The POS is the Newest Attraction at Cincinnati Zoo


The Cincinatti Zoo recently deployed an IT infrastructure upgrade which has boosted per capita visitor spending by 25%. The deployment centers around hardware and software products by ParTech, Inc. (PAR) and Gateway Ticketing Systems that create an integrated ticketing, retail and foodservice solution.

“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.”

“The reliability of the PAR terminals has been absolutely stellar, which is critical for an operation like ours where POS systems gets extremely heavy usage nine to twelve hours each day, in locations that are vulnerable to spills and inclement weather,” said Dave Schneider, director of information technology at the Cincinnati Zoo. “The terminals combine everything we need including an integrated card swipe, high-quality touch-screen display, and a rugged yet aesthetically pleasing design.”

“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.”

“We are extremely excited to not only continue our longstanding relationship with the Cincinnati Zoo, but to continue to provide them with solutions that help them be more innovative and successful,” said Mike Furman, Director of Sales and Marketing for Gateway Ticketing Systems. “We have seen the Cincinnati Zoo benefit from their continual investment in their Galaxy and PAR solutions, from adding eGalaxy Web Store for online ticketing, to the construction of a new front gate with turnstiles and outdoor kiosks.”

Project Overview

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.

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.

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(TM) 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.

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