November 11, 2020 | Sue Olsen

Serving up stats: How restaurants are increasing network security and delivering results amid a pandemic

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Retail Consultant

Sue Olsen

Sue has 30 + years Restaurant Technology and Consulting experience - and has helped restaurant, retail and hospitality businesses increase sales, improve productivity and operations through the efficient use of technology solutions.
Summary: A recent survey among the restaurant industry reveals what changes they’ve implemented and why network security is one of their highest priorities.

It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has created a lot of challenges, especially for the restaurant industry. Widespread shutdowns of dining facilities followed by staffing issues, supply chain disruption and health risks all forced the adoption of new methods—specifically, digital innovations—to make their businesses more viable during this time of uncertainty. But with these innovations come concerns around network security. Here’s a peek into how the industry as a whole is coping—and thriving—through it all.

Cooking up innovations

Windstream Enterprise partnered with Fortinet to survey those in the restaurant industry to see what new technologies they’ve adopted to deliver quality guest experiences. We found that many were quick to adapt their businesses to meet the new consumer behavior and expectations. Among them, 58% adopted contactless transactions while 36% added mobile apps to their services. Tablets (22%) and kiosks (19%) have also been popular problem solvers, while the addition of new eCommerce portals (19%) and point of sale system upgrades (9%) rounded out the top choices.

Turning up the heat on security

Naturally, many in the industry are worried about network security with the implementation of these innovations. Changes like adding or expanding work from home capabilities, adding an eCommerce portal, contactless transactions and curbside pick-up may save the day for greater guest satisfaction and brand loyalty, but they can increase cybersecurity risks across the board. In particular, Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliance is paramount and integrating new partners to serve up these digital upgrades can be daunting if proper security measures aren’t taken.

Baked in benefits with SD-WAN solutions

It’s not surprising that a large proportion of industry stakeholders are turning to a secure SD-WAN solution to alleviate some of their pain points. Reasons for making the switch range from easier management (56%), greater network agility and bandwidth (49%) to reduced costs (44%), increased security (35%) and access to SaaS and the cloud (18%).

Chopping the security challenges

Digital innovations and increased security don’t come without challenges. Among those surveyed, the largest roadblocks to managing cybersecurity since the pandemic began are reduced budgets (52%), staffing issues (44%) and implementing new security protocols (26%). Even still, most are finding the resources to adapt knowing that once the pandemic passes their businesses will be ready for whatever new obstacles come their way.

Access the full infographic to learn more about ways to keep your restaurant organization protected.

Explore the menu of options

To find out more about SD-WAN solutions that can protect your network and position your restaurant for success, speak to one of our product experts.

*Source for all data: Retail Security & COVID-19 Industry Survey 2020 Trend Report, Canam Research
Key takeaway: Digital innovations to improve guest experience as well as tools to increase network security have helped the restaurant industry adapt and thrive through a global pandemic.
Retail Consultant

Sue Olsen

Sue has 30 + years Restaurant Technology and Consulting experience - and has helped restaurant, retail and hospitality businesses increase sales, improve productivity and operations through the efficient use of technology solutions.