My days are hectic. I spent the morning making bread pudding on NBC-10’s 10! Show and the afternoon thinking about Point of Sale (POS) systems. That’s the computer system we’ll use for taking customers’ orders, tracking sales, inventory, etc. at the restaurant.
At Alison at Blue Bell everything is done by hand. We use a laptop at the restaurant for seating charts and printing menus. We have QuickBooks at the office. Everything else is manual. But, it’s easy since I can see the whole restaurant from the kitchen-another reason I love open kitchens. Alison two (A2) will be much bigger and have different rooms. We need a POS system. It will tell me how many people are in each section, what course each diner is on, if there are special orders, how many covers a server has, keep track of sales. It lets me stay on top of things.
Anyone who knows me well knows that I’m a MAC person. I have four macs and an iphone (that I love!). Most POS systems are windows-based but I’ve been looking for a MAC-based POS system. It’s been a long saga…and I’m about to give up.
First, I signed up to be a beta-tester (testing a product before it goes to market in a real life situation and giving feedback to the company) on a MAC-based system. I never heard back.
There is a MAC-based system by Xsilva. But, it is designed for retail, not restaurants. My system has to have the capability to send one order to the salad station, bar, entrée station and dessert station – not to one guy in the back who stocks orders. Plus, I need tech support when the restaurant is open – even if it is a Saturday night at 8 p.m. Because you just know that’s when it’ll go down!
The next company I called didn’t answer their phone. I found and met with a New York-based company. They were sure they had the right system for me but I never heard back. I didn’t take it personally. Then I found a company in Doylestown, but I’ve left two messages and nothing. Another company’s website said they could design anything – but when I talked to them they said they’d never done this kind of system before. Then I re-connected with a guy in Australia who I knew had a mac-based POS system. I felt that I’d FINALLY found the answer. But when I asked where I could see one in action, he suddenly disappeared into the Outback. I think he’s on a POS walkabout .
I even emailed Walter Mossberg. Yes, the one who writes “Mossberg’s Mailbox” in the Wall Street Journal. I actually got a response – I was psyched. Except that he wrote to tell me that he only addresses consumer issues – not commercial. Still, it was really nice of him to write.
Although I don’t like to admit…I give up. It’s not for lack of trying. People say, “it’s YOUR restaurant you can do what you want.” HA! It doesn’t quite work that way. Looks like the MAC based POS system is going the way of the open kitchen – I just can’t do it.
Well, it is Valentine’s Day so there’s a lot to be done. Then we’ll start thinking about our upcoming Beer Dinner and launching this great marshmallow cookbook . And wait until I tell you about the chairs. You better be sitting down for that one!