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Micros Systems Buys Florida Maker of Restaurant Pagers

Columbia Firm, JTech Share Customers

By Ellen McCarthy
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, January 7, 2005; Page E05

Micros Systems Inc., which makes technology for hotels, restaurants and retailers, said yesterday it acquired JTech Communications, a Boca Raton, Fla., firm that makes wireless paging devices used by restaurants to alert patrons when their table is ready.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The privately held Florida company, which has 85 employees, will continue to operate as a wholly owned subsidiary. No layoffs are expected as a result of the acquisition, according to Micros executives.

Restaurants and hotels use Micros Systems' point-of-sale screens to help seat customers, enter their food and drink orders, and prepare their checks. (Andrea Bruce Woodall -- The Washington Post)

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Micros Systems of Columbia sells mostly software products that help hotels and restaurants manage customer sales and other processes, such as inventory and human resources records. It also sells touch-screen computer terminals used by restaurant servers. For its fiscal year ended June 30, the company had a profit of $33.3 million ($1.73 per share) on $487.4 million in revenue.

In addition to wireless pagers that light up or vibrate when a diner's table is ready, JTech sells software that gives restaurant managers detailed information about a restaurant's operations, such as how quickly tables are turning over and how effectively the staff is distributed.

The two companies had a number of customers in common, including Applebee's, Hard Rock Cafe and Ruby Tuesday. Micros and JTech began talking in the fall about how to make their products work together better, and eventually decided a combination was possible, said Thomas L. Patz, executive vice president of strategic initiatives at Micros.

"It adds a product that is clearly complementary to our product set and allows us to engage in some additional cross-selling opportunities," Patz said.

Micros's sales force will begin selling JTech's pagers and software immediately, Patz said. JTech's products will also be sold internationally through Micros's sales channels, and the company plans to further target other industries, such as pharmacies, where consumers sometimes contend with a wait before being served, Patz added.

Shares of Micros closed yesterday at $71.42, up $1.22.

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