TGI Fridays partners with Microsoft on tablets to streamline orders, improve customers’ visits

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Restaurant chain innovates using tablet technology to improve the restaurant experience.

TGI Fridays and Microsoft are transforming its guests’ experience by equipping servers with 8-inch tablets so they can quickly and accurately process orders and payments while at the table. Using the new Fridays Service Style technology powered by Windows 8.1, servers can carry their tablets from table to table to take orders and respond promptly to guest requests.

“We’ve always prided ourselves on giving our guests the best experience possible, particularly in their interactions with our people,” said TGI Fridays Vice President and CIO Tripp Sessions.

“Windows 8 gave us a platform that allowed us to develop a new user interface, which gives our servers even better tools to delight our guests and make their experience even more enjoyable.”

“TGI Fridays is rethinking how technology can lead to restaurant innovation,” said Tracy Issel, general manager of Worldwide Retail, Consumer Goods, Hospitality and Travel for Microsoft.

“We are helping it change the way food orders are processed and wait staff and managers do their jobs, reinventing the customer experience, one restaurant at a time.”

The devices use Windows 8.1, running Oracle’s MICROS Restaurant Enterprise Solution (RES) 5.4 on the Dell Venue mTablet E-Series mobile point of sale devices. Many restaurant technology solutions rely on proprietary hardware or custom ruggedized devices, built to withstand the abuse of a kitchen environment. Such solutions can be expensive and take a long time to develop and deploy.

Oracle’s MICROS RES 5.4 allows TGI Fridays to manage the various aspects of running a restaurant, from tableside ordering to traffic and queue management, all from one solution and in a much more cost-effective way. It also puts the technology in the hands of the Fridays people, preserving the experience they can offer guests, rather than using tabletop technology that would reduce their interactions. The device also improves the table wait time and helps regulate the pace of orders sent to the kitchen.

TGI Fridays has completed a six-city pilot in Texas and Minnesota, and it will deploy the tablets in 80 additional restaurants, with more than 2,000 tablets by March.
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