of experience, Cervion is one of the leading restaurant focused VAR (value based resellers). Cervion provides local sales and service for modern, tablet-based point of sale systems, and affordable As A Service plans for new and existing restaurants. For more information, please call (877) 476-7246 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.