Restaurant Down : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Went to a "chain" restaurant in our small town last night. The waiter came out and apologized for his delay in taking our order. He had to write it out by hand since the computers were down. He then came out later and said we had the choice of waiting (perhaps for an hour or more) or leaving with our drinks on the house. I knowingly looked at my wife and asked the waiter if they required a computer to cook the food! He said the computer problem was creating chaos in the kitchen. Oh, just wait my friend.

-- Lee Parks (, November 20, 1998


They weren't sharp enough to just "cook it"?

- any "Huddle House" "Waffle House" or "IHOP" I know of would have kept on going. Did you stay?

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (, November 22, 1998.


Which chain? There are no legal obligations if this event happened and there are other witnesses to it. It is not libel or slanderous if the event happened. And having spent my time in the food industry (we all need a first job and it is true McD's will hire anyone) I find this kind of odd. There are timers, which as far as I know are all on seperate systems. And the only reason for them is so you could walk away do something else, the grease is going all the time. It doesn't stop when the timer goes off.


-- Rick Tansun (, November 22, 1998.

Don't know Rick, it sounded more to me like those push-screens that higher scale (pricey) places like TGI Fridays or Chili's use - the waiter press orders onto a touch screen for drinks, appetizers, main meal etc. Probably not a fast food place - because they offered free drinks.

The addition and subtraction on each order all get recorded so the waiters/waitresses don't have to do the math (read: don't get to screw up the math.) and so everything at end-of-shift gets inventoried. If the "chain" is storing data for trend analysis (over a month, over a year, over several years) by store location, number in party, age of people, who uses what plastic card, etc.- makes sense that a computer failure could have occurred.

Also, makes sense that the "bureacrats" disguided by their waitress/waiter uniform haven't been trained on what to do if they can't "push" a button on the menu screen.

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (, November 22, 1998.

but they can't cook? That's what gets me


-- Rick Tansun (, November 22, 1998.

Your right, Robert. The restaurant is called Tumbleweeds. They use push button screens for the orders. No, we didn't wait. We were told it could be an hour. The part about cooking was just a joke to the waiter. They were still cooking but were extremely behind.

-- L Parks (, November 22, 1998.

Great - even the restaurants that can get food can't cook it post 2000 - so we starve anyway. Bummer.

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (, November 22, 1998.

Robert, it looks like you might need to learn to cook with more than three ingredients after all. My sympathies.

-- Tricia the Canuck (, November 23, 1998.

Perhaps when they were testing their toasters for Y2K compliance, they rolled the toasters clocks ahead and the roll over caused them to malfunction ;-|

-- Craig (, November 23, 1998.

Fortunately our UK restaurants are not computerised, except for accepting Barclaycard VISA etc. Mind you that doesn't make them capable of producing good food, as any visitor to the UK will attest.

-- Richard Dale (, November 23, 1998.

As a restaurant owner with a VERY old computer system (still running with 286's)! Our system goes down about once a month or more. I truly think there are Johnson and Johnson bandaids on it...

Anyway, when we go down, it's always a nightmare! We end up yelling at each other as in Saturday Night Live" Belushi's restaurant spoof's "Cheeseburger, Cheeseburger CHEESEBURGER!"

Do our patrons suffer? Yes, is it because we can't cook? No, it's because we've got 5 different cooking "stations" with responsiblities and no one knows what the other guy is doing... ie, pasta guy should get pasta order, salad guy should get salad order, when it goes down, no one get's much and the poor food servers are in the kitchen trying to tell each station what they're supposed to be making. It's a mess!

Especially as we're a very popular place with a line out the door on Friday nights.

We are putting in a new system for this location as well as our new one. First question out of my mouth, Are you Y2K compliant? Yes, yes or course. Second " Will you put it in writing"? Yes Yes.. We'll see...

-- Dee N. (, November 23, 1998.

Thanks, Dee, for posting and for the info!

-- Gayla Dunbar (, November 23, 1998.

So if I understand you right Dee, the computer takes the order from the waitresses/waiters - splits it up according to who does what on the stoves - then lets you all combine it back together again into one plate. Cool. Or hot, depending onhow you want it.

Does it "plan" for the various different times needed for different dishes so all the stuff on one order gets "finished" at about the same time? That might help with the delay times, if any of your venders selling the new software have that option.

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (, November 23, 1998.

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