At a Glance
RMH Franchise was founded in 2012 as a franchisee of chain restaurants throughout the U.S. Most notably, it’s the second-largest Applebee’s franchisee worldwide, and is focused on operational excellence and a thriving team culture. The company operates more than 131 restaurants across 14 states. Aside from its in-house dining, the franchise also offers Carside To Go, online ordering and delivery options.
As a continuously expanding company, RMH was challenged with trying to support its very broad footprint of restaurants across the country. Its rapid growth was based on a series of acquisitions over several years.
As Roger Somers, Executive Director of IT, RMH Franchise explained, “Our third acquisition more than doubled our size overnight. Up until that time, I had been mainly keeping IT in-house and we managed our own Internet connections, routers, security, etc. As our footprint was growing, the requirements for a secure network were also increasing, and it made sense for us to outsource. PCI (Payment Card Industry) requirements also became more stringent and businesses were required to adhere to stricter compliance rules.”
The goals of trying to meet the demands of the business and maintain enough flexibility to keep up with a competitive restaurant market had Somers searching for a managed services provider who would quickly deliver a cost-effective solution for managing and securing its IT network and voice communications across all locations.
RMH required updated equipment for its aging network environment, upgrades to its broadband capabilities, backup wireless connections, and a seamless voice solution. That’s when Somers decided to call on Interface for Secure SD-WAN with 4G/LTE wireless backup and VoIP solutions.
CSCS (Centralized Supply Chain Services), the purchasing agent for Applebee’s had an established, preferred relationship with Interface Security Systems. While Somers said he also considered a few other providers, “the fact that Interface was already an approved provider by CSCS and was highly recommended for its proven network and voice services helped drive us towards the company.
Interface also came in with the best price and a fully managed service model, which perfectly fit our requirements.”
Somers continued, “As soon as we were ready to move forward, Interface had customized perfectly scalable solutions for us. With our acquisitions, we had to implement seamless networking and VoIP services quickly and Interface was able do that.”
Interface implemented a next-generation Secure SD-WAN network architecture with broadband upgrades. Additionally, Interface combined managed 4G/LTE wireless capability with terrestrial circuits in areas with low-speed broadband to deliver an improved restaurant and guest experience. Interface also implemented its VoIP phone service and consolidated several vendors.
“We enjoyed the onboarding service with Interface,” Somers explained. “Interface made spinning up secure networking and voice services at all our restaurant locations simple, fast and scalable. Once we decided on our ideal configurations, they configured a proprietary cabinet that includes all Interface managed services. As part of an acquisition, we added more than 30 restaurants in Indiana and Ohio. Thanks to Interface, we were able to deploy all our network and voice services to the new locations in no time at all.”
Interface partners with Fortinet for its fully managed Secure SD-WAN solutions over secure broadband solutions. Interface also deployed a wireless business continuity solution with constant monitoring of LTE to ensure reliable connectivity as a backup connection along with carrier diversity. As a backup service, the 4G/LTE service automatically takes over should the primary network connection fail. It’s a cost-efficient, reliable solution that helps ensure a business is always up and running. The Interface solution offers seamless fail-over for POS transactions, credit card processing, inventory management and other key processes to continue to perform without interruption or store personnel involvement.
“The wireless backup has become increasingly important as we continue to layer more critical services on our Internet connection like VoIP phones and tabletop devices,” said Somers. “If an Internet provider is down or there is any sort of network failure, rolling over to 4G/LTE is automatic and provides for business continuity. That has become critical for us. As IT needs to add in more applications, a secure PCI-compliant and redundant network foundation is very important.”
Interface also deployed its VoIP service and migrated all RMH’s locations from legacy phone systems to a fully hosted cloud model saving long distance costs and standardizing all locations.
“The best part of Interface is that I get all my network, wireless, voice services with complete equipment and management bundled in one consolidated easy flat-rate monthly service.”
“At RMH, we measure our results by experiencing as little downtime as possible and being able to service our guests and our employees with complete satisfaction. We always look for cost-effective, reliable, and future-proof solutions that are tailored to the business,” said Somers.
Since implementing Interface, we have increased agility and operational efficiency, augmented security, and realized 10X cost savings. The Interface Cloud-Powered Remote Reboot feature power cycles equipment without any onsite intervention, before employees or guests realize there may be an issue.
“One of the shining spots for me is how Interface went out and looked for the best Internet providers that were available in our various locations, finding the best speeds and far less expensive options than I ever could have gotten on my own,” explained Somers. “They got us set up and even helped us with our contracts to get the best deals. They were able to standardize all of our network and voice services across all of our restaurants. Everything is the same in each restaurant and managing the equipment and all the logging requirements for PCI credit card holder compliance enabled significant productivity gains for us.”
“With Interface, I get one helpdesk and one entity that is responsible for all our technology services. It saves me so much time and headache to not have to walk our restaurant managers through doing things that they are not trained to do.”
Apart from the cost savings from switching to the Interface VoIP services, one of the benefits that Somers sees is the cloud auto-attendant feature. “The remote recording plays our business hours, curbside delivery or take out specials and can dynamically route calls. This reduces a lot of the call volume directly into the restaurants, has increased our efficiencies, and saved us time and money,” explained Somers.
RMH is planning on further strengthening the partnership with Interface by adding alarm monitoring services and leveraging Interface’s powerful bundle of managed services for networking, voice and security.
“The sales, implementation and engineering teams at Interface are truly the industry’s best,” added Somers. “We really enjoy working with Interface and are looking forward to a continued relationship together.”