When you’re approaching an opportunity with a new prospect, it’s important to understand the unique challenges they may face. Understanding their core challenges and needs helps you to design a solution that can transform their business. The questions below are designed to help you dig a little deeper throughout the sales process so you can better relate to your prospect and offer a comprehensive solution.

Restaurant Industry Top Concerns

You may not be working with a dedicated IT staff when discussing network solutions with a customer in the retail or restaurant industry. These individuals likely have a laundry list of responsibilities. In fact, according to a 2017 survey, the top 4 concerns of restaurant owners are:

  1. Staff retention
  2. Maximizing sales
  3. Minimizing expenses
  4. Tracking inventory

While they need Internet to run their business, it may be something they do not know a lot about. By asking the questions below, you can better understand their needs and challenges, as well as help guide them through the process of designing a networking solution that best fits their business needs.

  1. How many locations do you have? Are they franchises or corporate-owned?
    Knowing if you’re dealing with corporate owned locations or franchise helps you better understand where and how decisions are made. Do you they have preferred vendors or other stipulations mandated by their head office or are they able to make decisions themselves? It will also help you understand the potential of the project by learning how many locations they are responsible for.
  2. What are your WiFi needs? How could WiFi help improve your customers’ in-store or in-restaurant experience?
    How can WiFi help impact the business concept and drive engagement? Depending on their business model, providing customers with free, reliable WiFi may result in customers spending more time – and money – in their store or restaurant.
  3. How do they manage their POS transactions, suppliers or inventory systems?
    Understanding how your customers use and access these systems will lead to valuable conversations about bandwidth utilization, performance requirements and network security.  For example, an application accessed via public cloud vs. one that’s housed locally or even at a data center could have different implications for the network design you ultimately recommend.
  4. How are you currently managing network security to maintain PCI compliance?
    The payment card industry data security standard (PCI DSS) is a set of regulations that applies to companies of any size that accept credit card payments. Their goal is to maintain the security of cardholder data. Other than your occasional cash-only business, every restaurant will have to meet these compliance standards, which include specifics around installing firewalls, creating passwords, protecting stored data and encrypting data transmissions. Talk to your clients about how they are maintaining PCI compliance to spark a discussion about network security.

Partners: if you’ve worked with restaurants before, what would you add to this list? What do you ask to get them talking about their Internet, data network, voice or security needs? Let us know in the comments.