Storm Internet has been committed to providing high-speed Internet access to those in Ottawa and the surrounding area, while providing excellent customer service, since 1996. Since then, we have continued to grow in the services we offer and the number of employees in our offices.
We’ve recently had the chance to catch up with Doug Feltmate, a Hospitality Planning Consultant, who as a hobby of his profession, has a locally owned restaurant in Ottawa’s east end – St. Martha’s Brasserie d’Orleans, where he spends his time with the direction and management of the restaurant. We were able to learn more about the restaurant industry and how Storm was able to help his business.
It all started one day when Doug was working in the restaurant, and in came Birket, Storm’s CEO. The two got talking and it wasn’t long before Storm Internet was able to get started on this new adventure. This interaction happened a little over two years ago, and St. Martha’s Brasserie has been a happy customer ever since. But how was Storm able to help the restaurant succeed? What challenges might they come across where Storm can help with a solution? We wanted to make sure St. Martha’s Brasserie had everything they needed to provide the ultimate experience for their customers.
Something many people may not know is how effective a strong Internet connection can be to restaurants, and how it impacts their everyday lives. If they don’t have the Internet up and running, they have to close for the day. But why is this?
Let’s start with the basics. The Internet is in our lives every single day. We use the Internet at work, at home, on our phones, and even many appliances and devices have a Wi-Fi connection. So, having an Internet connection is essential in restaurants. Giving customers free access to Wi-Fi is one thing, but in the middle of this pandemic, customers need to fill out a survey answering all the typical COVID-19 screening questions. St. Martha’s Brasserie makes this easy for anyone who comes to the restaurant by providing a QR code and having the customer fill out the survey. Having free Wi-Fi accessible to their customers makes this step much easier.viewing menus online is the new thing. We are seeing less and less restaurants handing out physical menus due to COVID-19. With that being said, St. Martha’s Brasserie needed to provide their customers with the essential tool they needed to view the menu – free Wi-Fi. Click here to take a look at their menu.
COVID-19 has impacted many industries across the world, including restaurants. Everyone has had to make adjustments to continue to serve their communities. Well, here is where Storm Internet comes into play again.
Doug needed a way to extend their patio outdoors and have a way where customers did not have to go inside to pay their bills. Outdoor dining can be challenging, but we were able to provide St. Martha’s Brasserie with Enterprise Grade Internet, allowing for the Wi-Fi to be extended onto their patio. This allowed them to bring out their portable POS terminal/card reader, allowing customers to pay outside and continue to follow COVID-19 protocols, instead of having to pay indoors.
“We needed to make sure it could extend out since we couldn’t bring people inside to pay a bill.”
But what else do restaurants use the Internet for on a typical day, pre-pandemic? Well, everything is run on the Internet – their POS (point of sale) systems, scheduling, security, communication tools and equipment.
An example of a POS system is their computers they use to place your order. At the end of your meal, they are able to print off your bill. Essentially, this is how you pay for your meal. There are point of sale terminals that are portable – this is the machine you use to pay with a debit/credit card. These need to be Wi-Fi enabled to process your payments. Security cameras are needed for many reasons that we don’t need to get into. But in order to record and save videos, you need to have access to the Internet. Communication tools help teams work together to avoid things going wrong. Bringing it back around to the POS systems – the server inputs the order, which then gets sent to the kitchen to start prepping. And last, but not least, equipment. St. Martha’s Brasserie runs on a “Connected Cooking” kitchen experience. The Rational Combi is an oven that represents all cooking mediums. This kind of technology has all kinds of monitoring systems, and allows you to set up recipes and processes remotely on how to cook a specific dish. The oven can even run its own diagnostics, and approximately 80% of their menu is created with the Rational Combi.
Even their exhaust and ventilation system is connected to the internet (along with most of their cooking equipment). This is possible through remote programming for their cooking processes and diagnostic requirements. The systems are always being monitored. If an issue arises, notifications are sent out right away, and the issue can be solved much quicker than before. This is all possible due to a reliable Internet connection.
So, as you can see, their whole business is run using the Internet. If the Internet goes down, there is a serious problem, right? They wouldn’t be able to receive payment from customers, phones wouldn’t be working, their kitchen and other staff members wouldn’t be able to communicate properly, even something as simple as printing a receipt wouldn’t work since the Internet wouldn’t be able to communicate with the printers. Well, this is exactly what Storm wants to help our customers to avoid.
After talking with Doug, it was great to hear of all the positive experiences he’s had with us, from when he first started out with Storm, until now. One of the biggest takeaways from working with us? Reliable Internet and local customer service.
“Losing connectivity is stressful for any business, and if you have a person you can call up and have that looked after, it really reduces the stress.”
We take pride in being a local business serving Ottawa and the surrounding area. This allows us to provide quick and easy service. If you were to ever come across an issue, we are right there and eager to help to figure out a solution. This wouldn’t be possible if we had an overseas call centre, would it?
We asked Doug what kind of advice he would give to those opening back up and adjusting their business after being affected by the pandemic. Here’s what he had to say:
“As you open up, really look at your capacity, because buildings and connectivity are changing dramatically. It was always a secondary consideration. Now it’s a primary consideration. Alarm systems work off of it. The success of your business can depend on your level of connectivity. Look at that as a primary consideration and not a secondary consideration.”
And he’s right. Internet connection is not something one would have considered a few years back. Now, it’s everywhere you look, and everywhere you go. Having a reliable Internet connection is essential to maintaining and growing a business. Take into consideration your wants and needs versus your customers wants and needs. Making everything accessible online will help both you and your customers.
Thank you Doug for taking the time to talk to us about what a strong Internet connection does for you and your business in the restaurant industry. Thank you for the past two years with us, and we look forward to working with you for many more years to come.
Images retrieved from St. Martha’s Hospitality Group http://www.goodfoodservedwell.com/