Helping an Amazing Child Follow His Restaurant Dreams
Future POS & Springfield Restaurant Group Team Up to Show a Boy with Autism How Restaurants Run
It’s not every child who dreams about learning to run a restaurant. So when you meet a unique young man who is trying to learn all he can about how a modern restaurant works, you feel called to do all you can to help him realize his dream.
A Budding Restaurateur
Noah Holzwarth is a very sweet and energetic eleven year-old boy with autism. He is home-schooled by his mother, Melanie, who works tirelessly to develop a curriculum that keeps him engaged. “Noah didn’t have an interest in school, particularly math,” Melanie explained. But he did have an interest in cooking and food – a strong interest.
Looking for ways to help Noah feel excited about his schooling, Melanie did what any good mom would do – she worked with what she had. “I decided to make learning fun,” Melanie said. “I knew that that Noah has a passion for cooking and for food. And let’s face it, cooking is math.”
Now in fifth grade, Noah started learning everything about how to run a restaurant. But there was one area that his mother was not able to show him — how to use a point-of-sale (POS) system. Melanie had shown Noah how to use handwritten guest checks, but that method is outdated and wouldn’t be useful as Noah moved beyond school to a real restaurant situation. Wanting to help Noah be as tech savvy as possible, Melanie reached out to local, award-winning restaurant point-of-sale company, Future POS.
We jumped at the opportunity to help fulfill Noah’s dream to learn all about restaurants. We contacted the Springfield Restaurant Group to see if they would partner with us to expand Noah’s experience. Their Director of Training and Guest Services, Sheila Nuth, joined in immediately.
Getting to the Point (of Sale)
Last week, Noah and Melanie visited our office in Butler, Pennsylvania. Noah wowed the room as he talked and talked about his love of cooking. He shared with us his favorite cooking shows and chefs. Celebrity Chef Gordon Ramsay is one of his favorites, and we were pleased to tell Noah that Mr. Ramsey runs many of his restaurants with Future POS software.
We gave Noah and Melanie a tour of the Future POS offices, and then our Pennsylvania Sales Executive, Doug Frost, gave a hands-on tour of the software. “I have never before had the pleasure of giving a demonstration to someone so eager to learn how a point-of-sale system works,” Doug said afterwards.
Since our software is designed for the hospitality industry, Doug showed Noah many of the award-winning features that restaurants use every day, including how to place an order using multi-column modifiers to make ordering fast and simple.
After the half-hour demonstration, we surprised Noah by presenting him with his very own POS demo unit, donated by Future POS. Our Support Manager, Carissa Spencer, programmed the menu and explained to Melanie how she could access the back office and use the system as a home-school training tool. The back office includes a variety of reports that restaurants need to manage their businesses daily.
Learning the Restaurant Ropes
In the afternoon, Noah, his family, and the Future POS staff headed to Rachel’s Roadhouse for a tour of a real restaurant kitchen. While there, Sheila Nuth presented Noah with his very own chef coat, hat, and spatula. Noah also received a personal tour of the kitchen, including training on how to be a cashier, how to be a greeter, how to take reservations, how to plate food, how to make a salad, how to be a line cook, and more. It was a wonderful, hands-on experience for him to see how a real-life restaurant operates.
During the whole visit, the managers and staff at Rachel’s Roadhouse were extremely generous and accommodating. They even went so far as to put a special sandwich on the menu for the day named after him, Noah’s Po-Boy.
After lunching on his namesake sandwich, the adorable eleven year-old told all of us at the table, “I might even work here [at Rachel’s Roadhouse] after one of the chefs retire.” It was a great end to an inspirational day!