By Matt Pillar, chief editor
In Manhattan’s fine dining microcosm, selling restaurant systems requires equal parts modern technology and old-school salesmanship.
Bill Gordon has a restaurant pedigree dating back to the sixties. From 1969 until 1985, he and partner Steve Meisels operated a posh third-floor hotspot overlooking U.N. headquarters in New York City. In between hosting the diplomats and dignitaries who frequented his establishment during the 1970s, Gordon began dabbling in POS technology. “We had a kitchen register that blew up, so we started tinkering with ECRs [electronic cash registers],” says Gordon. Back then, NCR was the leader in ECRs, but Gordon says they hadn’t yet been installed in tablecloth restaurants. “We spent about five months creating a base system for the ECR that could operate in fine dining,” he says. Once that system was up and running, restaurateurs from various trade associations Gordon and Meisels were involved with started asking about it. The momentum of that interest built through the early 1980s, and the rest, as they say, is history. Recognizing an opportunity in the needs of the thriving Manhattan restaurant scene, Gordon sold the restaurant in 1985 to focus on building and selling POS for fine dining.