Global Briefing: Oct. 8, 2001

THE WIRELESS WAITRESS

In some European restaurants, waiters have abandoned their pencils and pads for handheld devices on which they message orders directly to the bar and the kitchen. Initially, the system didn't transfer well to the U.S. Most restaurants here offer many more choices, and prices change more often. San Diego software company Ameranth Technology may have solved the problem. Its wireless system allows communication between handhelds and fixed computers, so menus are instantly updated. Waiters can also process credit-card payments and print receipts right at the table--and even signal valet parking to fetch your car when you're ready to...

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