Restaurant Development & Design

NOV-DEC 2017

restaurant development + design is a user-driven resource for restaurant professionals charged with building new locations and remodeling existing units.

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1 8 • r e s t a u r a n t d e v e l o p m e n t + d e s i g n • N O V E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 7 Consultant's Take BY SAM DARWISH President and CEO Skinny IT Three Phases to Technological Success for New Restaurants T he IT industry is constantly evolving, and new technology continues to have a profound impact in restaurants across the country. We are at a point in time where technology is beginning to outpace our imaginations and is changing the way we interact with the world around us. Digital innovations and smart devices have permanently made their way into our pockets, attached to our wrists and integrated into our daily lives in ways we could not fathom 10 years ago. Because of recent innovations, technology now plays a significant role in the success and growth of the restaurant industry. From the latest point-of-sale (POS) systems, mobile applications, intricately designed TV displays, state- of-the-art kiosks and virtual menus, the digital standard in restaurants continues to rise. Restaurant owners who wish to stay competitive within the industry need to adopt technological innovations or be left behind. When opening a new restaurant, owners have a lengthy checklist of tasks they need to accomplish. From hiring and training staff members to designing the space and ensuring all technology components work together seamlessly, it can be easy to miss something. Technology should be at the top of that to-do list. A solid IT infrastructure is one of the most important tools a res- taurant must utilize because a simple technology glitch can wreak havoc on the success and reputation of the busi- ness. Restaurant owners do not have the bandwidth to deal with IT issues; therefore, it is essential to hire an IT partner that you can rely on and trust. In order to ensure success within the industry, restaurant owners should plan out their IT infrastructure in the following three phases: Phase 1: Construction and Design When opening a new restaurant, it is essential to plan ahead. Think through all IT needs before construction begins. This is important because a lack of plan- ning in the early stages could lead to design flaws discovered when it's too late to make major changes. For example, if plans call for a large TV display on a wall, plans must include having an outlet and cable source nearby to avoid stringing and extending cables through- out the restaurant. Planning technology components ahead of time is essential to ensure a well laid-out building that is mindful of IT infrastructure. At this point in the process, a restaurant owner should not be talking with a potential IT provider. Instead, focus on making a wish list of IT com- ponents you would like to include. Once you have compiled your list, the next step is to talk with your designer and construction managers to lay out the design of the restaurant and plan for the desired IT components. While this may seem tedious, plan- ning out IT components ahead of time will help set the foundation for success. Restaurant owners who jump straight into the construction phase before plan- ning tend to find themselves in trouble later in the process. Potential IT items a restaurant owner might want to include are: • Cabling • Computer and network needs • Data collection from customers • Digital menus • Digital promotional screens • Intercom systems • Linked network of cash registers • Music systems • Physical and cyber security systems • POS systems • Receipt printers

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