David F. Leigh

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Professional Biography

Denny's Menu Maintenance

Menu Maintenance is exactly what it sounds like. Denny's is, of course, a chain of 1500+ restaurants, and all of the menus for all of these stores are created by a single person at the Flagstar Home Office.

 This can be done not because they're standardized, but because Kay has an excellent tool to work with. Menu Maintenance contains a list of product codes and can gather these codes into heirarchal groupings. Groupings can be similarly grouped into other groupings, and these are eventually grouped into stores, then regions.

 In addition to generating the instructions for the publishers of the printed menus, this system also generated the data files that controlled the display of menu options on the Point-of-Sale system.

 I wish I'd thought of it. But I didn't. Instead I have to be content with having re-engineered it, taking the same basic design and moving it from procedural xBase code to SQL-based FoxPro 2.6, increasing the performance by 1600% in the process. That's not a typo, it says sixteen-hundred-percent. As an example, it literally took 25 hours to run menu generation with the original system, and if started at 9:00am, Kay had to come in at 11:00pm to press a button so it could continue. When I was done, the whole thing was done in one hour, with no user intervention. In addition to increasing the speed of the thing, I also made numerous enhancements to functionality and useability.


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