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My company owns several food and beverage services- restaurants, banquent and catering, concessions, and cafeterias. In order to control costs and manage assets, we implemented the Food-Trak Food and Beverage Management System. For my manufacturing friends, Food-Trak is the equivalent of Enterprise Resource Planning for the Food and Beverage Industry.  And while we think of Food-Trak this way, consider the thought that a restaurant is a manufacturing facility which manufactures product on demand and in real time.

Our goal as a company is to understand and manage our food and beverage assets to a very granular level. Thus, we (attempt) to count every fraction of an ounce of what is served. To this end, we must record every serving in our Point of Sales system(POS), Micros 9700 HMS, and feed these transactions into our Food and Beverage Management System, Food-Trak.

In operations the POS workstation must be programmed to capture the servings.  The challenges we faced were in the realm of modifiers- options, sides, condiments, add-ons, extras. Because of the complexity in programming modifiers and condiments and because of a few years of decentralized programming, many things were neglected. Operations had gotten used to messaging things, using Open transactions, and making assumptions. After a couple months of reconfiguring and testing, we were able to program the Micros 9700 system to capture transactions to the level required without hampering operations. In fact, the changes improved operations as servers had more automated choices presented in a logical way and the kitchen had to do less interpretation of orders, i.e better communications between front of house and the kitchen.

The bigger challenge was extracting the sales data from the Micros 9700 HMS. Organizations that want to integrate their Micros 9700 sales data into Food-Trak have 3 options-

  1. Contract with Micros to do it
  2. Contract with their Micros vendor to do it.
  3. Do it yourself.

Contracting with Micros or a vendor requires significant investment. If you are reading this because you want to integrate Micros 9700 sales data with Food-Trak data, and you have talked to your vendor, you know this is true. Also, Micros doesn’t provide the best customer support in the world. If you are a Micros customer, and not IHG, you know this is true.  Also, the interfaces I was able to review were nothing more than scripts written in SIMM, a proprietary Micros language. Ingenious? Yes. Practical and user friendly? Not at all.

Since I have been writing data extracts since the early 1990s, the decision to do it ourselves was a very easy decision for me to make, although it was met with a bit of skepticism from some of the decision makers. My first attempt was to extract data from the Netvupoint database. Easy right? Micros already has a built in data warehouse. All I had to do was extract the total sales from the Netvupoint tables. Well, during my validation testing, I discovered I couldn’t get to the granularity we required from Netvupoint. I had to dive into the transaction database.

I will save the details of my adventure within the transaction database for another time. When you hire me to setup your extracts, I will share the story with you over coffee! In a few weeks of focused effort, I was able to extract the transactions at the granular level we required and today have a hit rate of >98%. The exceptions are mostly open items and the rest are a data entry errors. I use an open source ETL called Pentaho Data Integration. The extract procedure is automated and has a graphical user interface. To aid in validation testing and monitoring of extracts, I have also created an ETL procedure that reads the exception reports from Food-Trak and matches the “Not Found” menu item number with its name entry in the menu item master table in Micros.

Because of our integration of Micros 9700 sales data and our Food-Trak production data, we are able to create industry standard sales analysis reports on demand and to an incredible depth. I would enjoy talking to you about this experience and look forward to helping you integrate your Micros 9700 sales data with Food-Trak.


One Comment

  1. I don’t even understand how I ended up here, but I thought this post was once good. I don’t recognize who you might be but definitely you’re going to a famous blogger should you are not already. Cheers!

One Trackback/Pingback

  1. By Around the Web | Pos Systems Guide on 16 Jul 2010 at 11:24 pm

    […] Micros 9700 Data Extracts […]

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