HME Wireless Text Paging
Core Product: Aloha Kitchen
Complimentary Products: Aloha Quick Service and Aloha Table Service
Separate License Required? No
Other References: Aloha Kitchen Reference Guide, Aloha Kitchen Implementation Guide
With the growing number of people using cell phones, restaurants now find value in sending text messages to guests to notify them when their order is ready. This eliminates the need for expensive, upfront investments in physical restaurant pagers that often 'walk away,' requiring replacement. It also deters guests from gathering at the congested pickup counter and helps ensure a more streamlined order and pickup process.
Aloha Kitchen integrates with HME Wireless, which provides wireless paging communication tools for sending a text message to a guest when their order is ready. You accomplish this using the 'name order' feature in the Aloha POS, which allows you to type the phone number for the guest. At the time you fully bump (serve) the order in Aloha Kitchen, the system sends a text message to the guest. You determine if you want to include the name of the guest, the check number, or both, in the text message to the guest. The default text message is either "Order 10 is ready for pick up," or "Order Andy is ready for pick up."
Before you begin
You must contact an HME Wireless representative to set up an account and place an order for an IStation transmitter, which makes wireless paging possible. At the time of this writing, getting started requires a one-time fee of $595, per site, for the IStation transmitter, and you can get unlimited text messaging for $49.00 per month in both U.S. and Canadian sites. You should receive the IStation transmitter within seven to 10 business days after placing your order. The device comes with installation instructions, but an HME Wireless representative sets up the device for you. For ordering and payment arrangements, please contact your NCR representative for HME Wireless contact information. Be prepared to provide HME Wireless with a billing and shipping address, contact name, phone number, and the site name.
How routing impacts HME wireless text paging
Before you implement HME wireless text paging in Aloha Kitchen, consider the POS product and the routing method currently in use in Aloha Kitchen.
The routing methods currently supported in Aloha Kitchen are 'When finalized,' 'One behind,' 'Route when POS order is closed,' and 'Immediate.' The first three options are used in both a typical table service and quick service environment, depending on your needs. The 'Immediate' option, meaning items appear on the video cell as you enter them on the POS, is mostly used for a fast quick service operation.
Aloha Kitchen provides options in Maintenance > Kitchen Configuration > Header and Footer Layout and Maintenance > Hardware > Print Designer that allow you to display the order name in the video cell and also print it on the kitchen chit. You also access Maintenance > System Settings > Order Mode to choose whether to include the order name or order number when using HME Wireless text messaging. If you use 'Immediate' as your routing option, you will want to configure text paging to use the order number instead of the order name so that the phone number does not appear in the video cell. If you use the order name, you capture both the phone number and guest name at the same time and the system is unable to separate the two pieces of information before displaying them in the video cell. All other routing options separate the phone number from the order name prior to displaying the order name in the video cell.
Note: This document does NOT suggest you change your routing method to conform to text messaging, since you probably have other features in use that complement 'Immediate' routing.
How Aloha Takeout affects HME wireless text paging
Before you implement HME wireless text paging in Aloha Kitchen, consider if you are integrating with Aloha Takeout (ATO). AK HME wireless text paging uses a mobile number to send a text page to the guest to let them know when their order is ready. If you do not integrate with ATO, you capture the phone number by manually naming the order with the number in Aloha Quick Service or naming a tab with the number in Table Service. When you integrate with ATO, you do not name the order in Aloha Quick Service or Table Service and Aloha Kitchen uses the mobile phone number captured in ATO as the number to send the text page to the guest. If you do not capture the mobile phone number in ATO, no text page is sent, regardless if you name the order in Quick Service or Table Service.
Configuring HME Wireless Text Paging
This section details the configuration requirements within Aloha Manager and Aloha Configuration Center (CFC) for HME wireless text paging in Aloha Kitchen.
- Determining how to capture the cell phone number
- Configuring order modes to initiate text paging
- Configuring the pager requirements
- Determining the action that sends the text message
- Regulating the seconds between sending a page
- Refreshing POS data.
- Once the data refresh is complete, physically reboot the IStation device.