Adjusting to the New Normal of Food Service was not on the Menu for Restaurants

MMS enables restaurants to get more out of their mobility investment and continue serving customers.

Challenge:

Like most in the foodservice industry, well-known casual chain restaurants were caught off guard by the COVID-19 pandemic. The initial demand to shut their doors and dining rooms hit them hard, from loss of immediate revenue to the prospect of furloughing their staff to adjusting to a different way of feeding their customers. They had to change their mobility strategy, using their mobile devices in new ways to combat the challenges brought on by the pandemic.

Not only were they looking for a way to serve food to customers, but also to deliver the same exceptional experience no matter how customers were being served. The restaurants’ parent company had previously purchased iPads® for all of their restaurants across the country for training purposes and kitchen use—recipes, plating instructions, and ingredient inventory. During the shutdown, they looked for new ways to use their devices in order to continue serving diners.

They also were looking for new ways of feeding restaurant-goers once they were allowed to open while maintaining social distancing regulations. The restaurants had to space out their tables, limiting how many customers they could serve at one time. To better manage expectations, they also had to implement a call-ahead policy for customers, so the servers could manage the dining room and the hosts could manage the waits for incoming diners and not have to turn people away.

On top of that, whatever mobile solution the parent company chose, they had the financial hurdle of a large capital expenditure to face, which with an already limited cash flow from below-average sales, made them focus on trying to repurpose their existing mobile device fleet.

Solution:

The idea of repurposing their existing iPads® wasn’t feasible so the restaurants needed a better solution. Vox Mobile provided full-circle services, including suggesting the purchase of additional iPads® for all restaurants that could be mounted at the host stand so the host could manage
call-ahead and online seating requests, as well as help monitor curbside and pickup orders. As a single-source provider for software licensing acquisition, supporting all the leading enterprise mobility management (EMM) solutions, Vox Mobile helped the restaurant purchase their iPads® in bulk, roll-out their new devices, setting up each restaurant’s guest management apps—Wisely and DineTime Host applications—pushing the apps to any existing devices, and ensuring they were managed properly, including regular updates. Our services also included configuration of each device, staging for setup, kitting, shipping, and implementation.

In addition, the restaurants wanted to make sure that their staff was ready when the government gave the word that they could re-open. Timing was everything, so Vox Mobile made sure they could tie the installs of the stands with the ready use of the mobile devices, allowing the restaurants to start serving customers as fast as possible.

Vox Mobile also helped them get the financing they needed to be able to purchase over 400 devices. Through our partnership with Apple, we were able to help them get the hardware and accessories, including the mounts and charger adapters, lumped into one lease purchased through Apple Financial Services (AFS). This alleviated the burden of a large CapEx and made it a more manageable OpEx.

Result:

Vox Mobile continues to provide ongoing management of their EMM environment and mobility management services (MMS), including help desk support and spare pool management—ordering additional iPads® that are set aside in our warehouse so they
can be shipped out as next-day replacements should the need arise.

This solution helped keep the restaurant keep their customers safe while still providing an exceptional experience. By having call-ahead services, using the mobile devices we provided with the hosting apps ready to go, the restaurants were able to keep track of their guests, increase seating efficiency, decrease waitlist abandonment, and improve their overall quote accuracy.

The restaurants also have implemented mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) devices to provide their customers with low-contact payment options with Apple Pay and Google Pay on the customers’ smartphones. By doing so, the overall dining-out experience has been elevated and the restaurants are able to get back on their feet and plan for the future, no matter how uncertain. With a partner like Vox Mobile, the restaurants can be sure of having someone on their side with their best interests in mind. It’s a flawless recipe for success.

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