TGI Fridays partners with Microsoft on tablets

Tablets to streamline orders, improve customers’ visits.

tgifGood“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 Oracle’s MICROS 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.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services, devices and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Quote of the Day, “Change is really hard but it’s going to be required for survival.”

“Change is really hard but it’s going to be required for survival. There’s a lot of very high rewards and clearly a lot of challenges, but the digitization of every company is going to require that change… You watch a great company like Walmart have to reinvent itself virtually and physically to survive – their CEO knows they have to move dramatically or even the most powerful company in the world will get left behind.” – Cisco CEO John Chambers in his keynote session at the Consumer Electronics Show “Fast Innovation – Disrupt or be Disrupted.”

Uber’s Latest Experiment Is Uber Cargo, A Logistics Service In Hong Kong

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Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Uber is often talked about for its potential to develop into a global logistics service, and customers in Hong Kong are getting a glimpse at what that might look like after a new service called Uber Cargo launched in the city-state.

The U.S. company often trials new project in single cities. It launched bike couriers in New York last year, for example, and Uber Cargo looks to be another experiment that is telling of what the company is planning to offer beyond just taxis.

The Cargo service has actually been in quiet beta in Hong Kong, according to an Uber blog post. Uber said that the service is ideal for ferrying any kind of item around:

With UberCARGO, a van arrives wherever you want it to be in minutes. You can load your items in the back of the van yourself or request the driver’s assistance if you need an extra hand. Deliveries can…

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Federal Reserve Board’s Annual Report on Government-Administered Prepaid Cards

In July 2014, the Federal Reserve Board released its annual report to Congress on government-administered prepaid card programs. The survey focused on the use of prepaid cards by government offices and on fees collected by issuers.

The study reports that of 205 government programs (which disbursed a total of $1.054 trillion to recipients), $142 billion, or 13.5 percent, was distributed through prepaid cards.

This includes programs such as Social Security benefits, payroll programs and veterans’ benefits, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Supplemental Nutrition Program through prepaid cards.

The study also reports that in 2013, issuers collected $327 million in interchange fees and $175 million in cardholder fees
across the programs for which survey results were reported.

The entire report can be accessed at: http://www.federalreserve.gov/publications/otherreports/files/government-prepaidreport-
201407.pdf

As expected, Walt Disney World will start accepting Apple Pay in time for the holidays

Originally posted on 9to5Mac:

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Following in the footsteps of the Disney Stores, Walt Disney World will be accepting Apple Pay from 24th December, reports the company.

Initially, most stores, quick service restaurants, bars and ticket sales booths will be included. Any locations that use portable payment terminals, such as table service restaurants, will be added later.

To identify payment locations that accept Apple Pay and contactless payments, look for the EMVCo symbol, which is a series of curved lines, similar to a WiFi signal strength meter on many devices.

Disney was an Apple Pay launch partner, installing upgraded iBeacons and NFC readers in its retail stores prior to the launch of the service, but contactless payment had previously only been available at WDW via the company’s own MagicBands wristbands … 

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