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Cloud Communication Tools for the Restaurant Industry: Improve Guest Satisfaction and Employee Efficiency

The restaurant industry is high-touch and employee-driven. It’s also fast-paced and requires efficiency in every aspect, including communication. The sector is embracing technology with open arms, adopting it and adapting to it in the modern world. Cloud communication tools for the restaurant industry can be a valuable addition, improving guest satisfaction and employee efficiency.

Let’s look at some of these key applications that can support both the customer and employee experience.

Cloud-Based Phone Systems Enable Responsiveness and Mobility

The first piece of a restaurant’s cloud communications menu should be cloud-based phone systems. This has a host of benefits for employees and customers.

Your employees don’t need to be on-site to receive or make calls. That’s a big bonus for those that manage reservations and events or interact with patrons. Your users can use the app on their mobile devices. With features like virtual voicemail and notifications, your staff will be able to respond promptly to patrons, vendors, or partners.

Having this type of phone setup is also critical for volume spikes, which you’ve likely experienced when it comes to takeout orders. If you can’t answer the phone, you might lose the order.

Customers will also appreciate being able to reach someone, even if the restaurant isn’t open. Otherwise, it can cause them to abandon your business. IVR (interactive voice response) ensures that the system routes callers to the right person based on their responses. Additionally, not all callers will need to talk to an employee. If they have questions about your location or hours, they can self-serve through IVR. Routing can also change depending on your business hours.

In addition to the flexibility of such a solution, you’ll likely reduce costs in this area, especially if you’re still using legacy on-premises systems. It’s also easy to scale and add new users without the need for IT support.

Team Chat Keeps Employees Connected and Informed

There are many different ways to group chat, but they’re not all effective and secure. A group text lacks the functionality of an actual team chat feature within a cloud communications platform. Within such a model, you can have various channels for departments, events, scheduling, and more.

Consider how such a platform could organize communication and ensure that everybody receives it. That’s often a big challenge for restaurant workers. Things can get messy if you don’t have defined channels and use texting, emailing, or a messaging app.

With the platform’s search feature, employees can find what they need. For example, if they need to know how to request PTO, that can be a pinned topic in the channel.

Users can have one-on-one chats as well. With @mentions, the user gets a direct notification, so they know there’s an outstanding question or request. That’s much more efficient than other communication options.

Video Calls for Team Meetings and Party Planning

Video call technology is another must-have for restaurants. You may hold regular staff meetings but have challenges with getting everyone in one physical space. Conflicting schedules can make this a nightmare, but with video calls, your workers can be anywhere and participate. They may even be more engaged and will appreciate this more efficient way to meet.

In addition to regular meetings, video conferencing can be an excellent medium for training.

Another use for video conferencing is planning parties and events for customers. They’ll appreciate the flexibility of meeting at home to discuss menus, seating arrangements, and decorations. Most of the world is comfortable with this, and some even prefer it. Make it easy for your customers to communicate with staff by offering video planning sessions.

With screen sharing, you can show customers special menus, photos, graphics, or anything else related to their event.

File Sharing Helps Keep Menus Organized

Menu changes are a regular occurrence in the restaurant industry. It could be seasonal, themed, or a complete revamp. Chefs are often the lead on this, but they need to consult managers as well to review ingredient availability and pricing. Instead of sending documents back and forth via email, they could work on it together with secure file sharing.

This cloud communications feature allows collaboration and editing on documents in real time. This capability could reduce the time it takes to finalize a menu.

Integrations Boost Efficiency and Personalization

Cloud communication solutions integrate with other platforms that restaurants use. One example is integration with a CRM (customer relationship management) platform. Within the CRM, you have information about your customers. It’s not just contact details but also preferences, loyalty club membership, and past orders.

Having relevant customer data available across platforms can result in more personalized experiences for your guests. For example, if an existing customer calls regarding an upcoming occasion they’d like to plan, you can easily access CRM details during the conversation. In this way, you’re more prepared, and the customer would feel like you know them and appreciate their business.

Restaurant Industry Cloud Communication Tools: Adopt Now to Be Future-Ready

The restaurant industry evolved rapidly in the past few years. The ability to be agile helped many survive and thrive. Cloud communication tools can be a part of that success for today and into the future.

See how your restaurant can leverage the cloud with Intermedia Unite.

About Kirsten Barta

Kirsten Barta is Program Manager of Digital Content and Strategy at Intermedia