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Point of Sale Paper

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From the beginning, restaurants have played an essential part of the society that we live in. Restaurants provide their guests with a dining and culinary experience while providing the employees working at the establishment with a paycheck. Over the course of time, the way restaurants have chosen to operate has varied based on factors such as trending fads, the condition of the country’s economy and newly developed technology. Along with these factors heading the changes, these factors also paved the way for point of sale innovation and integration.

One example of a restaurant changing with the times would be a drive-in restaurant, such as Sonic. Sonic Restaurants, established by an American veteran Troy Smith in 1959 was named after the slogan, “service with the speed of sound.” Guests would drive to Sonic and park their automobiles into individualized car ports. Each port had an assigned number, a full displayed menu and an audio speakerphone for the guests to talk to the servers inside the restaurant and place their orders. This style of point of sale system of kitchen to car was designed ultimately to be so fast and efficient, food could be ordered and delivered within three minutes. By the early 1970’s, Sonic had become one of the largest fast food chains in America. Americans seemed to enjoy the fast style of ordering and eating directly from the car, ultimately leading to Sonics success in the fast food industry. By the late 1980’s a combination of a slowing economy in the country and the public concerned with the quality of Sonic’s food, Smith was forced to close 300 Sonic locations nationwide. There are currently 3,500 Sonic restaurants in the United States and the fast food industry continues to boom, displaying the preference of the fast food point of sale system by Americans over traditional dining. When fast food consumption was studied in the United States, a correlation was found between working increased hours also lead to an increased diet of fast food. This correlation found furthers the notion that the fast food intake could be offset by making healthier food available while utilizing a similar efficient point of sale system (Jay Zagorsky, 2017).

Points of sale systems have changed and improved with the constantly upgrading technology. In the beginning, waiters recorded and input orders to the kitchen on handwritten slips of paper, just as the past students of La Chanterelle. When computer and internet technology was developed, it was immediately implemented in both the restaurant and fast food industry. Wait staff would now input orders to a computer system, where the information would be relayed to the kitchen via printed receipt. The drive through point of sale system utilizes speakerphone technology for the guests to communicate with the wait staff directly from their car providing a fast and efficient service. Some restaurants have gone as far to use technology to in their own unique way reinvent the point of sale system.

Eatsa, a San Francisco based restaurant has removed the front of house employees, and replaced them with an entirely “do it yourself” point of sale system. From the time guests place an order to when food is delivered, they will not interact with a Eatsa employee unless help is requested when ordering. Food is ordered off of large touchscreens and the food will be placed in a cubby with your corresponding number on it. Eatsa founder David Friedberg a software entrepreneur explains in the New York Times article the restaurants success was based off being able to run the business with much lower labor cost then the traditional restaurants. “The objective is over time we want to automate more and more to increase speed and reduce cost, so we create a food product that’s much cheaper and also happens to be healthy,”. Eatsa also separates itself from the other fast food competition by offering heathy alternatives such as quinoa bowls with stir fried vegetables.

The opposition to Eatsa’s newly created point of sale system is that it impedes on the much-needed human employment. “Whether a restaurant that employs few people is good for the economy is another question. Restaurants, especially fast-food restaurants, have traditionally been a place where low-skilled workers can find employment.” (Miller, 2015) Eatsa is the first restaurant to discover a new way to use technology to cut human labor cost, but if the trend continues with larger fast food corporations such as McDonalds and Burger King it could lead to an increase in unemployment.

Improvement in technology has allowed the point of sale system to be placed right into the customers hands. Restaurants and fast food chains such as Dunkin Donuts, McDonalds and Starbucks have all created similar mobile apps that allow the guest to order from their smartphone before even stepping on the property. This allows guests to skip lines and pick up their beverages at their own convenience. Some restaurants have taken more of an initiative then others such as Domino’s pizza. Not only does Domino’s pizza have a app to order pizza on the go, but they have implemented so much more. There a Dominos “dinner bell” feature that will alert everyone else with the dominos phone app that the pizza has arrived. When you order a pizza from Domino’s, you can track its completion with the pizza tracker feature



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