Carl’s Jr. of Las Vegas, a quick-service restaurant chain, wanted to upgrade its point-of-service (POS) solution to improve profitability and customer service with an intelligent system that connects local POS devices with a corporate network.
The company also needed centralized tools to support business growth. To meet its goals, Carl’s Jr. implemented a POS system based on PAR EverServ® QSR software and Windows Embedded. Now the company has an end-to-end solution that helps it serve customers
faster and gain better control of food and labor costs. Carl’s Jr. has also eased management and business expansion with cloud-based reporting and administration tools.
Carl’s Jr. is a quick-service restaurant chain with more than 1,200 locations worldwide. In the Las Vegas, Nevada, metropolitan area, SL Investments owns 38 restaurants. To increase profitability in a competitive marketplace, Carl’s Jr. of Las Vegas wanted
a POS solution that would improve business intelligence and customer service.
||In this industry, whether you’re operating a fast-food restaurant or a coffee shop, you have to control food and labor costs. The PAR EverServ solution powered by Windows Embedded helps us stay profitable.
| Bill Thorson
Vice President of Facilities and IT
At the restaurant level, Carl’s Jr. hoped to improve service and operations by taking orders faster and more accurately. “It all comes back to customer experience,“ says Bill Thorson, Vice President of Facilities and IT, SL Investments. “Customers just want
to come in, get their food, and go home. So the more reliable the system is, the faster we can serve them, the better.”
Carl’s Jr. also sought better data collection and reporting capability so that managers could look at daily inventory of food items as well as see when employees signed in and out of shifts. “Store managers need to balance food and labor costs, “says Thorson.
“Each store has different operating parameters based on weekly sales, so it’s really important for them to be able to see that information in detail.”
And to support rapid growth as well as improve profitability, the company needed a solution it could use to more effectively monitor costs and set prices across its entire region. SL Investments had signed an agreement to open 30 new Carl’s Jr. restaurants
within ten years and would almost double in size. Thorson says, “There was no way the existing system could’ve handled the growth.”
Carl’s Jr. turned to ParTech (PAR)—a solution provider for the hospitality industry and a Microsoft Windows Embedded Gold Partner—for a new POS system. Carl’s Jr. had used PAR products for more than ten years and relied on the company for the tools it needed
to run its restaurants. For the current upgrade, Carl’s Jr. decided to implement PAR EverServ QSR POS software running on the Windows Embedded POSReady operating system and the Microsoft .NET Framework.
Carl’s Jr. began implementing the new POS system in July 2010. By March 2011, the solution was fully deployed at all 38 stores in the region and handling 12,000 transactions each day. Based on Windows Embedded, PAR EverServ QSR runs with Microsoft SQL Server
data management software on four PAR EverServ 6000 POS terminals in each restaurant. Sales and employee data is sent from the terminals to a back-office SQL Server database running on the Windows 7 Professional operating system. The system has failover capability,
so that if the back-office server goes offline, the registers can continue to process transactions and store data. The POS solution also connects to devices such as kitchen displays that are used to route orders and order confirmation boards used in drive-thrus.
| PAR EverServ 6000 terminal running EverServ QSR software
Data from the restaurants is aggregated through PAR EverServ Operations Reporting, a cloud-based service. The solution gives managers Internet access to current sales, inventory, and workforce information. The company’s central office uses another tool, PAR
EverServ Enterprise Configuration Manager, to update software, menu items, prices, and coupons across multiple locations. Carl’s Jr. is looking forward to implementing enhancements, including the ability to electronically store and search receipts. The company
also wants to use tablet computers, so that associates can take orders from people waiting in the lobby or in the drive-thru line.
By implementing the PAR EverServ QSR system based on Windows Embedded, Carl’s Jr. has improved profitability and business insight, enhanced customer service, and eased business expansion and management.
Cuts Costs and Increases Profitability
By improving data management from the cash register to the corporate office, Carl’s Jr. can make better business decisions and improve profitability. “In this industry, whether you’re operating a fast-food restaurant or a coffee shop, you have to control
food and labor costs,” says Thorson. “The PAR EverServ solution powered by Windows Embedded helps us stay profitable.”
In the past, the company estimated that food costs consumed approximately 28 percent of its net sales. With the new solution, the company cut costs to approximately 26 percent. “Dropping two percent of a million dollars each year is quite a bit of money
when you’re looking at food costs,” says Thorson. “The PAR and Windows Embedded solution helped us improve inventory management and set up a much more accurate correlation between actual and ideal cost.”
Improves Customer Service
Today, Carl’s Jr. associates can process transactions more quickly and accurately with fewer key strokes and improve service with a solution that is fast, secure, and reliable. “If you can keep customers happy, you’re going to be very competitive,“ says
Thorson. “With a PAR system running on the Microsoft platform, we can take orders more quickly, and customers feel good about their visit.”
Eases Management and Expansion
Carl’s Jr. is also confident it can meet its ambitious growth targets. By taking advantage of cloud-based services, the company can quickly deploy software updates and operational data to virtually any location. “Running on Windows Embedded, the PAR EverServ
QSR solution gives me the ability to go to a website and build all my inventory and menu items,” says Thorson. “So when we open a new store, I can create a package that I can deploy quickly through the cloud. It’s a huge help to deliver all that information
with just a click of a button.”
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