Nick Petros, the founder of Nick’s Steakhouse and Pizza (CAN) in Calgary, came to Canada from Greece at age 17 with no money and speaking no English. For 25 years, he worked his way up the ranks in the restaurant industry, as a dishwasher, busboy, waiter, maître d’, and then manager. In 1979, he combined his industry experience with a collection of his mother’s homemade recipes to open his own restaurant. Nick’s son Mark took over the business in 2000.
Over the course of a busy Friday or Saturday evening, up to 11 servers and three bartenders serve as many as 1,200 people in the 650-square-meter restaurant and bar. Mark Petros says his point-of-sale (POS) system helps him keep track of the orders, inventory, and money.
After taking a table’s order, servers enter the items they require into one of six computer terminals located throughout the restaurant. The computer is preprogrammed with the item and its price so that the server simply presses a labelled button, for example, “Caesar salad” or “lasagna,” to enter an order. The POS system sends the order information to the bar, salad station, or line cooks, and uses the information to track inventory. The servers collect payment from their tables. At the end of a shift, the POS system provides an employee report that itemizes the credit card, debit card, and cash sales that the server owes.
The bartenders and servers have a cash float of $400. ...