Inspiration My favorite Thai Restaurant in San Jose has a phone problem. At 7:00 PM every Friday, the whole world calls them to make an order. The phone always rings for a good minute and then the receptionist puts me on hold.
It is so bad, me and my wife argue over who is going to make that phone call :) All I need is one Beef Penang Curry. Just one. I still have to wait and wait and wait.
Existing System As a merchant their user experience is no fun either. Employees are super busy during peak hours. The person manning the calls, juggles 3 calls at any given time. She uses a basic cordless phone that was really not built for restaurants.
Brainwave For simple orders like mine, why can't I call them and simply leave a voicemail with what I want? What would a phone built by Square, specifically for restaurants look like?
Challenges Restaurant folks don't like a huge change to their existing process. They do not really want a soft-phone solution. They liked their rugged devices.
We cannot simply say .. "here is your new Square Number: 408 467 1234. Have your customers call this". This would mean they will have to update that number in a lot of sticky places like Social Media, Websites etc. We have to use their existing number
Maybe we can just port that number? Not so easy my friend. It takes roughly 1 month to port a number. Merchants see this as a lock-in that cannot get out of.
Square Phone Well this is what we came up with. The Square Phone is a simple VOIP adapter that connects any regular landline to our SIP Domain. Each merchant gets a Square Phone Number, say 408 123 4567. They forward all calls coming into their phone by pressing *72 followed by the 408 123 4567.
Once the adapter is wired up .. the landline gets its own SIP address! That about it .. now we can program the incoming calls any which way we want to!