Restaurants Get Smart with Emerging Cloud Technologies

For many restaurant operators, innovative technologies, such as video analytics and the cloud, can enable their teams to quickly gather insights and turn that data into actions that enhance safety, improve customer satisfaction and increase revenue.
By Nigel Waterton, Chief Revenue Officer, Arcules - 6.23.2021

Technology has never been more critical in the restaurant business. The increase in digital tools and software has helped restaurants improve their processes and profitability. As more dining rooms are opening and returning to normal operations, these tools are valuable additions to any restaurant’s portfolio.

Most restaurants have learned the value of technology but the COVID-19 pandemic sped up the adoption of new innovations in restaurants globally. And today, technology used to enhance restaurant security has never been a more critical investment.

Though it is impossible to prevent every occurrence of the risk, restaurants must reduce fraud and loss. And in today’s economy, restaurants are concerned about more than just theft. This segment’s overall success depends on excellent customer service, effective and efficient ordering, and maximizing staffing. More than ever, it is paramount that restaurants implement multifaceted solutions to improve security efforts and business operations.

For many restaurant operators, innovative technologies, such as video analytics and the cloud, can enable their teams to quickly gather insights and turn that data into actions that enhance safety, improve customer satisfaction and increase revenue. More restaurants are looking to combine artificial Intelligence (AI) and unified cloud security to help combine video data, cloud technology, and the Internet of Things (IoT) for timely business intelligence from a single easy-to-use interface.

Enter the Cloud … Kitchen

These days, we store our photos, stream our movies, and even run our businesses in the cloud. And more and more often, it’s also where we’re ordering our food. Have you heard of cloud kitchens? Cloud kitchens are centralized licensed commercial food production facilities where anywhere from one or two to dozens of restaurants rent space to prepare delivery-optimized menu items.

That’s not the only cloud in play in the restaurant industry. Cloud services are in-demand across the sector, from cloud-based point-of-sale to mobile applications for payment and ordering, the cloud has a significant impact on this market.

And now, the cloud is being embraced for security and safety. These services combine the cloud with video surveillance and access control, delivering it as a monthly subscription model to ease the everyday complexities found with security technology deployments and video monitoring.

The cloud delivers centralized and cohesive security and business operations for an entire restaurant, whether you have a single restaurant or 30 locations spread across numerous geographic regions. Managers can view multiple departments and geographic store locations on any Web-based or mobile device at any time with video data stored in the cloud. As a result, retail management can compare analytics across facilities and improve overall inventory management and merchandising.

With integrated cloud-based security services, restaurants can predict and prevent incidents based on intelligent data analysis. Video analytics can be set based on specific parameters and notify employees of the situation before it becomes an incident.

Dining in the Digital Age

Business intelligence is also enhanced with cloud security. Not only can you use your video cameras to ensure a safe environment, but you can also review what times were busiest within your facility, arming you with the information you need to run a more efficient business.

Imagine you can see how guests are situated in a restaurant at any given time. This viewpoint can provide increased insight into the effectiveness of operations and potential operational challenges. Heat maps built into cloud security services are valuable to help identify customer wait times or when an employee lingers in stock rooms, parking lots, or other areas outside of regular business hours.

Additionally, heat maps can determine crowd levels and customer traffic patterns, delivering intelligence around which restaurant areas are busiest at any given time. Is the host stand consistently active at 8 p.m.? If so, you might need to add additional staffing. Are more guests eating in the bar area than the dining area? Is that due to a Happy Hour special or a lighting issue? Cloud video can help provide insight into these situations.

Quick-service restaurants or those that operate 24/7 can often have employees, such as those manning the drive-thru, that work alone at night. These individuals are exposed to the potential risks because of the nature of the times they work. A cloud-based security service can also help to protect isolated workers in an affordable and timely manner.

There are plenty of ways restaurants can leverage new technologies like the cloud to future-proof security. Technology-driven innovations offer a lot of promise to businesses in the hospitality and food industries. What’s important is that these innovations help the restaurant achieve more proactive safety and security while ensuring a strong customer experience with the brand.

Nigel Waterton leads the sales and marketing efforts for Arcules as Chief Revenue Officer, calling on his 22 years of experience building and managing large, high-growth technology organizations. Waterton joined Arcules from Aronson Security Group, an ADT Commercial Company, where he served as Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy and Development and led a cross-disciplinary team within the company as well as with ASG’s strategic partners to identify the key areas of optimization and innovation needed to deliver value to clients. Over the course of his career, he has held a variety of senior-level sales and leadership roles with well-known brands, including Protection One and RFI Security.

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