Monday, July 13, 2009

In support of technology

I don't consider myself a techno geek but I will admit to owning one of the early cellular phones (The Brick). I am also a big fan of PC Banking/Bill Payment and have done so for over 20 years.

In the restaurant business, I am a big proponent of Point-Of-Sale systems. They help streamline an operation, provide better records and enable everyone to communicate with each other. When a POS is working properly, the business just hums and I am thankful that we have a great POS here at Mercy.

I just recently returned from a few days of vacation and used my time away from Mercy to visit friends in the cooler climate of New York State. For those of you that are required to travel often for business, my hat goes off to you. After witnessing the inefficiencies, first-hand, of the automated baggage kiosks and online booking of seat assignments, I can only imagine the mistreatment the frequent flyer is subjected to.

The airline that I had the misfortune of using for my flight had no "automated" record of my reservation. So, I was unable to use their baggage kiosk for checking in. While standing in line to wait my turn to check baggage, it appeared that I was not the only person with that issue. Only one out of four attempts at self-check in was met with a success that yielded a boarding pass; the other three passengers that were denied took their place in line behind me.

I had made my reservation for this round trip flight two months prior to its departure. During that two month period, I was required to make new seating requests on four different instances by the airline. With each successive seating request, the availability of seating assignments diminished to the point that, yes, ultimately I was relegated to the dreaded middle seat on my flights.

Mercy has partnered with Open Table to provide us with an online Restaurant Reservation System. It's - Free • Instant • and Confirmed ! Another prime example of technology working properly. Open Table allows our guest to make reservations directly from our web site by clicking on the Reservations tab whereby, you will be whisked away to make your reservation. Upon making your online reservation, it is instaneously delivered to Mercy and available for us to view.

Again, I tip my hat to all frequent flyers for the technology blunders that you have to endure. For my excursion, I was glad to be back home at Mercy. On my first day back to work, I stepped up to our POS terminal. I ordered a bottle of Figi water (the ticket was sent to the bar) and a Grilled Swordfish Steak dinner with a substitution of grilled vegetables. Our POS deftly handled the order, the substitution and sent the order to the Kitchen to be prepared.

I am tempted to contact the airline and let them know about our Point-of-Sale System and Open Table Reservation System. They could probably use the suggestion.

There is no place like home.

Mike Castagne
Operations Manager