Why Restaurants, Bars and Hotels Need Specialist IT Support

 

If you work in the hospitality industry, you may often find yourself wondering if you need specialist IT support or whether general IT will do. The truth is the hospitality industry is unique when it comes to IT. You need people who are specifically skilled to serve you because of the software you use and the needs of your customers.


Good IT support and software is crucial for lightening the workload in successfully running a restaurant, bar or nightclub, whether this is for making sales receipts, handling credit card payments, keeping inventory records or preparing menus and duty rosters. For an IT unit to run successfully without any hitches, you need IT professionals to maintain your system. 

Read more: IT support for the hospitality sector

Advantages of Specialist IT Support

In a busy city, there are lots of customers looking for restaurants, bars and hotels. Your business will need to stock more computers and software to ensure things run smoothly. It makes sense to hire a hospitality specialist IT support company to deal with IT issues because:

  • It saves you time in troubleshooting computer or software related issues since such problems are corrected promptly by an IT expert. 
  • Outsourcing IT maintenance lets you focus on internal matters. 
  • With the IT being handled by a specialist your staff can focus more on their talents, which helps your business run at peak efficiency. 

Every restaurant, bar or nightclub has a point of sale (POS) system installed to help with sales. Whenever this malfunctions, only a specialist IT support team will make the problem go away. This is based on the years of experience they have in handling such systems. They can also advise you on the latest technology. 

If you run both a restaurant and a bar, you’ll need to synchronise the bar’s POS system with your restaurant’s. An IT support expert can make this integration happen faster and even be on call whenever you need maintenance and repairs. 

Read more: Are you making these IT procurement mistakes? 

 7 Key Elements for Good Hospitality IT Support

To help you ensure your IT systems run without a hitch, here’s the 7 key elements you need to have in place:

  1. Internet services. You need the right upload and download speeds to serve your staff and customers properly. And a back-up connection in case of unexpected outages. 
  2. Intelligent routing. As more innovation is leaning on wireless technologies you should ensure you have hardware that can be configured for the right bandwidth.
  3. An IT hub. There should be a secure and accessible location within your venue where the IT hub can be housed. We would highly recommend a comms cabinet which can be locked so that the IT Infrastructure cannot be tampered with or damaged.
  4. Cabling. It’s vital your cabling is of a high standard and installed by an expert. Your IT partner should deliver this requirement and document exactly how the cables are run, terminated, patched and labelled. Cables being run for wireless access points (accelerators) should be positioned at a high level, away from any structural inhibitors and electrical devices such as air conditioning units as they cause interference and disrupt services.
  5. Proactive IT hardware. Insist on hardware that can be remotely accessed by your IT provider, to ensure speedy configuration changes, diagnostics and issue resolution. The right hardware such as routers and switches can ensure everything can be seen, alerts can be set up and fail overs can be automated.
  6. An experienced IT support provider. As your IT Infrastructure will be accommodating POS, CCTV, sound, staff requirements for wireless and hardwired and guest Wi-Fi, it’s important your support provider is experienced with all this. They also need enough resources to support any issues and requirements you have. 
  7. All of the above. Ensure you’re working with an IT partner that has the capability and experience to deliver what you want. Having everything delivered from one supplier makes supporting and advising you so much easier.

If you’re considering a new venue, here’s some advice that will help you ensure you have a great WiFi setup and don’t have to make costly changes down the line:

Read more: 3 things to consider before you launch a guest Wi-Fi network

A Specialist Provider

The hospitality sector has its own unique set of needs, and requires specialist IT support as a result. That’s why you should work with a support provider who can help you with this. 

To learn more about getting the right IT support for your bar, restaurant or hotel, get in touch with us. We can arrange an audit for you and advise on how your current setup could become more efficient, reliable and profitable.

Get in touch!Note: This post was originally published as ‘The Benefits of an IT Support Expert for Your London Hospitality Business’ in October 2014. It was updated in October 2019.

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