Until recently, restaurant and hospitality owners were wary of adopting wireless POS systems for their establishments. Issues such a cost, ease of use and a general uncertainty about new technology caused them to take pause. Nowadays, however, with the popularity of PDA’s, Blackberries, cell phones and the like, mobile technology and wireless mobile computing has become main stream, and hospitality providers are taking a second look.
In a high cost and competitive market, it’s no wonder that those in the hospitality industry want technology to help them increase revenues. But how can a wireless POS device help them achieve this?
Wireless mobile computing can help in many ways. One such instance is by eliminating the need for staff to line up at a specific POS terminal to place orders. By utilizing mobile technology, serving staff are more productive since time spent during the order taking process is decreased. Wireless mobile computing also allows serving staff to place orders instantly, and then go directly to the next table, thereby increasing table turns. And because serving staff are more productive, significant savings can be seen through decreased labor costs.
Another drawback to stationary POS terminals is that serving staff usually place a number of orders at once to the kitchen, overwhelming kitchen staff. Placing orders tableside eliminates this problem, as orders are more evenly spaced.
One important benefit to also consider with a wireless POS solution is that by placing orders directly at the table, order taking is more accurate and less food is wasted. This directly translates into decreased food costs. Also, serving staff can spend more time with customers, which significantly increases up-sell opportunities.
Utilizing wireless mobile computing in a hospitality environment also allows restaurateurs to approach staffing in a more cost effective and efficient way. Instead of scheduling a large number of serving staff who are responsible for all the order taking and food delivery, a wireless POS solution allows restaurant owners the opportunity to hire just a few skilled staff, give them larger sections, and make their primary focus greeting customers, taking orders and up selling. Non-serving staff can then be hired (at significant payroll savings) to dispatch food and clean sections. When serving staff are able to remain on the floor, the result is superior customer service and again increased sales through up selling and faster table turns.
Now, Volante POS Systems of Toronto, Canada (http://www.volantesystems.com) has come along and revolutionized the wireless POS industry in a creative and innovative way. By using PC notebooks (not much bigger then a handheld) the entire POS software is loaded on the unit and it runs as a terminal with peer to peer, data synching etc. PDA’s don’t work in this manner- they require writing to the unit (in other words, new code, separate product) plus they’re not robust enough for Food and beverage. Volante has evolved its software into the peer to peer architecture, and now POS software can be loaded onto a small wireless notebook with amazing results. The technology is revolutionary – nobody else can do what Volante is doing.
This approach can work exceptionally well in venues that aren’t traditional table side establishments, such as stadiums, trade shows, casinos, arenas, race tracks and outdoor sales areas (such as rooftop patios for instance) where conventional POS terminals aren’t practical nor feasible.
Wireless mobile computing from Volante offers even more important and innovative features. For instance, the menus on the notebook or handhelds are the exact same menus as on the traditional register. The databases are in sync with one another. You don’t have to program them separately; they’re an extension of the host computer. This approach is less expensive because it doesn’t require separate servers for handhelds and traditional registers. And because Volante POS software is written in pure Java, its real time as well.
Wireless POS solutions truly allow Hospitality leaders to enter the 21st century, while also giving them an extra edge in a fiercely competitive industry.
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