WO2012116356A2 - Method and apparatus for guest check presentation - Google Patents

Method and apparatus for guest check presentation Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2012116356A2
WO2012116356A2 PCT/US2012/026674 US2012026674W WO2012116356A2 WO 2012116356 A2 WO2012116356 A2 WO 2012116356A2 US 2012026674 W US2012026674 W US 2012026674W WO 2012116356 A2 WO2012116356 A2 WO 2012116356A2
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WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
panel
guest check
check presenter
control module
electronic control
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/US2012/026674
Other languages
French (fr)
Other versions
WO2012116356A3 (en
Inventor
Celestina PUGLIESE
Original Assignee
Pugliese Celestina
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US201161447045P priority Critical
Priority to US61/447,045 priority
Application filed by Pugliese Celestina filed Critical Pugliese Celestina
Priority to US201213405332A priority
Priority to US13/405,332 priority
Publication of WO2012116356A2 publication Critical patent/WO2012116356A2/en
Publication of WO2012116356A3 publication Critical patent/WO2012116356A3/en

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Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G08SIGNALLING
    • G08BSIGNALLING OR CALLING SYSTEMS; ORDER TELEGRAPHS; ALARM SYSTEMS
    • G08B7/00Signalling systems according to more than one of groups G08B3/00 - G08B6/00; Personal calling systems according to more than one of groups G08B3/00 - G08B6/00
    • G08B7/06Signalling systems according to more than one of groups G08B3/00 - G08B6/00; Personal calling systems according to more than one of groups G08B3/00 - G08B6/00 using electric transmission, e.g. involving audible and visible signalling through the use of sound and light sources
    • G08B7/068Signalling systems according to more than one of groups G08B3/00 - G08B6/00; Personal calling systems according to more than one of groups G08B3/00 - G08B6/00 using electric transmission, e.g. involving audible and visible signalling through the use of sound and light sources calling personnel in a restaurant, e.g. waiter call

Abstract

Disclosed is a guest check presenter comprising: a front panel including a window; a light source disposed within the front panel and positioned proximate the window; an electronic control module in electrical communication with the light source; and an electrical switch in electrical communication with the electronic control module.

Description

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
[0001] The present Application is related to Provisional Patent Application entitled "Method and Apparatus for Guest Check Presentation," filed 26 February 201 1 and assigned filing number 61/447,045, and is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
[0002] This invention relates generally to a method and apparatus for effective document presentation and, more specifically, to an enclosure suitable for conveying a customer or guest check in a commercial dining establishment.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
[0003] Among unpleasant dining experiences a restaurant patron may encounter is the occasion when a server leaves a check for the patron after a meal has been consumed, and the server repeatedly returns to ask if the patron is ready to pay the check. Often times, most diners may prefer to be left alone by the server, preferring that there were some method of signaling to the server when the check was ready to be picked up. The present invention provides a solution to avoid such dining experiences.
BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
[0004] In one aspect of the present invention, a guest check presenter comprises: a front panel including a window; a light source disposed within the front panel and positioned proximate the window; an electronic control module in electrical communication with the light source; and an electrical switch in electrical communication with the electronic control module. [0005] In another aspect of the present invention, a guest check presenter comprises: a substantially planar back panel; a flexible sleeve attached to the back panel, the flexible sleeve configured to frictionally retain a substantially flat item; a spine having a hinged connection to the back panel; a substantially planar front panel having a hinged connection to the spine, such that the front panel can be closed against the back panel to form a folder, the front panel including a window having a logo disposed on a surface of the window, the logo including at least one of a service mark, a trademark, an establishment name, or an advertising image; at least one light-emitting diode disposed within the front panel and positioned proximate an edge of the window; an electronic control module in electrical communication with the at least one light-emitting diode, the front panel further having at least one of a hinged lid or a sliding lid to cover the electronic control module; and an electrical switch in electrical communication with the electronic control module.
[0006] In still another aspect of the present invention, a method of obtaining payment from a patron for service provided by a business facility comprises:
placing a payment request in a guest check presenter, the guest check presenter configured as a folder, the guest check presenter including a window at least partially illuminated by a light source controlled by an electrical switch; presenting the guest check presenter to a patron of the business service; reviewing the guest check by the patron; and activating the light source to illuminate at least an edge of the window by closing the electrical switch to indicate submittal of payment by said patron.
