Irvine firm’s iPad ordering system will cruise on Norwegian

Norwegian Cruise Line next month will start using NorthStar Order Entry, an iPad ordering system developed by Irvine-based Custom Business Solutions.

The NorthStar app allows guests to order menu items using an iPad in stores.

Photo Credit: USA Today

Photo Credit: USA Today

The system is already in restaurants such as The Melting Pot and Stacked: Food Well Built. Newport Beach-based Stacked is opening an Orange County location soon.

The system will be used at the Norwegian Escape’s District Brew House and Food Republic restaurants.

At both ship locations, guests can use NorthStar to order food and drinks at their own pace.

At The District Brewhouse, waiters will hold the iPad while guests order. Drinks can be brought out by other members of the wait staff before the waiter even leaves, similar to the Melting Pot’s system.

Food Republic will use a system that resembles the one used at Stacked. There will be an iPad at every table that patrons can use to order food and drinks.

Developing the system for a ship, though, had some difficulties, CBS founder and CEO Art Julian said.

“Getting something as simple as an outlet to charge a device is hard,” Julian said. “Every outlet is spoken for in the original ship design, so that posed some challenges.”

CBS’ engineering team came up with a way to put 30 batteries into a single case that only requires one outlet to charge.

The other major challenge was making sure everything was kept sanitary to prevent food borne illness from traveling rapidly through the ship. CBS created a antibacterial coating on the iPads to address the issue.

CBS recently worked with a restaurant chain in New York to introduce Apple Pay and Google Pay into their system. The company also worked with Detroit Airport to introduce an iPad system that allows customers to order different dishes from different restaurants in the airport and have it delivered to their table.

Contact the writer: or Twitter: @HannahMadans





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