Pizza pronto

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - FRONT PAGE - Graeme Phillips

I’ M stand­ing in the pizza kitchen at Da An­gelo Ris­torante look­ing at a small, blank dig­i­tal screens mounted on the wall above the kitchen phone. Sud­denly it pings and lights up. “Main mac­a­roni mari­nara”, it reads. “No fish please. Just prawns, scal­lops, a dash of cream”.

An­gelo tran­scribes the or­der, passes it to the kitchen, looks at the clock and presses the ac­cept but­ton and an­other on his screen which tells the cus­tomer when the or­der will be ready for pick up.

Mean­while, an­other staff mem­ber is on one of Da An­gelo’s five in­com­ing phone lines tak­ing down an­other per­son’s phone- in or­der. By the time she’s ex­plained the menu and writ­ten down what the cus­tomer de­cides he wants, an­other four or­ders have popped up on the wall screen and been passed to the kitchen. “It’s magic” says a beam­ing An­gelo. So I took my­self off to Sala­manca with an iPad and the sys­tem’s de­vel­oper, Sergei Nester, to test the “magic” from the other end.

I type in www. in­stafood. com. au, se­lected Da An­gelo Ris­torante and brought up the full menu and prices.

Were I Chi­nese, I could have brought the menu up in Man­darin, or, through Google trans­la­tor, in any one of the world’s lan­guages, in­clud­ing Esperanto.

Tempted to test An­gelo with an or­der in Chi­nese, I’m told or­ders can only be placed in English.

So I type in my name and “medium mar­garita with an­chovies, pro­sciutto and a pinch of chilli”.

Back it comes to tell me it’s ac­cepted and will be ready at 7pm.

And, at 7pm, there it is, ready and wait­ing. I open it and ask “Where are the ar­ti­chokes?”

“What ar­ti­chokes?” cries An­gelo as he hits his screen’s his­tory but­ton in a panic. “See, there’s your or­der. You didn’t ask for ar­ti­chokes”. And we both laugh. “It’s fan­tas­tic”, he says. “It saves time, frees up my wait staff, re­lieves con­ges­tion with peo­ple wait­ing at the front for take­aways and, for pa­trons, they can cus­tomise their or­ders with what­ever ex­tras and menu vari­a­tions they want. And we have their con­tact de­tails and a record of their or­der. It’s fool­proof”.

And it’s cost Sergei about 18 months of IT work and con­sid­er­able dol­lars to get it to that stage.

He chose Da An­gelo’s to test run it, he says, be­cause it’s the busiest take­away in the city with the most pos­si­ble menu op­tions and be­cause An­gelo is a true pro­fes­sional.

“If there was even the tini­est prob­lem, An­gelo wouldn’t have run with it.

“And, for me, if it works here, it will work in any take­away”, he says.

Nester’s pre­vi­ous project was an ar­chi­tec­tural vi­su­al­i­sa­tion sys­tem which al­lowed de­sign­ers, ar­chi­tects and home own­ers to de­sign their home and de­cide what colour walls, which kitchen lay­out etc would best suit their “vir­tual” home on their com­puter screen.

He sold many sys­tems and mod­elled many thou­sands of build­ing projects around the world.

So he knows what he’s on about and

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