An IT network and infrastructure is the foundation of a hospitality business, your entire venue runs on it. From taking, processing, and sending orders to keeping your sound systems blaring it’s all reliant on your network.
We’re taking a look at why you should consider specialist hospitality IT support and what areas you should be focusing on for the best connection.
Why should I choose a specialist?
Choosing a specialist in hospitality ensures your IT support provider understands the level of support your business needs. As a hospitality business, you are up and running outside of standard office hours, and your IT support should reflect this.
You also need someone who understands the way your business operates and which areas are most affected by different network issues. For example, a WiFi dropout isn’t good for any business but for hospitality, it can be crippling. Not being able to take orders and most importantly payments can put your business on standstill.
A nightclub in Brighton experienced a WiFi dropout on a Friday evening and wasn’t able to process any card payments, this incident cost them approximately £25,000, Astaris then fitted them with a new reliable WiFi and internet network and it is safe to say it hasn’t happened again! Although investing in IT equipment can seem costly, it’s better than the loss taken as a result of something like this happening.
What areas should I be focussing on?
We understand the hospitality sector was among the top sectors to be affected by the pandemic, and businesses may still be recovering so we’re breaking down the key parts of your network you should be investing in to make it strong, fast and reliable. We aren’t saying neglect the other areas like phones, hardware, etc… but if you want the best network possible here’s what Astaris would recommend.
WiFi and internet – As we’ve just discovered, a WiFi dropout can result in huge losses. Printers, iPads, card payments, sound systems, computers, phones, tills, and more all rely on your WiFi so when you lose it everything is out too.
Your WiFi should be professional business-grade equipment, Cisco-Meraki is arguably the best on the market and perfect for any business, Astaris also recommends Ubiquiti for smaller venues with a slightly smaller budget. These also provide the right level of security needed for your business, but more on that later.
Your IT support & maintenance – As we said earlier your IT support specialist makes all the difference and having a support provider who understands your business will help you have the best support. Specifically, an IT support provider who can work remotely is another amazing benefit to have.
Not every issue needs to be fixed on-site, a lot of issues can be solved remotely and for Astaris we have the technology to be able to access your network from our office and solve IT issues. Not only is it quicker than having to be on-site, it also causes less downtime and interference it is also more cost-effective.
Security – Security should be at the forefront of every business, and often gets forgotten about. We understand it may not be the most fun or glamorous aspect of IT, but it’s probably the most important. For the hospitality business, customer data and taking orders are a big part of what makes your business function. Customer data protection should be taken seriously, and the results of a data breach can be extremely expensive.
Data that is stored on booking systems (card details, deposits, email addresses, names, phone numbers, etc…) should be treated with the correct GDPR precaution. Security packages are available and they provide protection for not only your customer data but also your personal data. As time goes on cyber criminals are becoming so much more advanced with their attacks, and it’s important to keep your security up to date to prevent any incidents from occurring. This can include spam and ransomware protection, content filtering software, data backup, and staff security training (this is all included in the Astaris security package).
Your equipment – It’s what you use day in, day out. Tills, PDQs, printers, sound systems, and more are things your hospitality business is going to be using every single day and you should choose one that reflects the size and capacity of your business.
If you are a busy restaurant, an amateur till won’t be able to process the number of orders you’re putting through so choosing one that’s scalable to your size and venue is something to think about. If you want advice on what you should be choosing, why not get in touch with our team?
How do I start my IT revamp?
It can seem stressful switching IT providers, but it needn’t be. Astaris are able to migrate your systems easily from one to another during hours that work for you, and we can also offer our expert advice on which hardware and software will be of the most benefit to your business.
Please feel free to contact our team today.