Case study: King Food of Labanon adds faster Wi-Fi to the menu
Burger King franchisee taps Ruckus Networks to upgrade its country-wide Wi-Fi network
At one time, having a creative menu, a vibrant ambience and comfortable seating were all that was needed to get diners through the door, and keep them coming back.
Cue in the 21st century, and internet connectivity is today as part of the dining experience in fast food restaurants as the food itself.
King Food, the franchisee for Burger King in Lebanon, understood this need to provide a fast and convenient wireless service to match its fast and convenient food.
However, an outdated wireless network in use in its 22 Burger King restaurants across Lebanon failed to cope with the demands of a modern fast food franchise.
The shortcomings of the old network were many. The wireless network included many different vendors and specifications of access points (APs), with each outlet operating in isolation. This meant that on top of a generally poor-quality connection, the IT team also had to deal with a decentralised management system with different SSIDs and passwords for each branch while grappling with a lack of unified reporting on network health and status.
Additionally, the infrastructure was utterly inadequate to support King Food’s future plans, says Dany Haber, general manager for King Food.
As part of its growth strategy, King Foods was keen to deliver far better Wi-Fi reach for its customers; deploy a solution for social media analytics build on top of the Wi-Fi infrastructure; deliver a network that can support employees’ use of its internal BK Link wireless network and Oracle CX; as well as a centralised music solution for all restaurants with voice-over ads, explains Haber.
To find the Wi-Fi solutions that would meet the demands of its customers and staff, King Food assessed a number of different products in the market, eventually deciding on Ruckus.
Ruckus outperformed all other competitors for radio and throughput performance, as well as in ease of use, reliability and scalability, for the lowest cost enterprise-class 802.11ac solution available.
The decision to pick Ruckus was also inspired by the experience of the Kallassi Group, the parent company of King Food, whose wireless environment at its headquarters was running on a Ruckus Wi-Fi network provided by Ruckus’ partner, Uniquetelip.
At the head office, employees had long benefitted from centralised management and high-quality wireless service, even in high-density usage areas. The network also required fewer access points to cover a wide area, which reduced the overall cost.
The experience had been positive for both management and the IT team, says Haber.
For the new deployment at the outlets, King Food selected Ruckus’ indoor access points and Ruckus ZoneDirector controllers.
Deploying the new access points to the restaurants was a simple affair since the APs all have the same configuration. In total, it took about two months to implement the whole project. It was delivered on time and the implementation went live in July 2017.
The company’s requirements for a high-quality Wi-Fi network at the branch go beyond better customer service.
The same internet connection also serves the staff in the branches, who utilise cloud applications like BK Link, the Burger King internal portal for training, as well as Oracle CX customer experience applications.
The Wi-Fi network will also provide the underlying infrastructure to support a Social Media Analytics project King Food intends to roll out.
“We wanted to deliver higher connectivity bandwidth and signal strength during peak hours across all 22 restaurants in Lebanon. Additionally, the new wireless network set up has less interference from other external Networks,” says Haber.
Administration for the Ruckus APs across all Burger King branches is easy because of the central management provided by the Ruckus Controller installed at the head office. Each Ruckus AP has almost the same configuration, so the IT team had simply to pre-configure the APs at head office and then install at five or six restaurants per day.
To make the deployment even easier, King Food was able to keep the existing cabling and switches and just upgrade the APs and controllers.
BeamFlex technology, embedded in Ruckus APs is a welcome addition for King Food. Demand for bandwidth peaks during the busy time in the outlets. BeamFlex ensures that each AP is able to handle this growth in traffic and even distribute the available bandwidth between users.
The BeamFlex Adaptive Antenna technology also constantly senses and optimises the Wi-Fi signal to the environment. This means that each AP has optimal use of the bandwidth and signal strength, meaning that fewer APs are required for each physical location—usually one for each KF branch. The technology also helps to ensure a clear signal with minimal interference due to other external wireless networks nearby.
The Ruckus ZoneDirector Controller not only provides King Food with intuitive configuration and management capabilities, but it will also support an important next step for the company, in deploying a social media analytics platform, running on the new Wi-Fi infrastructure.
With the wireless network, King Food is able to leverage accurate data to better understand its customers and drive more effective marketing campaigns, as well as being able to get better insight into each branch through analysis of customer footfall, visit frequency and so on.
A Wi-Fi analytics platform will enable diners to connect to the restaurant’s Wi-Fi at the press of a button, by logging in with their preferred social media account. King Food will then be able to encourage social interaction with the user, to boost its brand.
“Currently, we are in the process of implementing the Purple Wi-Fi Analytics platform on all Ruckus APs in all branches. The Purple Wi-Fi Analytics platform will boost more return on investment by catering for customer data that will be used later in marketing tools to boost sales,” says Haber.
Haber says that the company is conducting proof-of-concept testing to select a suitable social media platform, which will utilise ZoneDirector’s support for WLAN applications. Ruckus’ industry partnerships with the key technology providers in this space will deliver to King Food a wider choice in selecting the platform of choice for its requirements.
“The ability to deploy social media analytics platform, gather valuable data that will allow King Food to drive meaningful marketing campaigns and analyse customer behaviour such as footfall and visit frequency,” he adds.
To make sure that diners can browse the internet with confidence, King Food has applied secure WPA2 complex key and being able to deny unknown SSID and rogue devices. All wireless traffic is being filtered by a UTM device from Fortinet for malicious activity and web filtering, Haber adds.