VoIP, Mushroom VNF Lead Restaurant Group to Success
Restaurants have a tough business these days. With a horde of competitors within easy driving distance—and sometimes in walking distance—differentiation is vital to drawing and holding a customer base. The Keith McNally Restaurant Group recently looked at its own operations and found that its plan to differentiate would come from its phone service. Thus it made the move to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and found success waiting therein.
More specifically, Keith McNally—a 14-restaurant bloc in New York City—turned to a VoIP service built around the Mushroom virtual network functions (VNF) system, known as VoIP Armor. Since VoIP Armor generates a bonded tunnel system, it allowed for comparatively easy connection among the 14 restaurants in the group. Beyond that, it could also handle the impressive volumes of phone traffic that Keith McNally receives almost daily.
The problem, though, was Keith McNally's own success; every new restaurant added to the group meant that much more traffic to handle, and that meant the original phone system—a Centrex phone system backed up by Toshiba equipment run on-premises —had to be expanded to handle the new traffic. This led to huge expenses, and the phone system was costing Keith McNally six figures annually.
Worse, the massive bill wasn't even offering the fullest range of services; reporting for call volumes was poor, response times for repair issues were terribly slow, and any requests for proposal largely fell through. The move to VoIP, meanwhile, was set to save huge money and offer new services, including a service-level agreement (SLA) that ensured the best in uptime, a slate of auto attendants to handle calls during busy times and savings that reportedly measured in the six figures range.
Better yet, reporting was now available, and Keith McNally could readily tell who answered the phone when, on what ring, and how many calls there are throughout the day, which is more than enough insight to know when there are staffing issues or the like.
It's not immediately noted in the after-action reports here, but a system like this could also be a significant help in providing necessary fodder for analytics systems. If Keith McNally were including call recording options in this—New York is at last report a one-party consent state, which is the easiest in which to implement call recording—it could have reams of data going into the system, which could provide insight on a variety of topics.
VoIP has already delivered value for Keith McNally, and it will likely continue to do so for some time to come. We've already seen what it can do, and with a few tweaks, it could do still more.