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The IT Support Challenges Of Opening A New Restaurant In New York City

Date: November 7, 2016 Author: Steve Dempsey Category: Uncategorized Tags: , Comments: 0

We provide IT consulting and related services to a very up and coming restaurant here in New York City. When they signed up as a new client they had 4 stores in high traffic areas and shortly after we were given the opportunity to help them design and build the technology needed to open a fifth store on the upper east side of Manhattan.


As part of building a new restaurant there are other aspects besides simply installing a few workstations in the back office. We needed to help our client with security cameras, network cable planning, wireless networking, phone systems and the overall technology design.


Security Cameras


We worked with the pre-construction blueprints of the new store and designed all the camera locations to provide the best coverage of the restaurant as well as the back of house work areas. In order to accomplish this we reached out to a local security camera supplier and researched what the best camera would be for that environment at a price point that our client was looking for. We also calculated the amount of storage that would be needed for the DVR systems as well as chose the best devices that provided remote access including from an iphone or ipad.


Secure Wireless Networking


We implemented a wifi system that provided wifi coverage to not only the general customer seating area but in the basement and employee work areas which was important to our client. We used Ubiquiti Unifi access points which were able to provide a secure public and private wireless network and were easy to manage remotely.


The Unifi system allowed us to provide a secure, password protected public network for the restaurant customers. Customers were able to join the wireless network and surf the internet but at the same time that network was completely isolated from the internal network protecting it from unauthorized use and attacks.


Point Of Sale Vendor Liaison


The restaurant had a 3rd party which provided their own equipment and system for their point of sale. We provided what we call vendor liaison services, acting as a technical bridge between our client and their POS vendor. We helped the POS vendor install their equipment in the IT rack and allowed their system to utilize the dual internet fail over that we had put in place for the restaurant. We also made sure the network cables that the POS systems were going to use were properly terminated and ready in advance of their portion of the installation.


Computer And Network Setup


Our client had some very specific requirements for their restaurant computer stations including Dropbox, Skype, windows profiles for the various staff and other features. We created a technology blueprint that we used to build out the computers that allow literally allowed the staff to sit down and start working as soon as the workstations were installed.


And more importantly since internet access is everything these days our client needed an internet fail over system utilizing a main Time Warner line and a Verizon backup line. We implemented a SonicWall firewall with real time fail over so the location always had internet access in the event of an outage. More importantly we remotely monitor both of these lines so if one ISP becomes non-operational we’ll know about it before the restaurant does.


Network Cables


The restaurant had their own low voltage workers that installed the cable before closing the walls but actually terminating the cables and properly labeling them was a job that was left to us. We installed the patch panel, terminated the cables on both ends, labeled and tested everything.


Phone System


Once again our client had some very particular needs for the phone system, it had to be cost effective, voice mail to email and ring on certain phones when customers would call the store to place an order. Adding to that they required a cordless phone that would work anywhere in the restaurant for when the manager on duty was making his rounds.


Rather than reinvent the wheel we decided to go with a Panasonic analog phone system which was the same they had at the other stores. We located an experienced vendor that we purchased the system from and helped us configure the units in advance of the installation. The point here is that even though the phone system was supplied and configured by another vendor we took this entire burden off the our client and managed the entire process, from the initial purchase all the way to actually physically installing the phones and central units.


PCI Compliance


Even though we didn’t install and configure the POS system for the restaurant we still had a hand in making sure the system was PCI compliant and secure. Using our Managed Services software we installed a business grade compliance tool on the POS on-premises Windows server that runs weekly scans and produces reports of any vulnerabilities found. Our client has peace of mind knowing that their customers and their equipment is not only fully PCI compliant but it will stay compliant and secure.


If your business needs IT consulting or you have several locations and you need a complete IT outsourced solution that is here in Manhattan please contact me for a free consultation.