Proprietary retail/POS systems and kitchen displays are commonplace in the restaurant industry; however, maintaining these systems becomes costly and complicated over time as the components become unavailable and technology changes.
The largest drive-in restaurant chain in the U.S. developed its own POS system based on terminals with customized keyboards and displays to handle POS, kitchen display and drive-up functions. Each location has up to 40 drive-in stalls, three to four order-taking POS stations with cash drawers, credit card readers and receipt printers, and 10-12 kitchen display systems with monitors and bump bar keyboards. Proprietary cabling is used to interconnect these systems with the master PC server.
The restaurant chain worked with Digi to find a more standard, Ethernet-based connectivity for the terminals and to provide a terminal replacement that would allow them to use more standard displays and keyboards. They also wanted a system that could be migrated to a feature and graphically rich Windows®-based solution over time.
Dig’s new ConnectPort Display zero-client solution - the first of its kind - acts as a drop-in replacement for the proprietary terminals in the POS and kitchen display locations. The restaurant can replace outdated proprietary monitors with modern LCD displays, while still running their applications as if the old terminals were connected. Digi’s patented RealPort® COM port redirector is used to tunnel the proprietary keyboard I/O, making the data transfer seamless. Connections from the ConnectPort Display units in the POS and kitchen areas are converted from the proprietary coax cabling to standard Ethernet CAT5 cables, which can also be leveraged for future applications.
Key benefits of the new ConnectPort Display systems include:
- Zero-client solution provides drop-in terminal replacement without equipment and application replacement
- Significantly reduced maintenance costs relative to thin client or PC-based solution
- Ability to install order processing and order preparation areas at new stores much more efficiently, using less space
- Future upgrade to more capable Windows and graphics based solution will not require equipment changes to network or peripheral interfaces
- Reduces amount of critical equipment in hostile environments
Since the new kitchen monitors can display more orders, order preparation staff can be more efficient in keeping ahead of the demand. The ConnectPort Display zero-client solution is just what this drive-in restaurant chain ordered.