Piada Italian Street Food Protects Uptime & POS Data With Wired & Wireless SD-WAN Solution
Access to POS services and protection of sensitive customer credit card information are two of the most important factors of success in the food and beverage industry. Piada’s Italian Street Food Restaurants were in need of a simple solution that would allow them to stay operational even when their Internet wasn’t.
To meet these needs while reducing hardware and enabling cloud management of the corporate network, Piada chose Cradlepoint’s AER2100 routers and NetCloud Manager. This solution, featuring SD-WAN services, empowered the company’s network coordinator to maximize limited resources and keep each restaurant always connected to its most critical services.
Piada Italian Street Food opened its first restaurant in 2010, with a mission to create fresh, modern Italian food focused on the preparation of high-quality ingredients and attention to simplistic cooking. Its open kitchen design invites guests to share in the experience as chefs craft meals to order: piadas, pasta bowls, and chopped salads, all to be enjoyed in the dining room or on the run.
The company, headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, has 35 stores in the U.S.
With new locations rapidly popping up all over the U.S., Piada’s network coordinator, Dave Gifford, chose an all-in-one network solution that is easy to deploy and manage, and that can facilitate both wired and wireless WAN through a single platform.
Reliable primary WAN with seamless failover was deemed vital, as it is an integral part of a great guest experience. Piada relies on many tools and services that require connectivity, including:
- Point-of-Sale (POS) services
- Gift cards and apps
- Loyalty program services
- Guest WiFi
- In-store music streaming
- CCTV / in-store security
- HVAC monitoring
In some areas — particularly where wired lines aren’t feasible due to extreme costs, installation delays, or frequent outages — Piada needed an option for efficient Day-1 Internet.
Also, Piada was hyper-aware of factors affecting PCI Compliance. The company needed a solution that would enable best-in-breed security that could be managed easily without on-site IT support at each store.
Piada replaced its legacy architecture of strictly wired firewall devices with a comprehensive Cradlepoint solution, including:
- Dual-modem AER2100 routers for secure, flexible all-in-one networking; SD-WAN services; four-nines reliability; and ample bandwidth.
- NetCloud Manager for zero-touch configuration, real-time monitoring, and management of all the company’s routers.
- The ARC CBA850 to perform predictive WAN site surveys using relatively small amounts of data.
SEAMLESS FAILOVER FOR CONSISTENT CREDIT CARD PROCESSING
Before deploying Cradlepoint solutions, wired line outages limited Piada to manual or batch credit card transactions, which were laborious, expensive, and easy targets for fraudulent charges.
With Cradlepoint, Piada’s wired primary WAN and wireless LTE backup are through the same device, using SD-WAN services for seamless failover based on business policy. Employees don’t even know the primary connection was ever lost, and guests get to savor the Piada experience.
CLOUD-DELIVERED SECURITY FOR POS & PCI COMPLIANCE
It’s simple to configure VLANs on the AER2100 for various applications, allowing POS services and valuable customer information to be separated from everything else, which helps prevent security breaches.
Once those configurations have been made, NetCloud Manager enables Piada to replicate them with ease — saving significant man-hours on deployment to new locations.
The AER2100 also enables the company to take advantage of:
- CP Secure Threat Management intrusion protection and detection systems (IPS/IDS)
- Zscaler for content filtering on all configured networks
DAY-1 INTERNET ACCESS
Broadband service providers can’t always meet Piada’s ambitious target dates for restaurant openings; even when they can, the costs often soar to upwards of $15,000 for wired line provisioning.
In locations where access is unavailable or delayed, Cradlepoint’s dual-modem AER2100 gives Piada the flexibility to operate its stores with 4G LTE as the primary WAN source for as long as the need persists.
“The timing of construction doesn’t always coordinate with provisioning. With the AER2100, I can get that place open regardless,” said Gifford.
CLOUD NETWORK MANAGEMENT
Piada uses NetCloud Manager for a number of monitoring functions, including alerts when the Internet goes down, reboots, or fails over to the cellular modem, as well as when a restaurant’s walk-in cooler switches to backup battery power. Gifford can access this information and much more from his phone, which means troubleshooting can be initiated anytime, anywhere.
“I spend a lot of time in NetCloud Manager, and email alerts notify me of any network changes,” said Gifford. “The dashboard—especially the map—is great, providing me with easy-to-read data in real time, which gives me a snapshot of our network status nationwide.”
ROBUST GUEST WIFI & TARGETED MARKETING OPPORTUNITIES
Recognizing the prevailing expectation of guest WiFi in today’s food and beverage marketplace, Piada began using the AER2100 for high-performance, dual-band 802.11ac WiFi.
Additionally, the company can boost its marketing efforts by using its WiFi guest hotspot landing page to offer state-specific coupons. It's easy to configure each site’s router differently via group configurations through NetCloud Manager.
LOW OVERHEAD FOR REDUCED COSTS
Cradlepoint’s comprehensive solution reduces IT man-hours, hardware, and network downtime — empowering Piada’s network coordinator to maximize limited resources.
“The beauty of this is low overhead. It’s lean. We can easily deploy and manage several hundred stores with our small staff — and without NetCloud Manager and these devices, that would be impossible to do," said Gifford.