From taking reservations to managing takeout orders, a restaurant phone system needs to have specific features that cater to the unique needs of the industry.
Here, we will discuss 10 essential features to look for in the best phone system for restaurants — and more.
What Is a Restaurant Phone System?
A restaurant phone system is an advanced telecommunication system specifically designed for the food service industry.
It allows restaurants to handle incoming and outgoing calls, manage reservations, process orders, and more with ease.
Modern restaurant phone systems not only handle traditional voice calls but also support advanced features such as video conferencing, call queuing, interactive voice responses, and more.
Business phone systems are also called Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone systems, as they use the Internet to transmit voice data.
This makes them highly efficient and cost-effective for restaurants of all sizes.
How Does a VoIP Restaurant Phone System Work?
A VoIP restaurant phone system operates using an Internet Protocol (IP) rather than traditional phone lines.
This method of communication takes advantage of the existing internet connection in the restaurant, converting voice signals into digital data that can be transmitted over the Internet.
At the heart of this system is a device known as the Key Service Unit (KSU). The KSU acts much like a private branch exchange (PBX), managing and routing business calls efficiently.
Unlike a traditional PBX that needs a separate network for voice and data, a KSU in a VoIP system allows for unified communication. This digital approach offers more functionality, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness, making it the best phone system for restaurants.
What Makes a Phone System Suitable for Restaurants?
While most phone systems offer standard features such as call forwarding and voicemail, restaurant-specific needs require more advanced functionality.
Here are the top 10 features to look for in a restaurant phone system:
1. CRM integration
Customer relationship management (CRM) software is essential for any business, including restaurants.
Integrating your phone system with a CRM can help improve customer experience and satisfaction by allowing you to access their information quickly, personalize interactions, and track call history.
2. POS integration
Integrating your phone system with your point of sale (POS) system can help streamline operations and improve customer service.
A POS is essential for managing orders, inventory, and sales at a restaurant. By integrating it with your phone system, you can automate tasks like taking orders, processing payments, and updating inventory levels.
3. Reservation management
The ability to manage reservations efficiently is vital for the success of a restaurant.
A phone system that allows for online reservations, call-in reservations, and even automated confirmations can help streamline the reservation process.
4. Takeout and delivery management
With the growing popularity of takeout and food delivery services, restaurants need a system that can handle these orders quickly and accurately.
A phone system with features like caller ID for incoming orders, online order integration, and real-time tracking can help streamline the takeout and delivery process.
5. Advanced call queuing
In busy restaurants, calls can pile up quickly, leading to frustrated customers and missed opportunities.
An advanced call queuing system allows for efficient handling of incoming calls, reducing wait times and improving customer satisfaction. This may also include efficient systems to route calls to different departments or locations.
6. Multi-device support
Restaurant staff may need to access phone features on the go, so a phone system that supports the use of a mobile phone and multiple devices can be highly beneficial.
This ensures that important calls are not missed, even if staff members are away from their desks.
7. Cloud-based system
A cloud-based phone system offers flexibility and scalability for restaurants, allowing them to add or remove phone features as needed.
Additionally, restaurant owners can easily access call data and analytics remotely with a cloud-based system. It also allows staff members to access advanced features even when they are not on-site.
8. Menu management
A phone system that offers menu management features can save time and improve accuracy when taking orders over the phone.
Some systems allow restaurants to upload their menus, making it easier for staff to access and communicate with customers about available dishes and prices.
9. Interactive voice response (IVR)
An interactive voice response (IVR) system allows callers to navigate through a menu of options using voice or keypad input.
This can save time and improve customer satisfaction by directing calls to the appropriate departments or offering self-service options for tasks like checking reservation availability.
10. Business phone conferencing
A business phone system that offers conference calling features can help restaurants stay connected with staff and clients wherever they are.
This feature allows for virtual meetings and discussions, saving time and reducing the need for travel.
What Are the Benefits of a Business Phone System to Restaurants?
Implementing a business phone system can have a profound impact on the operational efficiency of a restaurant.
Whether you’re a small diner or a large dining establishment, understanding these benefits is the first step towards choosing the best phone system for your restaurant.
Enables restaurants to provide personalized service
A restaurant phone system allows for personalized greetings and customized call routing, ensuring that customers feel welcomed and valued.
This feature is valuable for restaurants of all sizes, as it helps create a positive first impression and improve customer satisfaction.
Streamlines customer communication
Customer interactions are crucial in the restaurant industry, and a business phone system helps streamline communication with customers.
With advanced features like call queuing and auto-attendants, restaurants can ensure that every customer query is addressed promptly and accurately.
Provides efficient communication for restaurants with multiple locations
Clear and efficient communication among staff in restaurants with multiple locations is vital for seamless operations.
A business phone system enables easy and cost-effective communication between different branches, improving overall coordination.
Helps boost customer service and satisfaction
A reliable phone system can significantly impact customer service and satisfaction.
For example, with features like call recording, restaurant managers can monitor calls to ensure quality standards are met, leading to improved customer experiences.
Provides a scalable solution as the business grows
As a restaurant’s business grows, its communication needs may also change.
A business phone system is scalable and can easily accommodate an increase in call volume and new features to support the growing demands of the business.
Offers cost savings for restaurants
Traditional phone systems can be expensive to install and maintain, especially for small businesses.
VoIP systems eliminate the need for expensive hardware and have lower maintenance costs, providing significant cost savings for restaurants.
What Factors Should You Consider When Choosing the Best Restaurant Phone System?
Choosing the best phone system for restaurants requires careful consideration of various factors. Here are some key points to keep in mind when exploring different options:
Reliability and call quality
Ensure the system you choose has a strong track record of reliable service and clear call quality.
This is important for ensuring smooth communication with customers and other staff members.
Ease of use and training requirements
Restaurant staff may not have technical backgrounds, so it’s crucial to choose a phone system that is user-friendly and requires minimal training.
This will help avoid disruptions in operations and make it easier for new staff members to adapt.
Businesses are constantly evolving, and your phone system should be able to keep up with the growth of your restaurant.
Choose a scalable system that can accommodate increased call volume and new features as needed.
Integration with other business tools
Many restaurants use various software solutions for different aspects of their operations, such as point-of-sale systems or online ordering platforms.
Choosing a phone system that can integrate with other tools can streamline operations and improve efficiency.
Service and maintenance plan
Ensure that the phone system provider offers a reliable service and maintenance plan to address any technical issues promptly.
This will help minimize disruptions in operations and ensure consistent communication with customers.
Discover FoodTronix’s Best Phone System for Small Restaurants
At FoodTronix, we understand the unique communication needs of small restaurants and have designed a phone system specifically for them.
Our VoIP system offers all the essential features mentioned above and affordable pricing plans to fit any budget.
Whether you are a small restaurant looking to upgrade your phone system or a large dining establishment in need of advanced communication solutions, FoodTronix has you covered.
We provide you with the right restaurant phone system that will help you enhance customer service, streamline communication, and grow your business.