Restaurant chain YO!Sushi has invested heavily in a multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) wide area network (WAN) which it said will cut infrastructure costs during its expansion programme.
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Company bosses predict they will recoup their investment in two years.
YO!Sushi's first restaurant opened in London's Soho in 1997, but the chain now comprises 41 restaurants in 5 countries and has stated plans for 100 outlets by 2010. The high-tech concept of the restaurant was conceived by founder Simon Woodruffe who introduced concepts in automated delivery and even preparation of food. Customers help themselves to colour-coded dishes from a conveyor belt and order their drinks via airline-style call buttons.
The company's IT manager, Billy Waters, explained the next-generation networking was intended to have two functions, to move the restaurant chain forward and to cut operational costs. "The MPLS solution gives us twice the product for half the price, it's excellent value for money. There were a few drivers for choosing it. For one our previous infrastructure - a pseudo leased line over copper - was close to capacity. And secondly, we wanted more effective voice links between our 30 [UK] restaurants."
The most effective cost-saver was rationalising all the comms links around one comms supplier, NetworkFlow, he said.
"We don't have to deal with a cast list of BT, an ISP, a router company and all the rest. Just cancelling the BT lines for internal calls alone has saved us huge amounts of money," he said, "we expect to get payback in two years."
"For a multi-site company like YO!Sushi, an MPLS IP virtual private network is the perfect solution. It not only reduces cost and complexity, but it gives them control," said David Alexander, commercial director of NetworkFlow.