Having survived easily the most challenging period in business history, restaurants are welcoming back hungry patrons in large numbers. However, to effectively deal with the high number of incoming calls – without leaving customers waiting and frustrated – it’s important that business owners implement the right communication system. But with so many modern phones systems available today for restaurants, it’s often difficult to decide which way to go. Here’s an overview of the phone systems and the dominant features needed for operating a business today.
What are the phone system types?
The best way to decide on the ideal phone system for your restaurant is to take a look at the options in business phones today. Here are the four dominant types on the market.
1. Analogue phone systems
Starting with the old-school system, analogue phones are traditional handsets that rely on copper cabling for connectivity. These handsets come with the standard mute and redial features, making them quite limited in terms of business use. With copper also stolen for black market resale, this is becoming a decreasingly popular option across the board.
2. VoIP or digital phone systems
The next step up from analogue phone systems is a digital phone system which come with a number of great features such as call holding, voicemail-to-email, and click to dial. Rather than using traditional copper wiring, most digital systems will use fibre optics, but it still relies on a physical handset for use.
3. Virtual PBX phone systems
Virtual phone systems allow you to manage and route your calls with the system reliant on the cloud for connecting lines. The telephone switchboard runs off a hosted service provider operating over cloud technology, boasting a number of useful features such as auto attendant, voicemail-to-email and call recording.
4. VoIP phone systems
The Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) systems don’t use traditional copper wiring either, but an internet connection to digitally transmit the voice signal. They provide businesses with a number of great features such as conferencing, call screening and call recording.
5. Hybrid phone systems
This combines digital and internet systems so that you’re benefitting from increased reliability – if one system fails, it simply switches to the other. It also has a range of great features that will drive your business by streamlining operations and making connectivity with customers that much easier. When it comes to choosing the best phone for a restaurant, the hybrid system is undoubtedly the one to go with.
What are the benefits for a restaurant?
Here’s a look at how a hybrid phone system will benefit your restaurant business over time.
– No unanswered calls or waiting
Nobody wants to be left waiting, particularly not the modern customer, which is why your phone system needs to accommodate high volumes without leaving patrons unattended to and frustrated. With a hybrid system, there’s an auto attendant that can direct them as well as providing them with estimated waiting times rather than putting them on hold. This is known to drastically reduce the call abandonment rate as customers feel they are in line to be heard.
– Auto attendant to direct calls
This is particularly useful for bigger operations with a number of branches, as they auto attendant can assist in routing calls to the correct place. Some of the hybrid phone systems can be programmed to redirect callers to an available line at any given moment. This means no missed calls and customers are being attended to as a matter of urgency.
– Streamline reservations
The hybrid phone system also facilitates the voicemail-to-email messaging which means that all recorded messages can be transcribed to text. This is a great system for making reservations when someone is unavailable to take a call, ensuring that no messages can missed or unanswered.
– Call recording for training
Ongoing training is an important part of every business, and the hybrid phone system’s voicemail-to-email, as well as recorded message service, allows for improved training. Using this system, you can monitor how your staff engages with patrons and use these as examples on how to improve or what works best.
– Flexibility for business
Every business is looking to expand which is why you need to consider a flexible system that can adjust to your restaurant’s increased demand. The hybrid phone system allows you to scale up your communication system without having to buy additional equipment.
– Saves your business money
Finally, the hybrid system – which requires less maintenance and equipment – actually saves your business money in the long run. There are no unexpected fees and calls over the internet are significantly more cost-effective than other methods.
If you’re in the restaurant business and looking for the best phone system for your needs, then get in touch with ECN. They offer superior voice quality systems at the most competitive price on the market.