I don't want you folks to think my life is nothing but a series of calamities but they're usually more memorable than the successes and hence that's what I write about.
We had a planned power outage up here a few days ago and I, foolishly, did not turn our Micros point-of-sale system off before leaving for the evening. The GM did not call to remind me because she was afraid I'd roll my eyes at her and be annoyed that she would even think I'd forget such an obvious detail. However, power outages are not a rarity here and the machine has fared well in general.
I think you see where this is heading.
Indeed when I went in to check any potential damage to the food or facility the machine was emitting a chirping noise and the screen looked quite different. I tried a few things which did nothing. It's clear there's a database problem. No big deal, we've had this machine for 6 years and though I said it's fared pretty well the power outages often corrupt the database so I'm well-versed in the software repair. It's kind of fun because it's a hex/decimal machine and I get to feel like a bona-fide computer geek.
After database repair and a call to Micros I find what I have is a hardware problem. I remember we have a spare unit from when we had our wine bar across the mezzanine and I should be able to raid it for spare parts. Stupid mistake number 2. Before opening the case and pulling out parts I didn't power it up to see if the unit worked. I'm 99% sure it did but still....
So I swap parts back and forth to no avail. Another call to Micros to order a power supply since that's what seems to be causing the problem. The good news is business has been slower (which is in itself bad news) and we have one fully operational unit. In truth, the malfunctioning one is usable, the display is just split down the middle and impossible to read. So if you really know what you're entering you can use it. But see I'm trying to make the story more dramatic.
Of course, the power supply didn't ship when they said it would. So we're facing the weekend with reservations from a Porsche club and a few other large parties, 4 waiters and 1 pos station. Another call to Micros and know it seems it may be the motherboard. I have a plan for today involving more pirating of parts. We'll see how it works.
Through this, other than the power supply not shipping when they said it would, Micros' support has been great. In all my dealings with them, they have been consistently responsive, empathic and helpful. They should be you're thinking, because these systems are not cheap (we got a quote 2 years ago of $16,000 to upgrade our current system to the newer system) and if you're having problems they damn well better help you fix them.
Ah, but I'm not actually a customer of theirs. While I was going to auctions, getting our equipment, in fact the very first restaurant auction I attended, I purchased this 3 unit system with 3 remote printers, the users and programmers manuals for $75. We did pay a local guy to do the initial programming but he gave us a really cheap rate because he wanted to learn the system.
Because of their support, if I were thinking about buying a new POS (which would only be if an investor wanted to set us up in a swank new place) I'd certainly be inclined to buy a Micros. But as you have guessed, this post wasn't intended to be a testimonial for the company but an opportunity for me to brag about my bargain purchase.