Peripheral No More

By Abigail A. Lorden, Assistant Editor | March 01, 2005

Serving food to students at North Carolina's Campbell University is no small task, as an enrollment of more than 8,000 makes it the state's second largest private university. But thanks to a biometric finger print scanner replacing a traditional card-swipe POS system, the lunch-lady's job just got easier. Now, all students need to purchase their meal is at the tips of their fingers.

The biometrics scanners speed the flow of traffic and increase profitability at the school's foodservice facilities. The technology was installed at Campbell University's four dining sites in August 2003 by Food Service Solutions (foodserve.com). Campbell has seen a 42 percent increase in the number of students they can move through the line in a single lunch session.

POSitive technology
The technology, dubbed POSitive-ID, has been installed it in 30 public and private K-12 school districts across the country in addition to Campbell University.

POSitive-ID includes Food Service Solution's point of sale, and a fingerprint scanner and card reader from Sagem Morpho (morpho.com).

In the past, students at Campbell received a meal card that was swiped through a card reader as the individual went through the meal line. This method proved to be slow at times, and students frequently forgot their cards.

"It took several seconds for the old system to identify each card," says Doug Rumbold, foodservice operations and productions manager at Campbell University. "We also had issues with lost cards and people accessing others' accounts."

With a fingerprint system, students place a forefinger on a small fingerprint reader by the register. In seconds, the system translates the electronic print into a mathematical algorithm, discards the fingerprint image, and matches the numerical output to the student's account. POSitive-ID plots 27 points on a grid that correspond with the fingerprint's ridges to achieve a positive identification.

Food Service Solutions installed the system and provided training at Campbell University. The process took only 4 days, and Food Service Solutions continues to provide support through a service contract.

Rumbold said the hardware installation went smoothly. "The most critical part of the installation for us was staff training. We implement refreshers as needed, especially if new buttons are added to the system."

Each register at Campbell's four foodservice sites is networked to one server in Rumbold's office. "Foodservice management has been made much easier and more profitable," says Rumbold. "We now have ability to edit, delete, set prices, view reports of specific item sales, track sales by cashiers and much more."

Catching on
To date, one other college has implemented biometrics into its food service-- Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah. There, foodservice is outsourced to Sodexho. Sodexho introduced POSitive-ID to Westminster more than year ago and uses it to serve up to 5,000 meals a week at the campus. It took only two days to install and train the staff.

Charly Kizzire, IT supervisor of Sodexho Food Services at Westminster, emphasizes the security benefits. If a student forgot a meal card, the cashier would look up the ID number. Other students would sometimes overhear that number and use it. "We had a few accounts losing money that way, and biometrics has eliminated that problem," says Kizzire. At Campbell, registration with POSitive-ID is voluntary, and over 90 percent of the students have adopted it with no trouble. Those that chose can still use the card swipe.

Rumbold believes that the technology sells itself. "Because the Food Service Solutions fingerprint technology is so revolutionary, it naturally generates a lot of conversation," he says. "That gives us a great opportunity to explain the benefits. Once the students see how convenient it is, that they can go directly to the dining hall from the gym and don't need to remember a wallet or meal card, almost everyone is delighted."

Micros Pages Restaurants
COLUMBIA, MD--Micros Systems (micros.com) acquires JTech, a Boca Raton-based company that offers in on-premises wireless paging solutions. JTech will be operated as a wholly owned subsidiary of Micros.

According to Tom Giannopoulos, Chairman and CEO of Micros, the two companies have many synergies. "We can immediately leverage the current customer base of both companies in the hospitality market, continue an expansion internationally, and expand in non-hospitality markets," he says.

JTech systems are installed in more than 50,000 restaurants, hospitals, retail and other establishments worldwide including Outback Steakhouse, Red Lobster, Romano's Macaroni Grill, Chili's Grill & Bar, Hard Rock Cafe, Lone Star Steakhouse, Applebee's, Longhorn Steakhouse, TGI Fridays, Ruby Tuesday's, Best Buy and others.

Radio City Kicks with POS
New York City--Madison Square Garden selects Revelation POS from InfoGenesis (infogenesis.com) to manage all food, beverage, and retail transactions throughout the arena and Radio City Music Hall. The Revelation POS was implemented at Madison Square Garden during the Republican National Convention at the end of August, and at Radio City Music Hall in August.

"We selected InfoGenesis because of its reputation and track record in arenas, stadiums, and other high-volume operations," says Cathy Murray, VP and business information officer for Cablevision Systems, parent company of Madison Square Garden. "The key advantage they offered us was their customer commitment and business partnership mentality. We evaluated system functionality and flexibility applicable to our individual businesses, and a long term partnership with a company with vision and a proven customer focus."

InfoGenesis replaced the Madison Square Garden point-of-sale solutions in the food vending and concessions, restaurants, and retail locations. The InfoGenesis solution uses IBM SurePOS 500 (ibm.com) touch screen terminals running Revelation, a Microsoft Windows and SQL Server powered software program, and Epson printers in the kitchen and at the terminal.

Papa John's Finds a Star
LOUISVILLE, KY--Papa John's International, the third largest pizza company in America and operator of units in 17 international markets, needed a pointof- sale printer to integrate into the chain's proprietary Linux-based Profit POS to meet both domestic and international needs. Specifically, they needed a solution that could seamlessly go from domestic to international, including a printer containing international character fonts for a variety of languages. Papa John's also needed the printer to withstand the rigors of a busy food service environment and possibly print pizza box labels as well.

Papa John's decided on a technology upgrade for the franchise and corporate POS systems in terms of speed, savings on consumables and quality of receipts by replacing the existing receipt printer, which featured Star Dot Matrix printers, with Star Micronics' TSP800 thermal printer (starmicronics.com) as its customer receipt printer.

The TSP800 is a wide-format, two color high speed, easy load thermal printer with label printing capabilities. The TSP800 also easily answered Papa John's international needs.

comments powered by Disqus

ht events

2015 Multi-Unit Restaurant Technology Conference
2015 Hotel Technology Forum