Improving the ordering experience on Norwegian Escape

Custom Business Solutions’ NorthStar Order Entry system allows guests to order food at their own pace while dining in two of the ship’s branded restaurants

Improving the ordering experience on Norwegian Escape

When Norwegian Cruise Line’s much anticipated new ship Norwegian Escape embarked on her maiden voyage in December 2015, she became the first cruise ship to use tablet technology in two branded restaurants. This new technology put the control of the dining experience at the guests’ fingertips, demonstrating Norwegian’s commitment to updating technology on its modern cruise ships.

“Norwegian Escape is Norwegian’s most advanced and luxurious cruise liner that leverages advanced technology throughout,” says Mark Kansley, senior vice president of hotel operations at Norwegian. “Using state-of-the-art technology in these restaurants is another way to improve our onboard guest experience.”

Norwegian Escape’s District Brew House and Food Republic restaurants feature Custom Business Solutions’ NorthStar Order Entry, the hospitality industry’s first omnichannel cloud-based iPad POS system that allows guests to order their own food and beverages directly from their table. This eliminates the need for them to wait for a serving assistant, enabling them to pace how quickly they consume their meal and drinks.

In the District Brewhouse, for example, guests can use the tablets to order craft cocktails,up to 50 different bottled beers and 24 draft beers on tap, including popular Miami craft beer from Wynwood Brewing Company. Meanwhile in the Food Republic food hall, which was developed in collaboration with the Miami-based Pubbelly Restaurant Group, allows guests to order small plates of food. Technology adds to the contemporary vibe of the restaurant with its atrium design, décor that mixes wood, marble and warm fabrics, and expansive views.

Custom Business Solutions’ NorthStar system is fully integrated into Norwegian Escape’s billing system to validate the guest’s payment portfolio. The system also quickly authenticates a guest’s age, ensuring dining purchases can include age-restricted alcohol. Norwegian customised the NorthStar system with stylish photography of menu items and drinks, helping guests make ordering decisions with distinct visuals.

To ensure the iPads remain free from contact-related illnesses, Custom Business Solutions designed and developed an aluminum housing with an anti-bacterial coating. This attractive case meets the exacting health standards of Norwegian while fitting into the design aesthetic of each restaurant.

Power is also a considerable issue for a floating city like Norwegian Escape. Consequently, Custom Business Solutions has developed a power pack system that keep the iPads charged for extended periods of time. The company has also collaborated with Fabcon to design and deliver a rolling charging station that can charge 60 devices via a single outlet.

Developed by Custom Business Solutions for the restaurant industry four years ago, the NorthStar system is also used by full-service and fast-casual restaurants and at amusement parks across the US.

Rebecca Gibson
By Rebecca Gibson
08 March 2016