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By Aarti Pole

Opening night at the Ram in the Rye drew in as many as 281 patrons last week, but system errors are leading some to question whether the pub’s billing system is equipped to handle the crowds.

Frozen computers were unable to print receipts and customers were left stranded, frustrating staff and clients. “It’s ridiculous. Why would they spend so much money renovating the place when they’re not going to update a very outdated system?” complained one Ram in the Rye employee, who wished to remain anonymous.

The pub opened its doors last Thursday, after spending $70,000 on interior renovations. Student centre general manager Rob Emerson said last Thursday’s glitches likely resulted from a high volume of customers and a demand for the system to run at a faster speed. Although staffers performed a “dry run” the day before opening night without incident, only about 180 customers were involved.

The Ram in the Rye runs at a 300 person capacity, Emerson said. He estimated that opening night peaked at 281 customers. The glitches also upset Ram in the Rye waiter Aaron Gibson, who called the system “unreliable.”

Staff working opening night had to tell patrons they couldn’t order until the system was up again. First-year student Drew Penner’s plans for another round of drinks at around 1 a.m. opening night were also thwarted by the frozen computers.

The problems persisted on St. Patrick’s day. Emerson was quick to respond at the first sign of a problem on opening night, and contacted a serviceman to stay upstairs and watch over the network. “We said, ‘Stay however long you have to, it doesn’t matter how much it’ll cost,'” Emerson said. “There are always little hiccups when opening up a bar.”

Although Emerson spoke with the bar’s management about his technical concerns, Monday, students heading to the pub for an early start to happy hour were confronted with a sign, reading: “Bar closed for 30 minutes due to technical issues.”

Emerson assured that he’ll have someone rectify the system problem so it won’t be a problem. “We will be updating the point of sale system soon. It has definitely moved up in priority,” he said.

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