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Restaurant Hand Held Terminals – An Overview


ICG TeleComanda 4

By Jerry Wilson

The History of Hand Held Terminals in Restaurants

The desire for restaurant hand held terminals and wireless restaurant software has been around since the invention of the electronic cash registers in the 1980′s. When restaurateurs saw the power of the electronic cash register how it stored and recalled orders, how it dispersed orders to various kitchen and preparation printers and how it helped control the flow of the restaurant the desire to have this power in the palm of your hand has been there. It is only recently that technology caught up to the demand.

In the 1990′s a couple of companies introduced hand held terminals to restaurants with limited success. Displays were small and therefore limited menu items. Battery life was short and limited use. But the demand was still there because the tremendous benefits to the restaurant owner.

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Wizard of POS

After the latest release of Movable Type, I wanted to have a look at the new Widget functionality. The result: a redesigned version of The Wizard Of POS.

RFID beverage tilt switch


Beverage Metrics

eWeek reports about a novel product for monitoring and reporting every liquor, beer and wine serving at the establishment.

Beverage Metrics consist of RFID equiped tilt switches that can be attached to the bottles. Each time a bartender pours a drink, the data is transferred to the server via RFID. The software is not merely recording how many times the bottle is poured, but it factors in the tilt of the bottle, the duration of the pour and the bartender’s pouring style to calculate how much liquid is leaving the bottle.

POS reconciliation matches the served brand with the POS ring-up and recipe. Each pour is automatically reconciled with its ring-up, and an unaccounted pour is clearly marked until it is duly entered.

At this moment the costs of this new system are still rather high (arounf $5 per sensor plus a subscription fee roughly equivalent to about 1 percent of revenue), but if it gets a little bit of market share, prices may drop to $2 for a sensor.

Pricing strategy



In the current competetive markets, pricing is crucial. Yet, I have found that many small firms often do not have well-conceived pricing plans. And many such firms seem to panic (or ignore the problem) when large discount-oriented retailers enter their trading areas.

This is not necessary; small retailers can prosper in today’s discount-oriented environment, as long as they have a good understanding of their niche in the marketplace.

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