Metromedia Restaurant Group is current rolling out a new virtual private network (VPN) to its 315 company-owned Bennigan's, Steak and Ale, and Ponderosa Steakhouse restaurants, replacing the dial-up system currently in use. Plano, Texas-based MRG plans on using its high-speed managed VPN from New Edge Networks (newedgenetworks.com), to poll restaurants for sales information and issuing, validating, and processing gift cards before expanding into new applications.
"Our VPN from New Edge Networks gives MRG optimum flexibility for growth and expansion as well as the fastest return on our investment," says Steve Ellis, senior manager of IT for MRG. "We will migrate our polling, e-mail, and gift card processing to IP (Internet Protocol). Later this month, we will test a new point-of-sale device that may allow us to migrate credit card processing to IP without requiring changes to our existing POS system. Moving forward, we plan to evaluate overlaying various other applications such as online inventory management, Internet-based telephone service, and wireless hot-spots for customers." MRG also plans to make the broadband network available to its more than 400 franchise partners worldwide.