[0007] The additional features and advantages of the disclosed invention are set forth in the detailed description which follows, and will be apparent to those skilled in the art from the description or recognized by practicing the invention as described, together with the claims and appended drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTIONS OF THE DRAWINGS
[0008] Fig. 1 is an illustration of a guest check presenter in a standing state, in accordance with an aspect of the present invention;
[0009] Fig. 2 shows front, side, and back diagrammatical views of the guest check presenter of Fig. 1 ;
[0010] Fig. 3 is a diagrammatical isometric representation of the guest check presenter of Fig. 1 ;
[0011] Fig. 4 is an illustration of the guest check presenter of Fig. 1 in a closed state;
[0012] Fig. 5 is an illustration of the guest check presenter of Fig. 1 in an open state showing the inside of the guest check presenter;
[0013] Fig. 6 is a flow diagram explaining typical use of the guest check presenter of Fig. 1 ;
[0014] Fig. 7 is an illustration of a hinged lid provided in a front panel of the guest check presenter of Fig. 1 , the hinged lid functioning to conceal an electronic control module disposed in a recessed compartment;
[0015] Fig. 8 is an illustration of an alternate embodiment of an electronic control module disposed in the recessed compartment of Fig. 7;
[0016] Fig. 9 is an electrical schematic showing the components comprising an exemplary embodiment of the electronic control module of Fig. 8, the exemplary electronic control module embodiment comprising a light-emitting diode; [0017] Fig. 10 is an electrical schematic showing an alternate embodiment of the electronic control module of Fig. 8, the alternate electronic control module embodiment operating in accordance with a pulsed timing diagram;
[0018] Fig. 1 1 is an electrical schematic showing an alternate embodiment of the electronic control module of Fig. 8, the alternate electronic control module embodiment comprising two light-emitting diodes of the same wavelength;
[0019] Fig. 12 is an electrical schematic showing an alternate embodiment of the electronic control module of Fig. 8, the alternate electronic control module embodiment comprising three light-emitting diodes of different output wavelengths;
[0020] Fig. 13 is an exemplary embodiment of a guest check presenter including the front panel of Fig. 1 supported by a stand; and
[0021] Fig. 14 is an exemplary embodiment of a guest check presenter including the front panel of Fig. 1 including a flexible sleeve for emplacement of a flat item.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
[0022] The following detailed description is of the best currently contemplated modes of carrying out the invention. The description is not to be taken in a limiting sense, but is made merely for the purpose of illustrating the general principles of the invention.
[0023] The disclosed check presentment system is configured as a compact folder having front and back panels hinged at a spine to allow the front panel to lie essentially flat against the similarly-sized back panel. A partially transparent or translucent window is provided in the front panel, and one or more light sources are disposed at one or more edges of the window such that a glow is seen emanating from the window when the one or more light sources are powered. Electric power for the light sources may be controlled by an electronic timer circuit to allow for unattended operation, and to prolong the operational lifetime of the electrical power source by shutting off the electric power after a predetermined amount of time.
[0024] There is shown in Figure 1 a pictorial perspective view of a guest check presenter 10, in accordance with an aspect of the present invention. In the illustration provided, the guest check presenter 10 may contain the check or bill for a meal or drinks served to a patron, and may have been placed by a server on a restaurant table or a bar surface of a dining establishment. The guest check presenter 10 may also include an Appetizer Menu and/or a Cocktail Menu (not shown) for the convenience of the patron. As shown in the diagrammatical illustration of Figure 2, the guest check presenter 10 may comprise a front panel 1 1 , a spine 15, and a back panel 13. The front panel 1 1 may have a first hinged connection with the spine 15 and, likewise, the back panel 13 may have a second hinged connection with the spine 15, substantially as shown. A user may close the front panel 1 1 against the back panel 13 to form a folder configuration, as best seen with additional reference to the diagrammatical illustration of Figure 3.
