Fine seafood and fast food don’t often appear in the same sentence, much less the same restaurant. But that’s exactly what Chef Richard Beckel is serving up at Hooked Seafood in suburban Sterling, Virginia. Featuring seafood flown in daily, top-quality sushi, and a tempting array of salads, sandwiches, and side dishes, Hooked is a quick-service restaurant that offers carry-out, delivery, and a small area for dine-in seating. Beckel and CEO Doug Palley conceived the idea to meet a growing demand for high-quality, healthy alternatives to traditional home delivery and take-out dining options outside of the downtown Washington metropolitan area.
Today’s restaurants rely on Internet access to handle many business tasks. But the neighborhood Beckel and Palley chose for their new restaurant was one of the many areas in the U.S. that are not served by landline broadband access. So Beckel and Palley turned to HughesNet broadband satellite service, which is available throughout North America.
“Being a chef, I don’t know much about IT,” said Beckel. “But it was easy to order HughesNet online, and I quickly had a modem in my office, a satellite dish on the roof, and a service plan. That meant I could focus on taking care of my kitchen and getting the restaurant open.”
The Hooked owners use their HughesNet service for a variety of daily business needs such as credit card transactions, bill paying, ordering from suppliers, and communicating with seafood purveyors, especially those in Hawaii. Indeed, HughesNet is critical to the order execution and delivery process. When a customer calls in an order, Hooked’s point-of-sale system links caller ID information to Microsoft MapPoint® software, which maps out the delivery route from the restaurant to the customer’s door. “If we were on dial-up, it would take days to process one order, whereas with HughesNet high-speed service, it’s a matter of seconds,” said Beckel.
“Restaurants are based on flow,” said Beckel. “In the beginning, before we had HughesNet, it created frustration for both customers and us, because it wasn’t as easy and accessible and flowing. The smoother things work inside the restaurant, the happier the customer is.”
“Dinner time is the heart of our business,” added Beckel. “We are inundated with customers during the dinner crunch, and because of the speed and capability of HughesNet, we’re able to process credit card transactions quickly and keep service flowing efficiently at a high rate of speed.”
Future plans for the restaurant include online customer ordering, as well as opening several additional Hooked locations. Beckel is enthusiastic about using HughesNet to grow the business. “I’m looking forward to linking restaurants together with the assistance of HughesNet,” said Beckel. “I’ll be able to monitor multiple restaurants at one time no matter where I am, and set up security systems through HughesNet to observe daily operations throughout multiple restaurants from one location.”
Beckel said he’s very happy with what HughesNet has brought to the table and advises other small business owners that lack landline broadband access, “If you don’t have it, get it. You need it. If you want to make money, you’ve got to serve your customers. And to serve your customers properly, you need the right tools. And HughesNet has the tools.”
The Hooked guys are onto something with their fresh approach to quick service. And with their HughesNet broadband service to support operations, it’s clear that they’ll be hooking more and more customers for their signature Seafood…Sushi…Lifestyle.