This cost-effective strategy can reduce expenses and improve customer experience.

Sponsored by R.F. Technologies, Inc.

With drive thrus representing up to 70 percent of quick-service restaurant sales, clear-sounding headsets that are in proper working order are essential to a brand’s bottom line. Yet the restaurant environment is harsh—headsets get wet, lost, stolen, and dropped in the fryer. Sometimes, however, owners and operators are forced to choose which restaurant repairs to tackle first, so instead of being fixed, headsets are taped, strapped, and fanagled in all sorts of ingenious ways. Purchased new, headsets can cost between $450–900, and when true catastrophes (such as theft or complete saturation) happen, they must be replaced. But many issues—like crackling speakers, stuck buttons, and dangling microphones—can be easily repaired at a fraction of that price.

Thankfully, quick-serve operators can save money and landfill space by partnering with a headset repair service. “When you send us a broken headset, we don’t just fix what’s wrong,” says Mary Beth Baum, regional sales manager at R.F. Technologies, Inc. “When you get your headset back from us, 90 percent of the time it looks and feels like a brand new unit.”

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Regular headset refurbishment helps contribute to the overall look and feel of a restaurant—customers notice when equipment looks old and uncared for—and averages about a quarter of the price as purchasing a new unit. One of the most important aspects of the refurbishment process is that it significantly extends the life of a unit. “If a headset fits properly, you’re less likely to drop it in a fryer or bucket of sanitizer,” Baum says. “Routine maintenance really helps.” Having equipment that is in good shape and feels comfortable to wear also increases employees’ sense of satisfaction and feeling of being valued.

Taking Amazon’s lead, R.F. Technologies is making headset repair a no-brainer by offering free shipping both ways when a company signs up for one of its headset maintenance plans. One monthly fee includes headset repairs for one location or an entire chain. An upgraded, full coverage plan also includes vehicle detectors, base stations, battery chargers, microphones, and speakers, and the company can repair printers, POS systems, timers, and order confirmation units as well. “This program was designed to eliminate any workarounds,” says COO Fiona Noorian. “Your crew needs to be operational with headsets, and shipping doesn’t cost a penny extra whether you send one headset or ten. Paying for shipping both ways is a significant cost for our company, but we’re willing to absorb that because we know it’s a convenience for our customers.”

For quick-serve operators opening new locations, R.F. Technologies also offers a myriad of ancillary services, such as complete drive-thru systems, surveillance, timers, OCUs, and music, which makes for a streamlined installation experience and keeps dealing with multiple vendors to a minimum. Education is another cornerstone of the company—for example, technicians and sales team members advocate for making the crew accountable for equipment by encouraging actions like cleaning and hanging headsets after each use. “When you have a well managed store, equipment lasts a lot longer,” Baum says.

By Davina van Buren

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