[0025] In an exemplary alternative embodiment (not shown), the guest check presenter 10 may be constructed with a spiral ring binder, including helical coil and three-ring-type configurations, as well known in the relevant art. It can be appreciated that, in a configuration comprising a spiral ring binder, the guest check presenter 10 will not include the spine 15. Use of either the spine 15 or the spiral ring binder may be determined by a designer of the guest check presenter 10.
[0026] In an exemplary embodiment, the front panel 1 1 , the back panel 13, and the spine 15 may comprise cardboard stock, or similar rigid sheet-like material, enclosed within a fabric or textured material covering 23 so as to provide an attractive appearance. The front panel 1 1 and the back panel 13 may be approximately 100-180 mm wide (dimension TV) and 180-300 mm in height (dimension 'B'), and the spine 15 may be approximately 10-25 mm thick (dimension 'C'). The front panel 11 may include a transparent or translucent window 21 , wherein the transparent/ translucent window 21 may be clear, tinted, or a combination of clear/tint.
[0027] The outside surface of the back panel 13 may include a removable miniature billboard 27 that displays text/graphics 29 as a means of advertising a local business or service. The size of the miniature billboard 27 is smaller than the overall size of the back panel 13 (i.e., less than dimension 'A' by dimension 'B'), and may be located on the back panel 13 essentially as shown in the illustration. When the guest check presenter 10 is placed in a standing position, as in the example of Figure 1 , the miniature billboard 27 can easily be viewed by the restaurant patron as well as by other patrons of the restaurant who pass by the table of the restaurant patron. This advertising function can also be provided by standing the guest check presenter 10 on an unoccupied table, before the restaurant patron arrives to be seated.
[0028] In an exemplary embodiment, the transparent/translucent window 21 may comprise a clear or tinted sheet of plastic material. The transparent/ translucent window 21 may be approximately 60-125 mm wide (dimension Ό') and 50-160 mm in height (dimension Έ'). The lower edge of the transparent/ translucent window 21 may be positioned near the center of the front panel. It should be understood that the size of the transparent/translucent window 21 may be larger or smaller than the dimensions given above, as may be determined by a designer of the guest check presenter 10.
[0029] Utilization of the guest check presenter 10 can be explained with additional reference to the illustrations of Figures 4 and 5, and to a flow diagram 40 in Figure 6. As shown in Figure 4, an agent (e.g., a meal server or a bartender) of the restaurant or other business concern may place the guest check presenter 10 on a table or other surface in a closed state, or present the guest check presenter 10 to the service patron or other presumed bill payer, with the transparent/ translucent window 21 facing upward. In an exemplary embodiment, the
transparent/ translucent window 21 may include a logo 25, such as a trademark or a service mark related to the food, beverage, and restaurant industries. In an exemplary embodiment, the logo 25 may be configured in the shape of a "check mark," a logo particularly suitable for use in a restaurant establishment
[0030] Although the transparent/translucent window 21 is here shown configured in the shape of a rectangle, it should be understood that other shapes can be used including, but not limited to, circles, ovals, polygons, a freeform shape, or a distinctive shape that the patron may associate with the particular dining or drinking establishment. The transparent/translucent window 21 may comprise a uniform tint or clarity, or have a color gradient of one or more colors, as may be determined by a designer of the guest check presenter 10.
[0031] The logo 25 may alternatively comprise the name of the dining establishment, or may include, for example, an advertising image for a particular brand of wine or spirits available at the dining establishment. The logo 25 can be applied to the outside surface or to the inside surface of the transparent/
translucent window 21 by silk screen, printing, decalcomania, or by any other process known in the relevant art, so that the logo 25 appears dark on a light background. The logo 25 may comprise a translucent region on an otherwise transparent window, and may be formed by chemical etching or mechanical abrasion, as is well-known in the relevant art. Alternatively, the
transparent/translucent window 21 may be configured in a reverse mode, where the logo 25 is a clear or light image on a translucent or dark background, so that the logo 25 appears light on a dark background. In the configuration shown, the textured material covering 23 may simulate a leather or other textured exterior.
