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Restaurant POS Technology and Operational Excellence.

It is well known that operational excellence in the Hospitality industry has become the Holy Grail of restaurants worldwide, as fast paced environments force businesses to run more efficiently. And, one of the most important aspects of streamlining business processes is to work with innovative technology and manage costs. As a result, most restaurant operators have implemented point-of-sale systems in order to increase staff customer, staff satisfaction and increased revenue.

The good news today is that technology has taken a significant leap and modern solutions are giving unprecedented power and control to Hospitality Operators and IT staff. The result of today’s technology is enormous cost savings due to end user ownership and customization. Modern technology also empowers employees and has a direct impact on the guest experience and, ultimately, on the organization's revenue and operations. Data available today is transformed into actionable information that management can utilize to make important and strategic operational decisions.

System Consultants, or IT staff keeps the office and its myriad applications and systems running smoothly. Again, the cost savings can have a significant impact on an organization and keep the company ahead of the competition.

There are many fundamental issues with older technology, but the most outstanding problem is working with a POS system that is a challenge to control or to gain accurate information. Patchwork integration requires constant attention. Proprietary software and hardware platforms are difficult to manage without considerable support from the vendor, who may be reluctant to grant authority or divulge details for fear of compromising system reliability (and service revenue). The challenge for the typical IT staff is working with an external organization to maintain and integrate and manage the critical controls necessary for success.

The next issue facing older system technology is Payment compliance and consumer privacy laws place new demands on all of your systems, especially with POS. Computers installed on the restaurant floor are accessible to the public and necessarily handle sensitive payment and personal customer data. Restaurants need to be prepared at any time for an audit. Today’s systems need to be secure and under control.

The next generation of POS systems will provide a variety of solutions to these problems. Here’s what to look for:

Windows Certifications
Products that are certified for Windows Vista are tested for compliance with Windows Security best practices. These applications will participate in the security environment designed and maintained by your IT staff. Windows-compliant installers allow you to control software updates with off-the-shelf management tools. As an added security measure, software publisher’s digital signatures ensure that the executable code is not compromised.

Secure, standards-based data storage
The next generation of applications store data in enterprise-class database engines such as SQL Server and minimize the amount of data that is stored and maintained on POS workstations. Many current applications store data on each POS workstation in case the primary database fails. This multiplies the overhead to manage and secure the data at each workstation. Modern systems leverage the power and reliability of SQL to provide fast, reliable, and secure data storage that can be managed by your staff. In addition, the same SQL server installation will provide data storage for multiple applications such as POS, accounting, office applications, and even web presence.

Open Architecture
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