Crash Kits: Your "Connection Lost" Solution
QUESTION From: Eric in Texas
“Help! We use iPads that send our tickets to the kitchen printer. We switched modems and the iPad will no longer recognize our printer. Been working on it for about 14 hours and have a huge night of reservations. Anybody have suggestions? At this point I am just looking for alternatives to the ticket printing system.”
Computers crash, wifi goes down, connections are lost and electricity goes out. If your restaurant hasn’t experienced any of these before - you’re either extremely lucky or forgetful.
EVERY POS terminal in EVERY restaurant - EVERYwhere should have a “CRASH KIT”:
Small Sterilite-style plastic bins under each terminal with necessities to ensure BOH & FOH continue running without missing a beat or, at the very least, without necessitating an inordinate wait for an order or a check in such an event... especially if it occurs in the middle of service.
Think of these as the spare tire in the trunk of your car (or under it) you may be fortunate enough to never need to use.
Among the contents in each box should be: 3 calculators, 6 dup or triple copy Guest Chit pads (these are the original chits), a manual credit card swipe machine (the old-school ones - ask your processor for them or show your staff how to rub the card under a carbon guest chit) a flashlight, a current menu (with current pricing), a roll of quarters, a card with food tax rate, alc bev tax rate and misc tax rate (if applicable) and instructions for everyone to round up when it comes to giving guests their change.
Don't forget about the host stand either. They should have a couple of legal pads or empty time slot sheets in a folder for taking reservations when the system is down and be in the habit of printing out copies of tomorrow's floor plan and reservation list at the close of their shift (or get it from the MOD).