[0032] Figure 5 shows the guest check presenter 10, opened to show an exemplary interior layout. The inside of the back panel 13 may include a flexible sleeve 31 to allow for insertion and retention of a substantially flat item, such as a meal check, a bar tab, or a similar request for payment. The upper portion of the inside surface of the back panel 13 may also include a graphical item 33 printed on the inside surface, here shown as the words "Thank You." There may be provided a loop or clasp (not shown) for retaining a writing implement.
[0033] The inside of the front panel 1 1 may include a hinged lid 35 releasable secured to the front panel 1 1 so as to provide server access to an internal electronic control module (not shown) described in greater detail below. The surface of the hinged lid 35 may include printed instructions 37 for the restaurant patron, and a graphical indication of an activation area 39 to guide the restaurant patron in the activation of the electronic control module, as explained with reference to the flow diagram 40 of Figure 6. In an exemplary alternative embodiment, the activation area 39 may be located on the outside surface of the front panel 1 1 (not shown). In yet another exemplary alternative embodiment, the hinged lid 35 may be configured to as a sliding lid (not shown), as well known in the art, so as to be able to slide into and out of the front panel 11 , so as to provide access to the internal electronic control module.
[0034] In a typical utilization of the guest check presenter 10, a server may insert a dinner bill or a bar tab into the guest check presenter 10, and place the guest check presenter 10 on a dining table or the surface of a bar near the patron, at step 41 . In response, the patron may view the bill or tab and place a remittance or a credit card into the flexible sleeve 31 , at step 43. It can be appreciated that the server is desirous of knowing when the patron has viewed the enclosed bill, has provided payment, and allows the server to retrieve the guest check presenter 10.
[0035] The restaurant patron can indicate that payment is ready for processing by pressing the activation area 39 to initiate the electronic control module, at step 45. As explained in greater detail below, an electrical switch (not shown) may be disposed under the inner surface of the front panel 1 1 . This pressing action by the user has the effect of producing a "glow" or light emission 19 (shown in Figure 1 ) from the transparent/translucent window 21 .
[0036] As noted above, the transparent/translucent window 21 may comprise a clear or tinted sheet of plastic material, such as PLEXIGLAS. The optical properties of such plastic allow for imparting a glow to substantially the entire area or extent of the transparent/translucent window 21 when illuminated at an edge. Accordingly, the transparent/translucent window 21 may be illuminated to emit a glow whether the guest check presenter 10 is in a slightly opened state in a standing position, such as in Figures 1 and 13, lying in a closed state, such as in Figure 4, or lying in an opened state, such as in Figure 5. Preferably, one or more light sources (described below) are disposed at one of more regions of the edges of the transparent/translucent window 21 .
[0037] In an exemplary alternative embodiment, one or more lengths of light- conducting guides (not shown), such as optical fibers, may be disposed between the one or more light sources and one or more areas on the edges of the
transparent/translucent window 21 , in a configuration where the one or more light sources are not located in close proximity to the one or more edges of the transparent/translucent window 21 . It should be understood that such an
alternative embodiment may include a configuration having a single light source and multiple light-conducting guides routed to multiple areas on the edges of the transparent/translucent window 21 , as may be specified by design and
manufacturing constraints.
[0038] The glow from the transparent window 21 can easily be seen in the typical low-light-level environment of many conventional dining establishments. The server is alerted by the glowing transparent/translucent window 21 , at step 47, and may approach the dining table to remove the guest check presenter 10. The light emission 19 automatically shuts off after a predetermined amount of time, as described below. The server processes the payment, and may return to the dining table to leave the guest check presenter 10 with a receipt, at step 49.
[0039] Figure 7 is an illustration showing the inside of the front panel 1 1 with the hinged lid 35 in a raised position to expose a recessed compartment 51 enclosing an electronic control module 50. In the embodiment shown, the electronic control module 50 operates using a light-emitting diode (LED) 53 as a light source, the LED 53 positioned against an edge of the transparent/translucent window 21 , and at least one battery 55 to power operation of the electronic control module 50 and the LED 53. When closed, the hinged lid 35 may be held in place by means of mechanical fastener pairs 57a and 57b, or "snaps" as well known in the art. In an alternative embodiment, a hook-and-pile fastener pair can be used in place of mechanical fasteners. The restaurant patron can activate the electronic control module 50, and correspondingly the LED 53, by closing an electrical switch, as described in greater detail below.
