What You Need To Know About Restaurant Software Updates
Technology is always on the move. Moore’s Law specifically addresses this phenomenon, stating that the speed of technology doubles roughly every two years. That theory proved true until recently, with technologies doubling in capability even faster than every two years. You likely already realize the importance of keeping up with the latest restaurant technology software updates. Still, whether you use our robust restaurant technology platform or are just looking for tips for your operation, we have you covered.
The History of Computing
Before we dive into the subject at hand, a little context might provide a little peace of mind during the next update you perform. Primitive computers were massive in size and limited in capacity. Rudimentary computers existed before the invention of software, which was credited to Alan Turing in 1935. Those early machines operated by written-out binary code, laboriously installed by hand-fed early software engineers.
Because of the tedium involved in software updates, computers were often developed to perform specific tasks until the advent of microcomputing, disc drives, and personal computing. This advancement meant computers could perform multiple functions. People turned to pre-loaded floppy discs to run or install programs, a process that’s refined over the decades.
The Difference Between Restaurant Software Updates and Upgrades
Before we move on, let’s qualify a few technical terms regarding the difference between restaurant software updates and upgrades. A software update is a comparatively minor fix to a pre-existing system. A software update enhances existing software packages to build upon what is currently there. By contrast, a software upgrade is an altogether new version of the software that improves upon the version that it proceeds. For the sake of this article, we’re using the two phrases interchangeably. This choice isn’t to sow confusion, but because from a restaurant operator standpoint, an update and upgrade are relatively the same. No matter which path you take, you still need (or want!) an enhancement for your overall system.
How Often Is Restaurant Software Updated?
The volume of required software updates varies widely by platform. In the case of QSR Automations, we offer updates around once a month. We work hard to keep our software products relevant and future-thinking for our customers and the industry. Any updates to our software occur for many reasons:
- To fix an issue
- To add an enhancement
- To speed up a process
Of course, those are the most obvious reasons for restaurant software updates, but as technology in the world accelerates, your product suite requires background fixes to stay in top form. That might include any bugs that need pest control or just minor tweaks to keep your system running smoothly.
It varies by the organization as to where you might find updates. In many cases, your IT staff is notified of any upcoming restaurant software updates via email so that you can take the appropriate actions. The notifications contain links to the release folder for QSR Automation clients where they can download the software. From there, IT can find the required information and files to get started. We use our Enterprise Server to license the software and register the solutions — information can pass from the Server to the Enterprise.
Depending on who you work with, there may be a few different models for how restaurant software updates are rolled out. In some cases, clients pay for the technology outright, updates and all. In those cases, it may become incumbent upon the client to check for the requisite updates unless support is specifically offered. More often than not, your restaurant technology is part of a software as a service (SaaS) model. The SaaS model is a software licensing and delivery model based on a subscription; you’re paying for continued updates, support, and, ultimately, future developments. QSR Automations operates on this model.
For our SaaS users, we offer services commensurate with their licensing range. So if you have a license for 2020-2021, then we offer updates within that generation. Clients on our SaaS licensing model can upgrade as often as desired. Keep in mind that some restaurant groups run their lab and test new versions before upgrading their locations. Staying on a current version of our software allows you to take advantage of enhancements that benefit your operations. If you would like to upgrade to a newer version, contact your Client Services Representative to ensure your license is configured for that and help you smooth the transition between versions.
Who Performs Restaurant Software Updates and When?
Restaurant software updates are managed by customers and are often tested by their IT team before installation. By taking the time to test in a lab, multi-store operations can ensure the quality of the software beforehand. Doing so is not only a quality assurance initiative but a continuity measure to prevent any gap in services to individual restaurants.
Since customers decide when to perform updates, they can do so on days that best suit their operation. Typically, Mondays and Tuesdays are the slowest days for restaurants, so it may be prudent to perform this type of tech maintenance on those days. If you’re closed on two consecutive days, you may consider updating on the first day and testing on-premise on the following. When you stagger the days, you can make sure that everything is ready to go. That step may ultimately be superfluous if you’ve done behind-the-scenes testing already, but it never hurts to be on the safe side.
Fortunately, the majority of our updates are relatively quick to process. Legacy updates —software updates for our older product line— may take a bit longer, so plan accordingly if that’s the case.
Restaurant Technology Software Updates Conclusion
Hopefully, even with a multi-installation franchise, installing your restaurant software updates should be a quick, easy, and smooth process. Did this answer your questions? If you think of any other questions about our product suite or software updates, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us or sign off in the comments section below.
Finding the right restaurant technology solution for your operation is no small task. A robust restaurant technology platform can streamline your operations, open up your bottlenecks, and enhance your speed of service. Do you have the right tools? Find out! We’re here for you if you have any questions!
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About the Author
Shari McCauley is the Product Training Specialist at QSR Automations, where she focuses on educating employees and customers on the benefits and uses of QSR technology. You can reach Shari at firstname.lastname@example.org.