- Hospitality point of sale systems
Hospitality point of sales systems are computerized systems incorporating registers, computers and peripheral equipment, usually on a computer network which exist in the food service industry. Like other
Point of salesystems, these systems keep track of sales, labor and payroll and can generate records used in accounting and book keeping. They may be accessed remotely by restaurant corporate offices, troubleshooters and other authorized parties.
Point of sales systems have revolutionized the restaurant industry. This is particularly the case in fast food service and sales. A number of restaurant chains employ systems which use computer networks. In the most recent technologies, registers are virtual computers, sometimes using touch screens. They will connect to a server, often referred to as a "store controller" or a "central control unit." Printers and monitors are also found on the network. Additionally, remote servers will connect to store networks and monitor sales and other store data.
The efficiency of such systems have decreased service times and increased efficiency of orders.
Currently, POS systems are manufactured and serviced by such firms as IBM,
Radiant Systems, MICROS Systems, NEC, Olivetti, Panasonic, Parr and Sharp, among others (see for complete list).
Point of sales systems in restaurant environments operate on DOS, Windows or Unix environments. They can use a variety of physical layer protocols, though Ethernet is currently the preferred system.
In the fast food industry, a number of configurations may be used in able to aid in the speed of operations. Registers themselves may be in front counter, drive through or walk through cashiering and order taking modes. Front counter registers will take and serve orders at the same terminal. Drive through registers will allow orders to be taken at one or more drive through windows and cashiered and served at another. In addition to registers, drive through and kitchen monitors may be used by store personal to view orders. Once orders appear they may be deleted or recalled by "bump bars", small boxes which have different buttons for different uses. Drive through systems are often enhanced by the use of drive through wireless (or headset) systems which enable communications with drive through speakers.
POS Systems are often products designed by the manufactures for a variety of clients, which can be programmed by the end users to suit their needs. Other clients, particularly McDonald's write their own specifications for the vendors to create. In some cases, POS systems are sold and supported by third party distributors, while in other cases they are sold and supported directly by the vendor.
Wireless systems consists of drive though microphones and speakers (often one speaker will serve both purposes), which are wired to a "base station" or "center module." This will, in turn broadcast to headsets. Headsets may be an all-in-one headset or one connected to a belt pack.
* [http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2005/dec05/12-07McDonaldsPOSPR.mspx Microsoft Partners with McDonalds Point of Sales]
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