[0040] Figure 8 is an illustration showing an alternate embodiment of an electronic control module 60 disposed in the recessed compartment 51 . It can be appreciated that the electronic control module 60 may comprise a larger physical package than the electronic control module 50. Accordingly, the electronic control module 60 may provide more functionality for operation of the guest check presenter 10 than would the electronic control module 50.
[0041] In the embodiment shown, for example, the electronic control module 60 is in electrical communication with a button switch 61 that may be depressed by the patron when pressure is applied to the activation area 39 on the hinged lid 35. The button switch 61 is in electrical communication with a circuit board 63 such that, when the button switch 61 is depressed, a timing circuit on the circuit board 63 may transmit power from batteries 67 to an LED 65 for a predetermined amount of time.
[0042] The "on" time for the LED 65 may be specified by the value of a timing resistor (not shown) on the circuit board 63, as is well-known in the relevant art. The button switch 61 may be a "push-on, push-off' type of electrical switch, or a "push-on" type, as well-known in the relevant art. It can be appreciated that the button switch 61 functions to activate the timing circuit, and that the duration of light emission is determined by the component values of the timing circuit. [0043] Figure 9 shows an electrical schematic 70 as may be embodied in the components comprising the electronic control module 50 or the electronic control module 60, for operation in accordance with the method of the present invention. The electrical schematic 70 comprises an electrical power source, such as a battery 71 , which functions to power an illumination device, such as an LED 73, the electrical power supplied to the LED 73 via a timing circuit 75.
[0044] The timing circuit 75 may be provided in a "chip" package with multiple electrical contacts such as leads or solder balls, as is well known in the relevant art. An "on/off' button switch 77 may be used by the restaurant patron to initiate operation of the timing circuit 75 and, accordingly, illuminate the
transparent/translucent panel 21 . The electrical schematic may also include a load resistance 81 and a timing resistance 83 to control the "on" time of the LED 73, as well-known in the relevant art. In an exemplary embodiment, operation of the schematic components includes the steps of: (i) depressing the button switch 77,
(ii) providing battery power to the LED 73 via the timing circuit 75, and
(iii) terminating the electrical power to the LED 73 via the timing circuit 75 after a predetermined time, as shown in a timing diagram 89.
[0045] In an exemplary embodiment, the LED 73 may comprise a high- brightness white LED operating at approximately 3.0 to 3.4 volts to emit radiation at about 6000° to 6500° K, and having a luminous intensity of approximately 4000 to 5000 milli-candela (mcd). The LED 73 may operate on a steady current supply of approximately twenty milli-amperes (20 mA). A typical power supply (i.e., battery 71 ) may comprise two CR2032 "button" batteries. By employing a timing circuit 75 that turns off current to the LED 73 after about three minutes, the guest check presenter 10 can function as described for a period of weeks or months before battery replacement is required. In an alternative embodiment, depressing the button switch 77 while the LED 73 is in a powered state resets the timing circuit 75 to the initial state.
[0046] Figure 10 shows an alternative electrical schematic 90 as may be embodied in the electronic control module 50 or the electronic control module 60 for operation in accordance with the method of the present invention. The electrical schematic 90 comprises a timing circuit 91 , a timing resistor 93, and a load resistor 95 that function to produce a pulsed light output at the LED 73, in accordance with a timing diagram 99.
[0047] Figure 1 1 shows another alternative electrical schematic 100 as may be embodied in the electronic control module 50 or the electronic control module 60 for operation in accordance with the method of the present invention. The electrical schematic 100 comprises two LEDs 73 so as to allow for placement of the second LED 73 at the upper edge of the transparent window and provide a combined LED glow of higher intensity than can be provided by a single LED 73 operating alone at the lower edge of the transparent window 21 . The electrical schematic 100 may also include a load resistor 101 , a timing resistor 103, and a timing circuit 105 specified to provide for operation of two LEDs 73 as shown.
