IAS's new patent
pending OrderXcel system enables fast-food customers to place their orders on a
touch-screen, pay for them with cash, check, credit or debit card-all without relying
on a counterperson. Once they've paid, customers can receive their orders as quickly
as possible from a counterperson who is dedicated solely to service.
like self-service options. The same reasons that make supermarket scanners so popular
apply to IAS's new product as well: customers have more control with the option
of self-service or full-service, and the overall lines in a restaurant or a supermarket
should be shorter, since more employees can handle more lanes of customer traffic.
Long Lines Lead the List of Complaints
A survey by Harris
Interactive, Rochester NY, offers more evidence of ongoing consumer frustration
with long checkout lines. The Harris ShopperInsight study found lack of checkout
staff is by far the single most important factor affecting customer satisfaction.
Not only was this one of the most frequently mentioned problems by the surveyed
customers, it was also considered one of the most frustrating.
Store Owner Benefits
From the store-owners'
standpoint, the benefits are impressive. Just as IAS scanners have freed supermarket
employees to focus on other areas of service, the new OrderXcel system gives counter
help more time to make sure that customers get what they've ordered without making
them wait any longer than necessary.
A single employee
can oversee and provide assistance to customers for a number of lanes.
and Labor Issues
According to the
National Restaurant Association's 2000 Quick-service Operator Survey, restaurants see the competitive intensity dramatically increasing,
driven by consumers' insatiable
desire for convenience. Nearly four out of 10 adults (39 percent) reported that
they are cooking fewer meals at home than they were two years ago. The
food costs that are spent on meals away from home has risen to 50 percent.
of quick-service operators reported that their organization had a problem with the
labor shortage for crew persons, crew supervisors, and assistant managers. Fifty-six
percent of quick-service operators also indicated that the labor shortage for managers
was a problem in their organizations.
In a business of
high-employee turnover, the OrderXcel requires very little training. The order touch
screen is simple enough for any customer to use. Counter help do not handle any
cash, checks, or credit cards. And, no employee cash drawers need to be counted
or balanced at the end of a shift
The OrderXcel pays
for itself. Each machine has ten order monitors. Ten customers can order at the
same time. A single employee oversees a number of OrderXcel machines at once while
doing other tasks such as cooking, preparing, or putting orders together.
The machine is very
versatile. It can be used as just an express lane, offering a limited menu of combo
meals only; or, it can run the entire counter.
How Does It Work
is simple for employees and customers alike. First, the customer chooses his/her
order. Second he/she chooses how he/she will pay. The customer has the option of
paying cash, check, credit or debit.
Cash Or Debit
If the customer chooses to pay with cash, the OrderXcel automatically gives exact
change both in cash and coins. If the customer chooses to pay with a debit card,
he/she simply punches in his/her PIN number.
Check Or Credit
If the customer chooses to pay with a check or credit card, the OrderXcel will simply
ask the customer to insert his/her driver's license (or photo ID) into the machine
while the system takes a live snapshot of the customer. Then, the OrderXcel asks
the customer to approve the transaction by placing his/her finger on IAS's fingerprint
This information along with the order is transmitted back to the employee's control
monitor. The employee simply reviews the data on the monitor to make sure it matches.
If the information is correct the employee touches a button on the touch monitor
to approve the transaction. If there are any questions, the employee easily communicates
with the customer via voice or telecom communication.