Hardware fit for a King

More than 130 Burger King restaurants in Canada have a standard method of upsizing your order thanks to new point-of-sale hardware from NCR Corp.

Burger King Corp. has already

installed NCR’s Compris food service software, support services and RealPOS 7454 terminals in its more than 600 company-owned restaurants in the U.S. and is now wrapping up deployment in its 259 company-locations in Canada, the United Kingdom and Mexico. Burger King has 130 restaurants in Canada, not including franchise-owned operations.

The goal of the deployment was to standardize equipment across corporate-owned restaurants around the globe, says Michael Lingswiler, director of technical services with Burger King. “”The drive behind this was standardization. The NCR platform provided the functionality and given where they are in the market are able to provide for future releases.””

One of the benefits to having a standard interface for all restaurants is that when there is a change in the menu or a special promotion, there can be a simpler, better interface with the corporation’s back-end systems.

It also makes training employees easier, says Lingswiler. “”NCR is able to provide that training and standardize on that training across all of our regions.””

Brian Sullivan, vice-president of NCR’s retail solutions division for Canada, says simplicity is key in the fast food business, particularly for training purposes. “”Staff turnover is fairly high.””

The Compris software also allows for as much automation as possible when entering orders. Take a combination meal, for example. “”The cashier doesn’t have to make the decision,”” says Sullivan.

He says Burger King was particularly interested in having standard equipment across its corporate-owned restaurants. “”They had disparate systems.””

Durability is also important in these fast-paced environments, says Sullivan, as well as environmental-friendliness. For one thing, these devices do have external fan vents, which ensures no elements inside the hardware come in contact with food. “”It’s designed not to overheat.””

Prior to this, Burger King had a mixture of NCR and non-NCR equipment in their restaurants. Lingswiler says generally speaking these terminals have a lifecycle of about three years. “”It doesn’t change as rapidly as a PC environment.””

While franchise restaurants are responsible for their own POS hardware/software selections, he says they often look to the corporate-owned model for direction.

Lingswiler says Burger King is exploring what new functionalities can be added to improve restaurant operations down the road.

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Gary Hilson
Gary Hilson
Gary Hilson is a Toronto-based freelance writer who has written thousands of words for print and pixel in publications across North America. His areas of interest and expertise include software, enterprise and networking technology, memory systems, green energy, sustainable transportation, and research and education. His articles have been published by EE Times, SolarEnergy.Net, Network Computing, InformationWeek, Computing Canada, Computer Dealer News, Toronto Business Times and the Ottawa Citizen, among others.

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