Twin Cities Restaurants Going High Tech

Updated: 10/19/2013 11:22 AM By: Josh Rosenthal

When General Manager Ryan Farrell takes an order at Station 280 in St. Paul, he doesn't write it down. He punches it in on an iPod Touch.

"Even the servers who maybe were used to using pen and paper have been able to pick up real quick on it and learn the system," Farrell said.

Korey Bannerman manages two Willy McCoy's, one in Albertville and one in Ramsey. His servers use the system too, and he says it saves three to five minutes per order and cuts down on mistakes.

"It's really a slick deal," he explained. "Saves a lot of time as far as ordering and kitchen time and getting the food out to the table sooner."

It's called Sail POS, and the software was developed in New Hope. It's pretty simple: servers enter the order, and it goes straight back to the kitchen. There's no wait and no need for kiosks like you see at a lot of restaurants.

"It becomes a bottleneck," said Jason Dennis, one of the system's designers. "You have three or four servers kind of waiting to use one or two terminals and then you're taking information off a pad of paper that kind of is half legible."

Dennis says his product is now in nine restaurants around the Twin Cities, and that list is growing. "I really do see it expanding," he added. "It really is the wave of the future."

That's a notion at least two restaurant managers agree with. They think in the not too distant future, you'll see something like the Sail POS system every time you order.

"We get a lot of comments out there from people saying, 'boy this is really good, how'd you get the food out so quick?' Bannerman said.

Added Farrell, "helps make the job of the servers and bartenders so much easier."

The basic Sail POS system includes two of iPod touch units and one bar kiosk. The whole package costs about $10,000.