Cincinnati Zoo Improves Operations With New POS and Ticketing Systems

— February 08, 2011

ParTech, Inc. (PAR) and Gateway Ticketing Systems announced that the Cincinnati Zoo has deployed their hardware and software products to create an integrated ticketing, retail and foodservice solution that have helped boost the Zoo's per capita visitor spending by approximately 25 percent.

To gain greater business visibility into its ticketing and POS systems, the Cincinnati Zoo needed to employ a business analytics solution that provided meaningful insight on its investments. BrightStar Partners designed a data warehouse that collected information from various transactional systems and implemented it into a powerful reporting solution powered by IBM Cognos, that allowed the Cincinnati Zoo to conduct deep-dive analysis into their business operations.

The Cincinnati Zoo's previous POS systems were not integrated and the ticketing, retail and foodservice areas were all running on different hardware and software platforms. These systems did not allow the Zoo to create cross promotions or analyze the business across segments. The Cincinnati Zoo initiated its system upgrade with Gateway Ticketing Systems, with the goal of improving efficiency while increasing attendance and per capita spending through cross promotions and member discounts.

"PAR terminals are the hardware linchpin in our recent, major IT infrastructure upgrade," said John Lucas, director of park operations with the Cincinnati Zoo. "We chose PAR's EverServ POS terminals for this project because of their proven reliability, rugged design, convenient touch-screen display and sleek appearance. The EverServ terminals' ease of use and Gateway's efficient software have enabled our staff to increase foodservice line speeds by 20 percent, which has made it easier for us to introduce key new food concepts, serve more visitors, and handle substantially higher transaction volumes."

In 2008, the Cincinnati Zoo moved from PC-based cash registers to PAR POS terminals for its ticketing operations. Based on the success of the PAR terminals in the ticketing area, the Zoo has standardized on PAR EverServ 6000 point-of-sale (POS) terminals for the new system upgrade project. The Zoo added seven PAR EverServ 6000 terminals in July for its retail operations and 18 more in October for its foodservice locations, and plans to install another seven EverServ units in its ride and theatre areas by the end of the year. The EverServ 6000 terminals have operated flawlessly through major Zoo events including an October Halloween promotion that boosted average daily attendance approximately 30 percent across three consecutive weekends.

"We are pleased to work with Gateway Ticketing to create a joint solution for the Cincinnati Zoo's impressive system infrastructure upgrade," said Peter Wolf, ParTech's Chief Marketing Officer. "The EverServ 6000 terminals provide all the durability PAR is known for, with the flexibility, scalability and performance for any environment—from retail stores to restaurants and any other hospitality format. The Cincinnati Zoo has already achieved some truly outstanding results with its system upgrade, and we are committed to supporting the Zoo's mission to deliver the best possible visitor experience."

Gateway worked with Service Systems Associates (SSA), ParTech, and BrightStar Partners (BSP) to design and implement a fully integrated system using Gateway Galaxy transactional software running on PAR EverServ 6000 terminals along with BSP's implementation of IBM Cognos business intelligence software for real-time reporting, analytics and event notification. SSA manages the food and beverage and retail operations at the Zoo. The Zoo's new system enables management to better monitor operations, track visitor preferences and purchase trends, implement cross promotions and seasonable operational adjustments, and optimize sales and profitability while making more guest-centric decisions.

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