Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Restaurant POS

My wife runs a restaurant here in Hillsboro, OR. I'm the unpaid tech support for her.. (well cant complain, i do get free lunches.. so well compensated i guess :-)).

When we purchased the place from a previous establishment, they had an existing POS, so we ended up using the same, since it appeared simple enough to use and configure. Its also runs on open hardware, unlike Micros/IBM solutions where you get locked in expensive hw and support after that..

After a while it started to bite.. The software support cost is just out of hand, (~$400 per year) poor support, useless forums (moderated)...

Some of the issues are around the model of sucking more money.. and the pathetic support they have. For instance.

  1. Each terminal has separate licence.. ~$400 each.
  2. Each can be activated only 4 times.. i.e if your hardware fails/switch Ethernet cards, you need to activate. When we purchased it from previous owner, we needed to transfer.. so that's 1 activations, and my hardware broke so that's another... and the prior owner activated his when he purchased.. that's 3 out of 4. That's completely crap.
  3. Database they use is MSFT... i cant even do a backup without having to quit the software connected to all stations.
  4. Any bug is categorized as Working as designed by their top support folks.... meaning its a feature not available in that software and its intended to be not available.
  5. The forums are available only if you pay for an entire year of support.. yes.. including the knowledge base...
  6. The forum comments are moderated.. so if you say there is a bug, and the support team feels empowered to give you "Working as Designed (WAD)", then your post wont make it. Since its giving a wrong impression about their software.
  7. They have a forum for suggestion/enhancement requests.. all of them get removed randomly.. and there is no feedback to customer in terms of if they are considered, or shelved by the teams..
  8. Tip accounting, Net sales, Gift Card accounting when discounted, ability to print duplicates of CC receipts, email alerts.. among several that's missing...
And no escalation path..when you call it just goes to the same person, i called sales to escalate, ended up the same guy replying to my email... a sales guy said "send to attn: management team" even that went to the same guy who has been blocking my posts.

Now.. trust me, there is no fowl language in my blocked post.. just that the guy feels I'm trying to spread incorrect information about their SW. That's rude.

So growing around open source at the place i work for the last 15 years.. i decided to hunt for a Linux version of POS.. and stumbled upon ViewTouch POS.. and surprisingly homegrown in Eugene Oregon. Gene Mosher the founder seems to have several years of experience in POS, and its based on Linux, my favorite OpenSource OS. I have a list of capabilities that my current POS software (Aldelo) cant address. I'm going to post a list of those requirements and going to evaluate ViewTouch for those features and go from there.

Hopefully i will succeed by the end of year to get a decent path to live and breathe freely without shackles, able to fix and maintain without having to pay for support when not necessary, have a free community support, and don't need to look at their knowledge base...

Signing off.

12 comments:

Dave Stewart said...

[i]... and its based on Linux, my favorite OpenSource OS.[/i]

Linux is your favorite?!?

:-)

Ashok Raj said...

Doh.... i mean... I mean.. back pedal back pedal .. i mean

Test Blog said...

Have you heard of Dinerware? There's lots of ways to check out the software, including a free trial download. Adam Pinyoun is in Portland, and could either give you a demonstration, or answer questions no matter how technical about the product. He also has a restaurant background (as many Dinerware employees do), so has a great feel for customer needs, and Dinerware stands behind our service. The site is www.dinerware.com and Adam's email is adam at dinerware.com - good luck!
- Jeanie, Dinerware employee

Test Blog said...

Sorry Ashok- I typed too fast - that email address is adamp at, not adam at. Thanks!

Floreant POS Blog said...

Try Open source Java based Point of Sale for Restaurants and bars - Floreant POS. It has all the pro features and you customize more if you like.

Floreant POS Blog said...

sorry. I missed the linked for Floreant POS

Unknown said...

Hi Please contact me (PM) on
js[at]ziax.net and I will send you a telephone number to speak regarding aldelo

Spyder said...

Hi. Did you ever decide on a new POS system? How did ViewTouch stand up to the others?

Thanks,
Ryan

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