Are you still using a high-cost device for your point-of-sale (POS) terminal? Many retail shops and restaurants are using fully customized devices for POS. Both the development and deployment cost of these devices is usually higher than devices such as Windows tablets.

Many restaurants can accomplish more by using Windows 8.1 tablets than customized POS devices, and typically at a lower cost. The Microsoft Technology Center (MTC) in Tokyo and its partners developed the Smart Store Solution for Restaurants for the Windows 8.1 tablet. The solution helps restaurant workers manage a variety of tasks, including taking reservations, placing orders, keeping the facility clean, and other store management tasks.  
 

The challenge was to cover the full range of tasks performed in a restaurant. In this next-generation POS system, a shop worker can do more on a Windows 8.1 tablet than on a POS-specific device. Restaurants can now install Windows Store apps on Windows 8.1 tablets to perform a full range of tasks: 

Reception
In the reception area of a restaurant, the Windows tablet works as a kiosk for table reservations.

 

The Reception Application is a Windows Store app developed by MTC Tokyo for demo purposes. It indicates if a table is available, keeps track of how many people are on the waiting list, and prompts customers to make a table reservation. If a table is not available at the moment, the app will ask the customer if they want to wait at the reception area, or if they want to wait outside of the restaurant.

  • If the customer taps “wait at reception,” they will receive a printed ticket with a discount coupon.
  • If the customer taps “wait outside,” the app will ask for the customer’s mobile phone number. When a table is available, the app will send a SMS (short message service) message with a discount coupon to the customer’s phone.

Now, customers aren’t limited to the reception area while waiting for a table.

Order Taking
In the restaurant, wait staff carry eight-inch Windows tablets and use them to take customers’ orders.

 

Qoopa is an ordering app developed by 2ndFACTORY Co., Ltd. It supports Windows 8.1 and allows both wait staff and customers to make orders easily.

  • A waiter can input customers’ orders by tapping a menu.
  • Customers can also order their favorite foods from the app that is installed on their own smartphone.
  • Orders input by a waiter and/or customer are sent to the kitchen through Windows Azure Mobile Services.
  • Another Windows 8.1 tablet in the kitchen will show new orders without a time lag.

Accepting Payments
Using a Windows 8.1 tablet as a POS terminal is more beneficial than using a standing terminal device placed on a checkout counter. Wait staff can bring the tablet to the customers and complete all payment tasks at the table.

 

PAYGATE is a credit-card payment app developed by ROYAL GATE, Inc. By using PAYGATE as a POS terminal, wait staff can accept payments from the table on a Windows 8.1 tablet. With this app, wait staff can use a credit card reader, barcode reader, and a receipt printer that are connected to the tablet by Bluetooth technology.

 

EC-Orange POS is a POS application developed by S-cubism, Inc. It supports most general POS tasks. It’s integrated with Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Dynamics CRM to analyze collected data smoothly.

Supporting Overall Management of a Restaurant
Keeping a restaurant clean is very important. Windows tablets can help restaurant workers manage this type of day-to-day work. Today, many restaurants use paper-based check sheets or reports to share the progress of this work with their coworkers.

   

Cleanliness is a Windows Store app developed by MTC Tokyo for demonstration purposes. With this application, a restaurant worker can input the status of their cleaning tasks. Then, the management staff or other workers can check and manage tasks by using Excel.

  • Tap a facility name when cleaning is finished.
  • Add comments and photos if a problem is found.
  • Input data via the tablet to be stored via Microsoft SharePoint Online.
  • Check data collected from multiple shops by using Excel.

 

 

Store Management and Business Analysis
A restaurant manager checks the sales data each day to ensure their business is performing well. If the restaurant is part of a larger chain, an area manager compiles the sales data from multiple restaurants and analyzes it to help improve business.

   

Store Operation was developed by Nihon Unisys, Ltd. and is a Windows Store app used for restaurant management work. The application works with an Excel client application and simplifies analysis of sales data. It also allows restaurant managers to share a summary of sales data and best practices with other management personnel and workers. The user experience of this app is specialized for the Windows 8 tablet. 

 

 

 

This post describes just one use of Windows 8 tablets in the retail industry. If you would like to see more examples of Windows 8 tablet solutions, contact your Microsoft sales representative.

 

Atsushi Suzuki is an evangelist at the Microsoft Technology Center in Tokyo, Japan. One of his current missions is evangelizing Surface and other Windows 8.1 devices to Japanese customers. He is currently developing and demonstrating a lot of cool solutions.

 

Shinobu Furuma is a Technology Solution Professional who just joined the Microsoft Technology Center in Tokyo. His main areas of focus are Microsoft Office and Office 365.