Point of Sale Displays

Point of Sale Displays: Advantages for Hoteliers and Retailers

Longer life, reduced cost of ownership, shorter or no downtime, resistance to damage and an expanded reach are key assets of the latest touch-screen point of sale display monitors.

While the prime lodging presence of these point of sale displaysis in hotel restaurants, these devices also are helping in other areas, according to vendors who said their point of sale display units can do more, last longer and increase the efficiencies of their customers’ operations. Some new units allow easy input changes because everything is stored on a compact platform that can be snapped in and out.

Today’s touchscreen point of sale display monitors are generally tougher, more durable and built to better survive spills. Many current firewire resistive point of sale display screens can’t handle direct repetitive touches by ID cards, pencil tips, forks and other objects. Therefore, a clear polyester sheet is integral to any resistive touchscreenpoint of sale display design. At points of frequent contact, however, those sheets become less clear.

In addition to resistive point of sale display screens, some companies offer an infrared capacitive point of sale display touchscreen, which can field up to eight times the number of touches that resistive units can handle. Users enjoy the greater clarity of a glass screen where the view is not masked or dulled by a plastic cover top sheet.

Ruggedness also is critical, especially for handheld personal digital assistant units. Hoteliers would be well advised to buy point of sale display PDAs that are built to handle continual commercial use and steer clear of cheaper consumer products.

“Hotel owners are increasingly realizing that going after lower upfront costs–such as buying point of sale display units designed for less constant and intense consumer use–can ultimately produce greater long-haul expenses. More hoteliers realize that with this type of point of sale display equipment, it’s the total cost of ownership that counts, not just what appears to be an upfront bargain.

Along with greater durability, purchasers of commercial-use point of sale display products also have a greater chance of maintaining a standardized set of units. You don’t want to find that broken units you are replacing six months later are no longer available. But that’s what frequently happens with consumer products bought in Best Buy or similar outlets. As a result, restaurants can find themselves with multiple point of sale display units requiring a variety of battery sizes and terminals that no longer fit in holders designed for the original products.

Foodservice touchscreen point of sale display monitors increasingly are on duty in kitchen prep areas. While input from waiters traditionally has been received via printer, onsite point of sale display screens in many sites are replacing those print outs. This not only eliminates the need for all that paper, but it also lets food preparers better manage order production. New point of sale display units display orders in a way that cooks can better gauge when to start making each item so that the order is complete and ready to serve at the same time.

Point of sale display monitors are less susceptible than printers to failure because of heat, airborne grease or other kitchen contaminants, he said.

Kitchen-based point of sale display monitors also can be used to aid and prompt chefs. For those new to the job or those who don’t recall how to make a certain item, point of sale display units may even display a video that depicts step-by-step preparation.

Mobile and handheld POS units can help earn their keep in other lodging areas as well. These include minibar checks, where a hotel staffer in a guestroom immediately can input purchased data, or in a lobby where incoming guests could give a staffer drink or food orders that could be prepared while the guest checks in.

Drink orders could be taken and credit cards processed on a golf course, then transmitted to food stations. If the golfers were too far out of range, a hotel staffer could collect orders offline, then physically return to a point where he or she would be within transmission range.

Often, late at night, wait staff in hotel bars or restaurants can number as few as one. That’s why some companies are working on creating small point of sale display units that would sit on a table, and where customers could punch in their orders without waiting for a waiter. The order would go directly to the bar or food-preparation area, and all the waiter would have to do is serve it. More orders would be generated and fewer people would leave because they couldn’t get the wait staff’s attention. The restaurant might be able to make additional revenue by promoting other hotel services or putting product promotions from other vendors on the point of sale display screen.

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