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NEW YORK, N.Y., Mar 12, 1999 /PR Newswire/ -- Four minutes is all it takes Lackmann Food Service to fill sandwich and tortilla wrap orders from customer-activated terminals (CATs) and send workers on their way at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter downtown. The kiosks are part of a recent total renovation of the 43rd floor employee cafe at Two World Trade Center. Besides saving time, the kiosk ordering has freed up space in the serving area by moving sandwich preparation to the back.

"The average check has gone up 14 percent since the kiosks were installed," says Keith Worters, Assistant Vice President, Corporate Services Division for Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, who conceived the application of CATs technology to Business-and-Industry dining. He attributes the rise to greater variety, speedier service, and total recovery of ingredient costs. "Our goal everyday is to offer the same food quality and variety as the day before, at the lowest possible price," he says. "Outside of 'Windows', there's no better place to eat here," he adds, referring to the famous restaurant at the top of the twin towers.

"The sandwich station was the slowest line. The kiosks allow users choice and control of their sandwich orders, while satisfying their need for speed," says Andy Lackmann, Assistant Vice President of Marketing for the food service contractor. "We redesigned the Cafe to address all the needs of today's business dining guests: variety, fresh preparation, and quick yet customized service."

"Using kiosks grew from the challenge to serve 1300 guests more variety in less time without enlarging the facility's footprint, which is just 2,800 square feet," says Greg George, Lackmann District Manager and team leader for the renovations to the 10-year old Cafe. Removing the conventional sandwich prep station allowed room for exhibition and home-style cooking stations and for doubling the size of the salad bar.

"Hot food being freshly and individually prepared is the first thing you see when you enter the Cafe now," says Worters. New York architect Mircei Calin of Masconi and Behrmann opened up the serving area for a more cohesive flow, while brightening and updating the area to be more inviting, with wood and black tones and directional pin lighting to set off the food.

Using software developed by Miltech, a turnkey applications programmer in Texas and hardware supplied by EMF Corp. of Seattle, the system uses Pentium MMX 200 processors running Windows NT on PCs in each kiosk. Scalable, redundant and reliable, "The system could handle 100 times its current usage," says developer Scott Millsap, president of Miltech, "and downtime, should it occur, is usually less than 15 minutes."

The Lackmann team of more than 1400 serves 70 corporate and collegiate dining locations in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Florida. Headquartered in Woodbury, New York with regional offices in West Palm Beach, Florida and Mt. Ephriam, New Jersey, the privately held firm ranks with top players in the New York metro dining market.


/CONTACT: Anne Kennedy, 207-771-0395

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