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Method and Apparatus for an Automated Order Taking And Confirmation System that Generates And Uniquely Identifies a Customer

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000004396D
Publication Date: 2000-Nov-03
Document File: 5 page(s) / 55K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

The present invention is a video order taking and confirmation system and method of that uniquely identifies a customer and retrieves the customer’s past preferences. The video order taking and confirmation system includes a video order confirmation terminal. The video order confirmation terminal includes a microprocessor and display unit for translating order items into pixel images that show the quantity, unit price, running total, and description of the item ordered. The terminal further includes a keyboard, speaker, microphone and confirmation button. The terminal is connected to a central computer system inside the restaurant that transmits customers' orders to a cashier and to the kitchen where orders are processed. The terminal is also connected to a computer database that contains product information and customer preferences.

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Method and Apparatus for an Automated Order Taking And Confirmation System that Generates And Uniquely Identifies a Customer

In the fast-food industry, "drive-through" windows are a popular way to order items quickly. However, as their popularity increases, service quality suffers, especially during peak usage times such as the lunch hour. What is needed is a method to accelerate customer service at drive-through windows.

The present invention is a video order taking and confirmation system and method of that uniquely identifies a customer and retrieves the customer's past preferences. The video order taking and confirmation system includes a video order confirmation terminal. The video order confirmation terminal includes a microprocessor and display unit for translating order items into pixel images that show the quantity, unit price, running total, and description of the item ordered. The terminal further includes a keyboard, speaker, microphone and confirmation button. The terminal is connected to a central computer system inside the restaurant that transmits customers' orders to a cashier and to the kitchen where orders are processed. The terminal is also connected to a computer database that contains product information and customer preferences.

A user of the system can generate an order in two ways. The conventional method is to speak to an order taker through a microphone and have the order taker generate the order manually. A second method asks the user to input a personalized numerical code into a keyboard that is transferred to a central database. This personalized code automatically generates a customer's "regular" order, based on a digitally stored set of preferences. This novel system is able to generate customer's orders automatically, thereby decreasing order times, reducing human error, and increasing customer throughput at drive through windows.

Figure 1 Video order confirmation terminal

Figure 1 is an ordering confirmation terminal 100 that consists of a display unit 110, a keyboard 120, a speaker 140, a microphone 150, and a confirmation button 160.

Figure 2 Automated order taking and confirmation system

Figure 2 is a schematic representation of a method for an automated order confirmation system. System 200 includes order confirmation terminal 100, CPU 210, service person 220, product information database 230, and customer preference database 240.

The method of system 200 is as follows. A customer enters her personal identification code into keyboard 120 of order confirmation terminal 100. Order confirmation terminal 100 transmits the order to CPU 210. CPU 210 transmits the personal identification code to customer preference database 240, which returns the customer's personal order information to CPU 210. CPU 210 then displays this information visually on monitor 110 of order confirmation terminal 100. If the custom...