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Tableside Handhelds Save Dublin Airport Restaurant on Busiest Day Ever

Signature Bars is an Irish company that operates top-quality restaurants and bars in Dublin Airport. One of its most popular eateries is The Garden Terrace, a large, stylish restaurant and bar that often serves more than 1,000 customers per day. Signature Bars effectively manages The Garden Terrace's demanding operations by using a fast and reliable Electronic Point of Sale (EPOS) system from Cratos Hospitality that features the Socket Mobile SoMo 650 handheld computer.

Choosing an EPOS solution
When Signature Bars first sought an EPOS and inventory management solution, the company trialed products from multiple vendors, but all fell short of the company's needs. With Cratos Hospitality, however, Signature Bars found the perfect solution that was easy to integrate, provided the exact customized reports the company required, and included excellent, 24-hour support focused on the customer's needs and wishes.

Additionally, only the Cratos solution could provide managers at headquarters with up-to-the-minute company-wide inventory data, including transfers between locations, without having to set up a back office PC at each of the company's 10 sites throughout Dublin Airport. This was important for Signature Bars because many of its restaurants and bars simply did not have the physical space to set up a PC.

"As soon as I was shown the Cratos EPOS and stock system, I knew it was exactly what we had been looking for," says Adrian Dolan of Signature Bars. "The SoMo 650 has been an effective tool for tableside order processing in our extremely busy airport restaurant."

Mobile POS benefits
With Cratos EPOS software running on the SoMo 650, waiters at The Garden Terrace can send food and drink orders directly from customer tableside to the kitchen or bar over the wireless network. Waiters spend less time walking to and from the kitchen or bar and more time taking care of customers, resulting in improved productivity and higher quality service.

"An unexpected advantage of using the SoMo 650 is that our waiters are more organized and strategic with how they spend their time," says Paul Connelly, general manager of Signature Bars. "Our serving staff now only visit the kitchen when meals are ready for collection, or to the bar to collect drinks that have already been ordered and prepared."

The SoMo 650 features a large, bright screen that waiters can easily read both indoors and in the beer garden. The small, durable device also has a powerful 802.11b/g Wi-Fi radio, which sends food and drink requests quickly and securely to the appropriate kitchen station or bar

With the SoMo 650, waiters can also look up recipes and full menu listings on the fly; this is an important feature because many full-service restaurants offer thousands of item variations, too many for waiters to memorize. With paper orders eliminated, kitchen staff also no longer needed to decipher messy handwriting, leading to more accurate orders.

Using the Cratos solution, The Garden Terrace has been able to turn around tables faster and increase upsells, leading to a 2% increase in monthly revenue.

Busiest day ever
On April 14, 2010, when eruptions from the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull started forming a giant ash cloud over Europe, hundreds of flights were cancelled at Dublin Airport, and thousands of stranded travelers were milling around its shops and eateries. Dublin Airport is one of the 10 busiest airports in Europe, with 60,000 passengers on an average day.

The Garden Terrace experienced its busiest day ever, with at least three to four times its normal volume of customers. With the Cratos EPOS solution and the SoMo

650, the restaurant was able to successfully handle the sudden upsurge in customer traffic without help from additional serving staff.

After successfully deploying the SoMo 650 at The Garden Terrace, Signature Bars has begun using the SoMo 650 to manage inventory at one of its nightclubs and plans to deploy it at other businesses as well.

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