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TOPIC: Are RTS terminals lockable?

Are RTS terminals lockable? 30 Jul 2007 11:40 #25380

  • Cinemateer
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Does RTS have the ability to lock out all functions with the exception of only ordering concessions? For example, in theory, could a terminal be placed in the lobby where customers could order their concessions using a credit/gift card (to be delivered to their seat), but not have access to the rest of the system, like ticket purchasing?
"In a place like this, the magic is all around you. The trick is to see it." -Martin Landau
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Re: Are RTS terminals lockable? 30 Jul 2007 12:48 #25381

  • dsschoenborn
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You should ask this on the RTS boards. boards.rts-solutions.com

Right now the only self serve option is for ticketing and ticket pick up. But plesae post this on the site because they can log it as a request.
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Re: Are RTS terminals lockable? 31 Jul 2007 00:44 #25382

  • rodeojack
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Does RTS have the ability to lock out all functions with the exception of only ordering concessions? ...could a terminal be placed ...where customers could order their concessions...but not have access to the rest of the system, like ticket purchasing?

Interesting idea. RTS might be able to do this, but it would take some rewriting. As it is, the system is not very intuitive for a general-access terminal. As it is though, you can limit a terminal by logging in a password that only has sales rights. If the terminal doesn't have the "ticket" tab, it won't display the boxoffice screen. Our concession terminals can not sell tickets, and the boxoffice can not sell Cokes & fries.

You can remove cash tender buttons and only make credit and mag card tenders available. However, manual card number entry screens can not be suppressed.

I'm wondering if this would be practical. A terminal could only deal with one transaction at a time. It would probably be a very slow process, since a trained cashier could work the system much faster than a general customer could. A kiosk-type terminal would lend itself to abuse from the kids. You would lose the ability for suggestive upselling. Impulse sales might decline, since the customer wouldn't be at the counter. A system like RTS depends on a general sequence to set up a transaction. If a customer forgot his seat number, he would probably have to get that information and start over again. Card declines or misreads could cause frustration on the customer's part... something that could have been better dealt with by an employee.

So... I guess I'm seeing all the downsides to this. Why do you think a "serve yourself" terminal might be a good thing??
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Re: Are RTS terminals lockable? 31 Jul 2007 10:12 #25383

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Also remember that people come, not just to see a movie, but to relax. If they have to do the work they will resent it. Go to a supermarket that uses the automated checkouts and ask the people using them if they like doing the cashiers job and not being paid for it. You won't find many positive responses. They do it because they have to. For example our local Fred Meyers (Kroger)doesn't open more registers until the 4 autocheckouts have substantial lines. In fact they open at 7AM but don't open a real register until 7.30 unless you complain.
Marc
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Re: Are RTS terminals lockable? 31 Jul 2007 10:51 #25384

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I think limiting only concession sales by using a password and removing the ticket tab would work. And by removing the cash tender button, would limit the transaction to credit/gift cards only. I believe that would do it.

As for the practicality, I was using the "terminal in the lobby" idea only as an example to simplify my question. What we are considering is adding a separate terminal on a fold-away stand next to each premium seat in the auditorium (no kids). This would enable the premium seat customers (with seat numbers already assigned) to order their concessions from their seats and bypass the concession line completely. They can then order their concessions at their leisure to be delivered to their seat. I believe each terminal can be named/numbered separately so when the "order up" screen flashes in the concession area, it would show which seat name/number the order was placed from.

Yes, upselling and impulse sales may decline for these customers, but it's possible that the "cool factor" of being able to order from your seat would encourage additional sales. Besides, having a terminal right next to you makes it so easy (and fun) to order. Also, sales during the movie as opposed to having to get up and re-visit the lobby would increase. And if it's possible on the RTS system, each seat order would automatically add an additional $1.00-2.00 service charge to each order. Either that, or show concession prices slightly higher for only the seat terminals. Again, if possible.

Cost is always an issue of course, but RTS has a greatly reduced rate for terminals in bulk.
"In a place like this, the magic is all around you. The trick is to see it." -Martin Landau
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Re: Are RTS terminals lockable? 31 Jul 2007 15:00 #25385

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Well, in that case, this might be possible. A terminal is given a "station number", which allows tracking of pretty much all activities carried out at that register. One Item RTS did for us last year was to have the station number pass through to the "pickup window" If we have a question about any order, the station that sent it is now part of the information on the screen. You could use that information to track which station (seat) placed an order.

You'd need to have RTS do a workaround, so the system didn't revert to (or need) the password screen. Some kind of global station closing process would also be helpful. Our stations are closed individually each night. That might be cumbersome for your application.

Otherwise, the cost per terminal would be the largest concern I could think about offhand.
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Re: Are RTS terminals lockable? 31 Jul 2007 23:18 #25386

  • lionheart
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Also consider the impact on the movie viewing experience. Plenty of people have complained about kids and others in theaters playing with their cell phones, texting or whatever with their phone faces frequently lighting up. How would you avoid similar distractions in your premium seating area away from the kids?

Think about it. People will need light to order concessions too. Do the keys make noise? Will a couple discussing their order between themselves as they use this system be a disruption? It's not likely every person will order for themselves. If this system becomes the fun new toy you are hoping it will, you will have created much the same environment those premium seats were intended to screen people from.

Of course, your manpower requirements would go way up too, assuming the system is used enough to pay for the hardware and software. It takes fewer people to operate the traditional centralized concession stand than to operate a decentralized seat or table service system.

Instead, maybe you should consider providing a seating area for people who want to use their cell phones to text the concession stand with their order. It wouldn't cost much in hardware, and the people who like fun new toys (the kids) will be able to take advantage of it. Post signs that say something like, "Sit in section 12 and you can text message an order right to the concession stand and have it delivered right to your seat." Then you could simply post menu cards at each seat with instructions on how to make their orders. Then maybe the kids will all want to sit there (away from those who wish to avoid the disruption).

Of course anybody else would be welcome there too, but to provide a true premium experience you could use increased manpower to simply provide table service just like in a cinema cafe. Waitstaff could take their orders in person and allow even those who are technophobes to order premium concessions.

Just my two cents worth.
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