11 Complementary IT Services You Aren’t Selling to Restaurants — But Should Be

Here’s a list of 11 complementary IT services that will help your restaurant clients operate more efficiently — and help you build recurring revenue.

complementary IT services

Restaurant point of sale (POS) solutions providers routinely equip their customers with POS software and hardware and payment processing solutions. But is that everything your restaurant customers need to run successful businesses?

You have the capability of providing your clients with additional solutions that address all aspects of their operations. Here’s our top ten list of complementary IT services restaurant POS solutions providers should offer:

Consumers, especially diners from the millennial generation demographic, love the convenience of ordering ahead for pickup or delivery. Restaurant ordering is growing faster than dine-in traffic, and the number of orders placed online has exceeded those placed by phone. Restaurants need this capability to compete now and in the future.

Diners in restaurants and cafés expect to be able to log onto Wi-Fi, but restaurants need your expertise to provide this convenience reliably and securely. Guest Wi-Fi capabilities can also provide your customers with an added revenue stream by selling ad space or a prime opportunity to encourage customers to like their Facebook page or sign up for promotions.

Restaurant gift cards continue to top consumers’ list of preferred gifts to give or receive. To capitalize on this trend, your clients need gift card solutions that match their needs, the volume of cards they issue, and their preferred way to manage them.

Consumers are sold on loyalty programs. Although their loyalty program preferences differ based on demographics, 59 percent of diners say they choose restaurants based on competitive pricing and promotions. Your clients need a way to engage with loyal customers and make offers that encourage them to return to dine again.

Help your clients save time and improve accuracy with a digital menu builder. This service ensures accuracy in both online and in-house menus by pulling data from a common database and supports a consistent brand image and customer experiences at any location or on any channel.

Effectively managing digital signage can be time-consuming, especially if your restaurant client operates more than one location.

Video surveillance solutions can help your clients protect their property, control access, and even keep a watchful eye on bartenders and cashiers. VSaaS gives your clients these capabilities without making a large upfront CAPEX and can give them the assurance that someone is watching 24/7 and responding to alerts.

Services are available that enable customers to respond to short surveys at the checkout. Then, the service provides restaurants with actionable insights based on the results that they can use to improve customer experiences and make informed business decisions.

Restaurants are using mobile devices to take orders or payments, give hostesses access to table management features from any location in the restaurant, and provide managers with the ability to log in remotely. But for mobile solutions to benefit restaurants, they need to be accounted for and ready for work. MDM automates device management, saving time and ensuring restaurants get the most value from their mobility investment.

Your restaurant customers must prove PCI compliance to accept credit card payments. Restaurant operators, however, often have limited time to dedicate to keeping up with requirements and ensuring that their payment environment is compliant throughout the year — not just before an audit. Outsourcing this task to you can save them time and help prevent security breaches.

11Cellular Failover Routers

Every restaurant is going to experience downtime at the worst possible time and when they do, there’s a good chance that they won’t be able to accept credit card payments. This can, short-term, cause a loss of revenue and, long-term, negatively impact the customer experience. With this in mind, it’s easy to convince restaurants to invest in a monthly cellular failover router service. Whether you charge for it separately or bundle it with a business continuity package, the goal is to remove downtime and maintain credit card processing at all times.

There are dozens of services that your restaurant clients may need, from website hosting and maintenance, above-house systems, managed IT, network security, backup and disaster recovery, business continuity, marketing automation, analytics, social media management, and more. Visit our “IT Services for the Restaurant Market” page for links to information on more services you can provide.

Tips for Success Selling Complementary IT Services to Restaurants

Providing services that help restaurants operate more efficiently and provide better customer experiences is an exception to the “less is more” rule. Restaurants are challenged to meet customer demands for convenience and find a way to operate in the black as food and labor costs continue to rise. Working with your client to bundle all of the IT solutions and services they need for optimal efficiency into one plan at an affordable monthly cost, can save a restaurant operator time and headaches that result from dealing with multiple vendors.

Expanding your offerings to cover all solutions and services for restaurants will also give you an opportunity to sell deeper into existing clients and establish yourself as the one-stop-shop and a trusted business advisor they can turn to for all of their IT needs. And, you should see key performance indicators including monthly recurring revenue and recurring revenue per client trend upwards.

If You Don’t Provide The Services Your Clients Need, Who Will?

With IT solutions providers of all types expanding their portfolios, there is a distinct possibility that if you can’t be a total solution provider for your restaurant client, another VAR or MSP can. Their ability to manage all things IT, freeing the restaurant operator to focus on what they do best — rather than maintaining and troubleshooting systems or managing multiple IT vendors — may be an offer that’s too good to pass up.

Are you creating sticky, lasting relationships with your clients by providing everything they need to run their restaurants?

Mike Monocello

The former owner of a software development company and having more than a decade of experience writing for B2B IT solution providers, Mike is co-founder of Managed Services Journal (formerly XaaS Journal) and DevPro Journal.