Technology has come a long way since the telegraph, now telephony systems have reached a new plateau of innovation with hosted VoIP telephony systems. While many businesses are making the switch because of the nature of their communication needs, restaurant businesses may wonder if this upgrade is for them too? Put simply, the answer is yes, VoIP telephony has specific solutions suited for this industry; in order to explain further, let’s examine 3 great features of hosted VoIP that benefit restaurants.
#1. Auto Attendant/ Music on Hold:
This is really two features, yet they work together to organize initial calls to restaurant establishments. This is important because restaurant workers are busy serving customers, cooking meals, and supervising these activities – in busy environments. While the hostesses, managers, or other staff may be dedicated to answering the phone and taking reservations, they’re also, generally, performing other duties as well.
Inevitably, calls get lost or are left to ring over and over, to the chagrin of potential paying customers trying to make reservations – or it could be someone asking about getting a job, selling a product, asking for directions, etc. The point is, there are important calls and not so important calls, especially, in the thick of the busy times. So, what’s the solution?
Well, expecting the hostess or dedicated reservation taker to perfectly handle all calls with professional excellence, is usually what restaurants do with traditional analog phone systems. Another more viable solution would be to make the switch to hosted VoIP telephony. This way, all calls coming in will be met with an auto-attendant, directing them to the correct department and giving them some pleasant music to listen to while they wait (hopefully to make their reservations).
Being able to direct the non-priority (or non-reservation) calls to the right location or voicemail during the busy hours of restaurant business, is a very helpful feature for restaurants to have. This way, calls that aren’t reservations will be directed to the right person, while reservations and other important calls (directions, confirmations, questions that lead to sales, etc.) will be captured with professionalism; if callers have to wait a bit, they’ll be comforted with the organized procedure and pleasant music on hold – until the hostess can answer them.
#2. Availability Console:
This is another helpful feature restaurants will benefit from during busy and non-busy times. Basically, managers and workforce members can look at the central VoIP dashboard interface on their work computers to see what workforce members are available. When someone calls to talk to so and so, the person answering the phone can easily see in real-time who is busy, gone, or available to talk.
Depending on the restaurant, this feature would prove very helpful because of the many different employees and shifts they work. This could also be used by managers to see who’s available in different locations for multiple location restaurants and franchises. The VoIP software will automatically determine who’s available across all locations, even when using the software remotely.
#3. Cell Phone Integration/ Remote Access:
Really, only larger restaurants need PBX systems, yet with VoIP even they can simply outsource their PBX needs with a hosted VoIP PBX provider. This means no server hardware is needed, no IT maintenance is needed, and no IT department is needed (at least not for the telephony systems). IP phones and a router are all that’s needed for restaurants to have virtual VoIP PBX telephony systems.
Virtual VoIP telephony gives restaurants the ability to integrate their workforce’s cell phones into the software, which means calls can be routed and directed to workforce members remotely or within the restaurant environment. For instance, say a manger needs to run to the store to get some olives (whatever) and then some important call comes in – the call can be routed to the manager’s cell phone while they’re in the store shopping.
This feature is useful for small and large restaurant businesses, because it gives managers more flexibility and capability to do more things at once. For instance, managers or owners of a restaurant can access the VoIP dashboard interface at home or on vacation to manage voicemails, view BI reports, adjust settings, and communicate with workforce members through video conferencing before a shift. These are the type of capabilities restaurants gain with VoIP features, in particular: cell phone integration and remote access.
Both small and large restaurants with one or multiple locations are sure to benefit from the many features VoIP telephony gives businesses. The 3 we’ve highlighted here, alone, are good enough reasons for restaurant owners and managers to seriously consider upgrading their phone systems, yet they’ll also benefit from: significant savings, voicemail to email, disaster back-up, and many more helpful features.
Customers will appreciate the professionalism they experience when they call in for a reservation or question and the workforce will have the upgraded tools needed to streamline communications, so they can do what they do best: serve customers great meals with excellent service. If interested in learning more about how VoIP telephony can help restaurants, please contact us today.