Founded in 1979 by former Los Angeles Rams offensive lineman Dennis Harrah, Legends Sports Bar of Long Beach prides itself as providing the ultimate experience for sports fans in Southern California. With a fun, friendly atmosphere and an extensive food and drink menu, Legends Sports Bar is also known for its state-of-the-art technology. It features more than 30 big screen high-definition TVs, a 3D TV lounge, and the largest commercial, non-theatrical HD projection screen in the U.S., spanning 310 inches.
When it comes to its point of sale (POS), Legends Sports Bar also boasts the latest technology, with a tableside ordering system that consists of the Socket SoMo 650 handheld computer, Socket credit card swipe, and Digital Dining software.
After years of working with Legends Sports Bar, restaurant POS vendor Hospitality Technology Systems (HTS) proposed that the establishment begin using mobile devices. Although managers did not see an immediate need to go mobile, they were open to the idea, and began piloting with four devices. They have not looked back ever since, with increased revenues, better retention of foodservice staff, and improved customer service.
HTS started by conducting site surveys to optimize the wireless network throughout the 6,000 square foot facility. Besides preparing the wireless infrastructure, HTS also had to go through trial and error to find the right handheld for foodservice staff. Food servers demanded reliable, speedy devices.
After three years of experimenting with different handhelds, Legends Sports Bar started testing the SoMo 650, which provided not only the reliability, high performance and durability they needed, but also a three-year service plan to protect their investment. The establishment has been using the SoMo 650 for four months, with ten units in daily operation.
The Digital Dining software also impressed managers because the application worked seamlessly on both handhelds and fixed POS terminals, unlike competitive products which have awkwardly added a mobile component to their POS solutions.
The staff test
The benefit of using handhelds really hit home when managers saw how waitresses responded to them. Initially, when Legends Sports Bar only had a couple of handhelds, waitresses would fight over them. When the restaurant and bar temporarily stopped using handhelds to transition to a new system, waitresses felt lost and complained because they could not perform their job as effectively and got fewer tips.
Using the mobile solution, Legends Sports Bar has increased sales by 15 percent, due to both faster turnaround and quicker customer service, while also having fewer food servers on the floor. Since food servers no longer need to walk to a fixed POS terminal or wait in line to use it, they are always available to attend to customers’ needs. Because they earn more money in tips, staff members also have greater job satisfaction and are less likely to leave. Managers also need to spend less time and resources training new employees.
Gene Rotondo is owner of Legends Sports Bar and president of the Belmont Shore Business Association.