18 Jul Quite the Vista
By: Blythe Nauseda, Director of Operations Excellence
Flix is looking forward to some substantial changes this year with Vista, our cinema management software provider. In March, I attended a Vista workshop focused on the newest Vista 5.0 release. This enhanced platform is compatible with cloud-based products and Vista is working toward making their suite of products cloud-ready.
Because of the potential positive impact that these enhancements will clearly have on our business generally, and on the customer experience, let’s have a quick look:
Cinema Manager (cinema level management program): Cinema Manager is an intuitive web-based interface providing managers a centralized access point to key daily activities. Currently, Flix teams access this information via a complex directory tree or search in the Vista Back Office. The new dashboard format provides easy access to Box Office which is used for film scheduling and sales. Reports are organized under tabs such as Analysis, Box Office, Concession and Favorites and now include searchable “tags.” Common theater key performance indicators (KPI’s) are listed for concessions, occupancy and box office grosses. Transaction Analyzer provides a simplified template for researching guest transactions.
POS Login: Login screens on Point of Sale (POS) have been redesigned to reduce key strokes and login speed. Biometric logins are an optional login feature Flix will test (fingerprint scan) for both POS login and time clock access.
Simplified Guest Seat ID: Seating identification for food orders has been greatly simplified. Instead of servers manually entering alpha numeric identifiers for the theater number, row and seat, theater seat maps will load to assign each item ordered to a specific seat. This promotes delivery of the items to the correct guest and eliminates server typing errors and addresses one of our greatest areas of opportunity to improve and enhance guest satisfaction.
Automatic “coursing” of appetizers, entrees and desserts: The system will pace menu items sent to the kitchen for preparation. Appetizers automatically send to the kitchen then after a set time, the entrée and then desserts. This is a major development as it helps greatly with traffic control. Timing can be adjusted by the server (e.g., pizza ordered as an appetizer rather than an entrée can be set to release to the kitchen immediately). Coursing also allows servers to upsell and ring both appetizers and desserts during the initial greeting and have them delivered at the appropriate time.
Kitchen Display Screens (KDS): This feature will detail the guest’s order for kitchen preparation and feature both visual and functional enhancements. Icons have been added to have order modifications such as “add” and “no” stand out. Server comments on the order are highlighted on the KDS for quick identification by the culinary team. Functionality to reroute printers/KDS and adjust item selling limits, formerly only on the POS, are accessible directly from the KDS.
Kiosks: Kiosk functionality will include both preordering food and seat first selection during ticket purchase. All new Flix locations opened this year, as well as our original location in Round Rock, Texas will receive a new kiosk hardware package with larger screens, streamlined cabinets and expandable peripheral options (EMV). The larger screen format will be segmented into sections for both ticket purchase/pickup and advertising.
Head Office (HO): Head Office, used for corporate level global setup, features added functionality that was previously controlled at by the Back Office (BO) at the cinema level. Several items being moved to Head Office include auditorium screen setup and POS Designer (menu item screen maintenance). The control of POS Designer in HO simplifies the addition of new buttons which can be easily copied and pasted to each location in minutes. Screen templates can be copied so all Flix POS screens have the same look across the brand.
Voucher and Gift Cards: Voucher and gift card applications will include expanded permission levels allowing read only access. Management outside of the System Administrators/Corporate staff can look up detailed activity on both gift cards and vouchers. Guest inquiries and issues will be resolved more quickly, directly impacting guest satisfaction.
Vista 5.0 will be loaded into our corporate lab environment for review and testing this summer. Our Round Rock location will be the first unit to go live with the new version in the fall, when subversion 5.0.3 is released which includes the food and beverage enhancements.
Our ongoing collaborative relationship with the Vista F&B development team has proven to be truly beneficial to our growth as a company. Their products are aligned to meet the needs of our high-volume cinema dining model, which is no small task. We are quite eager to roll out these new features to our teams at all Flix Brewhouse locations in the coming months and expect to see tangible results quickly that will directly impact guest experience and our bottom line.