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Delivery and takeout operations have become more important to restaurant business models in the post-COVID-19 era. With dine-in traffic still slow to recover from its sharp decline in early 2020, delivery and takeout have become a lifeline for many establishments, enabling them to continue serving customers while they figure out what comes next.
But delivery and takeout only work when a specific set of infrastructure is in place. In addition to having sufficient food supply, to-go packaging and delivery service, restaurants also need robust network connectivity, to support their point-of-sale (POS) transactions, online orders, customer and vendor communications and other day-to-day operations.
Dedicated internet access, or DIA, is often the best option for shoring up a restaurant’s connection to the outside world and helping it evolve to new challenges. Let’s examine four reasons that a DIA plan is useful when scaling out delivery and takeout offerings.
Compared to standard broadband, a dedicated plan gives you much more bandwidth to work with.
For starters, DIA connections are symmetrical. They offer identical upstream and downstream bandwidth, unlike broadband plans with much higher speeds for downloads than uploads.
They’re not shared with other subscribers, either. Accordingly, high usage across the service provider network will not cause any slowdown for a restaurant’s users.
The direct connection to the provider can also be via fiber, Ethernet, or T1/T3 line. That gives restaurants flexible options for deployment depending on their locations and budgets
Overall, the exceptional performance of DIA empowers restaurant operators to reliably run bandwidth-intensive applications.
For example, they can better perform key tasks such as:
Dedicated internet access is the perfect complement to a VoIP or unified communications (UC) platform. Both VoIP and UC involve real-time communications, which require the most reliable possible network connection - one that minimizes jitter, latency and packet loss.
For restaurants relying on takeout and delivery in particular, the combination of a DIA plan and a hosted VoIP or UC suite can be an important competitive differentiator:
VoIP and UC can both greatly expand the scope of a restaurant’s operations, allowing it to serve more takeout and delivery customers. However, these communications services can only reach their full potential with DIA in place. That’s because dedicated connectivity supplies the ample bandwidth for reliable real-time communications, even as the network handles lots of other application traffic simultaneously.
Increased takeout and delivery volume means more credit and debit card transactions, as well as greater risk of network congestion and downtime. Upgrading from a broadband plan to dedicated internet access is a workable solution to both of these problems.
DIA connectivity is more secure than standard shared broadband. The connection is private, plus the service provider may apply additional security services to keep common threats at bay. For example, all Telesystem solutions that pass through our network core come with built-in mitigation for distributed denial of service attacks, which helps prevent outages of a restaurant’s key sites and applications.
A service-level agreement (SLA) also governs each DIA plan, specifying the uptime and availability that subscribers can expect. The increased reliability compared to broadband means that there will be fewer outages or slowdowns that could jeopardize business.
In terms of security for all the card-based transactions for takeout and delivery orders, setting up a separate, dedicated network - i.e., walled off from the on-site Wi-Fi network - is a common tactic for maintaining PCI compliance. A secure DIA connection lets a restaurant safely process card data without the risk of someone accessing its internal network after connecting to its free Wi-Fi, for instance.
Although the technical aspects of DIA alone (i.e., symmetrical bandwidth, dedicated fiber network, etc.) make it a great upgrade option for restaurants focusing on increased takeout and delivery, the managed services and support from the service provider are just as advantageous.
More specifically, Telesystem monitors all DIA connections 24/7/365 and makes any technical issues a high priority for our customer support teams. Paired with the SLA guaranteeing robust uptime and performance, our dedicated internet options offer the peace of mind that even large volumes of online orders, numerous VoIP calls, and heavy network usage will not result in an outage.
Think of this way: Implementing a DIA plan is a form of future-proofing for a restaurant. Six in 10 U.S. consumers ordered takeout or delivery at least once a week as of June 2020, and this share could rise in the years to come as food ordering services become more sophisticated. DIA provides the reliable connectivity to keep the orders flowing and fulfilled. Learn more about how to get started with DIA by contacting our team today.