What is the best phone system for restaurants?
This is actually a really common question. You got into the business because you like cooking, baking, interacting with people, or making people happy. You like the satisfaction that comes from the hospitality industry. You’re probably not a technology expert.
Well, for a long time, the answer used to be anything that rings, but time and technology have fundamentally shifted the way restaurants can operate more efficiently. Of course, we all know there’s more to it than whether it rings – a lot more. Phone systems can be complicated, and they’re even worse when you add in the business component. Now you’re looking at multiple lines, call forwarding, internet options … what to do?
Whether you’re running a pizza restaurant, a bakery, a high-end full-service restaurant, or a food truck, the answer is going to depend on a few business aspects. Ask yourself the following questions to help you get started in deciding which system is right for you:
- What is your business model? A ghost kitchen, for obvious reasons, needs to worry a lot less about phone duties than a busy QSR with a lot of foot traffic. Does your restaurant offer reservations? Catering? Phone ordering? The more services you offer, the more likely you are to need a robust phone system.
- What is your staffing situation like? Most food industry businesses are dreadfully understaffed. Some are wondering how to keep their doors open. Hours are being slashed, and people are working longer shifts to cover for the lack of employees. If you’re in this situation, you don’t want a lot of phone lines that require personnel you don’t have. You want the simplest solution possible, which is very few lines, or, even better, a phone automation system that will handle most calls for you so you can keep your small staff focused on your actual business objective. Orders will go directly to your online ordering system, greatly reducing calls you have to take, so you can provide top-notch service. A self-serve automated system like Reachify is fully customizable and helps save you time and money so you can get back to the food.
- What are your hours of operation? If you’re serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with snacks in between for stragglers who don’t eat at traditional times, you’re going to be getting phone calls a lot more often than a business that’s open for dinner only on a few days each week. With a few exceptions, general guidance is that the shorter your hours, the simpler your restaurant phone system should be.
- What is your menu like? The more unique your menu offerings are, the more questions potential customers will have. Is it an unusual type of cuisine? Is it vegan, vegetarian, or organic? Is it customizable per order? If your customers want to make a lot of personal changes to your menu items, they’re not going to be satisfied with online ordering; they will want to speak to a human being that can help them be sure they’re getting what they want.
- What kind of questions are your customers asking? If most people want to know the same handful of questions, an automated system is what you’re looking for. It takes a lot of manpower to answer tedious questions, especially in an already-busy location. People who want to know how to order online, how to drive to your restaurant, or how to schedule catering can easily be given this information by an auto attendant phone system like Reachify, which can automatically text links and directions to customers without interrupting any of the staff in the business.
These five questions can help you get a feel for what your phone system is going to be needed for and how many features you really need. If you want to know more about how Reachify’s phone system can help your restaurant – no matter what size, style, or location – contact us here.