Disney recently revealed their plans to have the Be Our Guest restaurant make extensive use of their new RFID systems for the lunch period.
Guests visiting the location for the quick-service lunch will be handed an RFID rose the size of a hockey puck. This rose will function as a group identifier for the guest’s order and track their party as they travel through the restaurant. Guests will frist take their rose to the ordering kiosk – tap the Mickey head of the rose to the Mickey head of the sales kiosk (lower left of photo) to identify themselves to the system.
Then they will use the touch screen to complete their full order if paying with credit, giftcard, or a Disney dining plan. They will then go to a self-service beverage area and then be seated in the dining hall with their rose-at-hand. The rose will identify to the servers who bring the food to the tables where the party has chosen to sit and thus the food will be delivered in a timely and seemingly magical manner to the proper location.
Guests choosing to pay with cash or vouchers will have the option of going through the same process with a pair of cash registers located in the same gallery as the rose-encoding kiosks. Also, with the way the system works, once RFID wristband ticket media is up and functioning the roses-pucks themselves will not be needed and guests can merely scan their wristband when placing their order instead of the rose-puck.
As charming as this is, Be Our Guest has already begun to run into some major issues during their few test dining periods. The building was designed and redesigned hastily during the construction process with the interior locations being reworked and the type of service the restaurant would offer – both full and quick service – changing more than once during the construction period. This had led to the kitchen being smaller than needed and the workers utterly frustrated with the situation. There’s no place to store hot prepared foods and everything else is choked by a lack of proper workspace. The 580-something seat location is strained because it has a kitchen equipped to serve far less than that.
For the time being, Disney having their staff work late into night “rehearsing” workarounds to the problems caused by the improperly designed facilities. Early test meals have been, at best, a small fiasco with food coming out wrong, taking forever, and not being properly prepared or even served with the right accompaniments. Thankfully this is what testing is designed for and hopefully something can be worked out – or rebuilt – lest the staff be forced to endure all night rehearsals of choreographing movement in the wonky space.