It went really well. The first day with a new or updated POS system can often be a complete disaster, because everybody is re-learning how to basically do anything having to do with how we communicate in the restaurant.
But our menu is simple and the tech from the company that did the programming and I worked very closely to try and set up the screens and order tickets in a way that is very similar to what we were already doing, which was working ok, but this will speed things up significantly, I believe.
The system we had in place was effective, but somewhat slow and cumbersome. I would take the order on an order sheet that I made up in MS Excel, using a pen. I'd circle all the desired condiments, write in special requests, then write the person's name at the top and indicate whether the order was "for here" or "to go". THEN, I would ring all that into my cash register, tell the customer the total, collect the money and make change or process the credit card.
THEN I would take the register receipt, write the name plus "for here" or "to go" at the top of that, and pass the two pieces of paper into the kitchen, where one would go to the sandwich side and one would remain on the fries side. If they ordered shakes, I'd write a separate little slip for my shake guy, again writing the name and "for here" or "to go". Whew!
The new system will require much less time and effort. I am taking the orders directly from the customer and entering them into the computer via the touch screen. No writing anything. The order-taking process still takes a bit of time, but that's really the nature of burgers and dogs, since everyone likes them topped their own way.
But now, when I'm done entering the info, and I'm either collecting cash or processing the credit card, the printers in the kitchen start spitting out tickets, so the guys get that info quicker. Plus, they don't have to read my horrible handwriting.
It was somewhat difficult today, and, to be honest, my brain hurts from thinking so much and studying all the various touch screen menus, desperately searching for the right key combination to enter "easy salt" or "no bun", but I can already see that this is going to make things considerably easier and faster in the not-so-distant future.
Part of me is intimidated and overwhelmed by the sheer amount of computing power that this system offers me. Really the only reason I opted to buy a POS system was to make the ordering/ticket process faster and more efficient, but this thing can do everything; labor, time clock, reports of every conceivable combination, payroll, managing deliveries, invoices, food cost, etc.... I'm one of those people who always reads the manual, so I just printed all 27 pages off and am planning on geeking out to that tonight.
So? Growth. Progress. Good stuff. Please be patient with us for a week or so while we move through the learning curve process, folks. It might get a bit hairy at times, but soon enough, I believe, you will see shorter lines at peak lunch hours and the amount of time that it takes from when you enter my front door to when you have food in your hand will be reduced quite a bit.