Client Spotlight: Strang Chef Collectives

By David Stidham, Operations Manager at Cenetric

Restaurant technology is booming — thrust to the forefront when the pandemic turned the service industry on its head. But choosing and implementing the right ones for your restaurant can be difficult without a trusted advisor.

That’s what the team at Edison Factory, owner of Strang Chef Collectives, found as they’ve grown their restaurant group from one location to three. But because they found Cenetric, they’ve got trusted IT experts by their side as they grow.

After using Cenetric to address IT issues at their headquarters, the Edison Factory team engaged us to build out the networks in their restaurant spaces and ensure an optimal set up. Charlie Stanton, Director of Operations Services for Strang Chef Collectives, is responsible for the technology at all of Strang Chef Collectives’ restaurants and event space, and works closely with Cenetric as we provide network build-out and ongoing strategy and support.

Client Spotlight: Strang Chef Collectives

A unique concept with a common challenge: technology

The Strang Chef Collectives spaces aren’t your typical restaurants — they offer guests several fast-casual dining experiences under one roof. In one visit, guests can enjoy anything from coffee to pizza to tacos to banh mis. Guests order primarily from their phones and receive alerts when their order is ready. Strang Chef Collectives doesn’t accept cash — only cards.

Strang Chef Collectives engages with local chefs to provide space where they can showcase their cuisine and benefit from a facility they won’t need to set up themselves. By helping lower the operating costs for each concept, the restaurant frees chefs to focus on the food.

Meanwhile, Stanton and his team handle the restaurant operations — and the technology. Though theirs is a unique concept, they still face many of the challenges that other restaurants do.

A strong network and internet connection are vital to any restaurant’s success. First, reliable, secure Wi-Fi is one of the most important aspects of a restaurant experience for guests — offering a secure Wi-Fi connection brings extra value to the restaurant experience and builds trust with your guests.

Second, internet connectivity is absolutely essential to the operations of most restaurants. Particularly for credit-card-only establishments like Strang Chef Collectives, losing internet means downtime and disruption.

“Behind losing power, losing our internet is the second-worst thing that could happen to us,” said Stanton.

Without an internet connection, menu boards and menu QR codes are inaccessible and guests can’t order online. Servers can’t geolocate guests within the restaurant to deliver cocktail orders, and they can’t pre-authorize credit cards. Guests don’t get texts that their food is ready to be picked up at the counter, creating stress and delays for guests and team members at the same time.

How Cenetric helps

Fortunately for Strang Chef Collectives, these issues are rare because Cenetric has built them a strong network with internet failover that keeps their locations online.

To keep Strang Chef Collectives’ technology operations smooth and steady, Cenetric recommends the right equipment and software for each location’s needs. By helping Strang Chef Collectives right-size their hardware and internet services, Cenetric helps them keep costs down and guest experience up.

“Cenetric saves me from having to know everything about everything,” Stanton said. “They’re a tremendous resource that I can reach out to and get the right answer every time.” 

Cenetric’s expertise lets Stanton focus on other parts of his job, knowing that the network is taken care of.

“While I might be able to manage our various networks in house, knowing Cenetric is handling it for me — and doing it well — is a big pro for us, given how crucial they are to our business,” Stanton said.

Tech purchases are typically a big spend for most businesses, and Stanton said he and his team get a lot of relief from knowing that Cenetric will always help them find the best solutions for their challenges. Cenetric is vendor-neutral, focusing on our clients’ needs, not on vendor agreements and obligations.

For instance, when Stanton wasn’t pleased with the quality of the camera system at one location (purchased without our help), he brought Cenetric in to advise on the system for the next location.

“For our next build-out, Cenetric recommended a brand that was about 25% of the cost, but the quality is better than what we had — and it was easier to set up,” Stanton said. “Now I can go to one place to view all my cameras and make sure the network is running. Cenetric is great at finding ways to consolidate technology and make things easier for us.”

Client Spotlight: Strang Chef Collectives

Kansas City-based IT support is key

Stanton emphasized how important it is to Strang Chef Collectives to have access to local IT support from experts who know their account.

“I love that Cenetric is local,” he said. “They can be on site in an hour if we need them, and it’s great to see the same people I’ve worked with before instead of a company that’s based outside of the area with a staff that’s always rotating in and out. With Cenetric, I know what I’m going to get.”

And that’s our goal — to give you reliable service from experts who know your business, so you’ll always know what you’re going to get.

Is your restaurant group looking for IT support? Whether your locations are around Kansas City or beyond, Cenetric has the experience and availability you need to keep running smoothly 24/7. Tell us about your organization and we’ll be in touch to get started right away.

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