liderbug
Posts: 143
Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2011 4:47 pm

Remote email printing

Mon Oct 16, 2017 2:36 pm

I'm looking for advice. Situation: Local Pizza store with Zen-cart website (hosted, me). For online orders the owner purchased a Epson All-In-One printer (ink-jet) and signed up for Epsonconnect. [ zen-cart sends the order via email to epsonconnect which forwards it to the printer ]. The problem is the printer is located in the prep area - flour, moisture, etc and 6 months later the printer mis-feeds the paper - nothing is printed - customer shows up 20 minutes later, "Order for Smith" -> (angry!).

I've thought, local RasPi but that doesn't solve the mis-feed problem. Another thought is a older dot matrix tractor feed - have you priced them lately??? and they don't accept email (would require a local RasPi). An In-house cellphone, carried by a employee. [ they have a POS - doesn't accept emails ]

Twisty little passages all different...

PiGraham
Posts: 3405
Joined: Fri Jun 07, 2013 12:37 pm
Location: Waterlooville

Re: Remote email printing

Mon Oct 16, 2017 2:45 pm

Paper seems like a bad idea. Can't you go paperless? Can't you display orders on a screen that can indicate which are open, which fulfilled, prep time, collected etc? Some non-touch gesture sensors could allow hygienic review and updating. If the ordering site collected mobile numbers you could even send an SMS with update on collection time.

liderbug
Posts: 143
Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2011 4:47 pm

Re: Remote email printing

Mon Oct 16, 2017 3:06 pm

They have a POS system, touch screen front counter, touch screen in prep area for call in with POS receipt printer in prep area (doesn't have a problem with flour). I think you're thinking another touch display over the prep area. Would require me to start an entirely new business.

The current POS prints the order, they see it, tear off and stick in the clip over prep.

scotty101
Posts: 3256
Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2012 6:03 pm

Re: Remote email printing

Mon Oct 16, 2017 3:22 pm

Use a thermal receipt printer instead of an inkjet. Much less to go wrong and already heavily used in kitchen environments.
Electronic and Computer Engineer
Pi Interests: Home Automation, IOT, Python and Tkinter

PiGraham
Posts: 3405
Joined: Fri Jun 07, 2013 12:37 pm
Location: Waterlooville

Re: Remote email printing

Tue Oct 17, 2017 6:31 am

liderbug wrote:
Mon Oct 16, 2017 3:06 pm
They have a POS system, touch screen front counter, touch screen in prep area for call in with POS receipt printer in prep area (doesn't have a problem with flour). I think you're thinking another touch display over the prep area. Would require me to start an entirely new business.

The current POS prints the order, they see it, tear off and stick in the clip over prep.

You haven't explained quite what your business is. You have described why desktop all-in-one printers are unsuitable for use in kitchens.
There are "kitchen printers" on the market. These look like "POS receipt printer" using paper rolls and thermal or impact print mechanisms.
Google finds lots of these.
Could there be problems with thermal paper in prep areas? Presumably any supplier of POS equipment could supply such things.
It seems that, as a minimum, you need to get away from sheet-fed printers.
Getting away from paper entirely seems to be to be a better idea for all sorts of reasons, including reliability (no paper to run out, backup) and hygiene (no need to touch screens or printers while handling food).

MarkR
Posts: 128
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2013 1:55 pm

Re: Remote email printing

Tue Oct 17, 2017 9:01 am

POS receipt printers often use rs232 as an interface - you can't connect those directly to the pi very easily because its UART is (I think) not electrically compatible.

So get one with USB instead. Or use a usb serial dongle.

Thermal paper for the win - it's less to go wrong, often used in kitchen / restaurant environments. Can still fail though, so maybe pick up a spare. Used ones can be bought on (popular web site) for a few hundred quid (GBP).

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