[0048] Figure 12 shows yet another alternative electrical schematic 1 10 as may be embodied in the electronic control module 50 or the electronic control module 60 for operation in accordance with the method of the present invention. The electrical schematic 110 comprises a red LED 1 1 1 , a blue LED 113, and a green LED 115. The electrical schematic 1 10 may further include a timing circuit 121 , a timing resistor 123, a load resistor configured to operate with the LED 11 1 , the LED 1 13, and the LED 115. Utilization of components in accordance with the electrical schematic 1 10 functions to provide a guest check presenter in which the transparent window 21 may be configured to glow in any of a number of different colors and timing patterns, in accordance with either of timing diagrams 89 or 99.
[0049] In an exemplary embodiment, shown in Figure 13, a guest check presenter 130 may comprise the front panel 1 1 placed into a stand 131 , where the guest check presenter 130 does not include either the back panel 13 or the spine 15. The stand 131 , which may be weighted and functions to clasp the front panel 1 1 , thus provides a means to keep the front panel 1 1 in a slightly tilted or in a substantially upright position, depending on the configuration of the stand 131 , so that the guest check presenter 130 may be readily seen by a server.
[0050] The server may place the guest check presenter 130 on top of the guest check, for example, and wait for the restaurant patron to press the activation area 39 on the front panel 11 , cause the electronic control unit 50, 60 to activate, and power up the light source 53, 65, in the same manner as described above for the guest check presenter 10. In an exemplary alternative embodiment, a guest check presenter 140, shown in Figure 14, may include the flexible sleeve 31 disposed on the hinged lid 35 of the front panel 1 1 . Note that the relative thicknesses of the hinged lid 35 and the flexible sleeve 31 have been exaggerated for clarity of illustration. In this configuration, the flexible sleeve 31 is sized and positioned so as to allow the hinged lid 35 (or alternate sliding lid configuration) to be opened and closed without interference from the flexible sleeve 31 .
[0051] It is to be understood that the description herein is exemplary of the invention only and is intended to provide an overview for the understanding of the nature and character of the invention. The accompanying drawings are included to provide a further understanding of various features and embodiments of the method and apparatus of the invention which, together with their description serve to explain the principles and operation of the invention. Thus, while the invention has been described with reference to particular embodiments, it will be understood that the present invention is by no means limited to the particular constructions and methods herein disclosed and/or shown in the drawings.
[0052] Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become obvious to the reader and it is intended that these objects and advantages are within the scope of the present invention. To the accomplishment of the above and related objects, this invention may be embodied in the form illustrated in the accompanying drawings, attention being called to the fact, however, that the drawings are illustrative only, and that changes may be made in the specific construction illustrated and described within the scope of this application.

Claims

CLAIMS What is claimed is:
1. A guest check presenter suitable for use by a restaurant patron, said guest check presenter comprising:
a front panel including a window;
a light source disposed within said front panel and positioned proximate said window;
an electronic control module in electrical communication with said light source; and
an electrical switch in electrical communication with said electronic control module.
2. The guest check presenter of claim 1 further comprising a back panel connected to said front panel by hinge means, such that said front panel can be closed against said back panel to form a folder.
3. The guest check presenter of claim 2 wherein said hinge means comprises one of a (i) spiral ring binder or (ii) a a spine having a first hinged connection to said front panel and a second hinged connection to said back panel.
4. The guest check presenter of claim 2 further comprising a miniature billboard disposed on an outside surface of said back panel.
5. The guest check presenter of claim 1 wherein said window comprises one of a transparent plastic sheet and a translucent plastic sheet.
6. The guest check presenter of claim 1 further comprising a logo disposed on a surface of said window.
7. The guest check presenter of claim 6 wherein said logo comprises at least one of a service mark, a trademark, an establishment name, or an advertising image .
8. The guest check presenter of claim 1 further comprising a flexible sleeve attached to said guest check presenter, said flexible sleeve configured to frictionally retain a substantially flat item.
9. The guest check presenter of claim 1 wherein said electronic control module functions to terminate power to said light source a predetermined amount of time after said power has been applied to said light source.
10 The guest check presenter of claim 1 wherein said light source comprises at least one light-emitting diode.
1 1. The guest check presenter of claim 1 wherein said light source is disposed at an edge of said window.
12. The guest check presenter of claim 1 further comprising a recessed
compartment, said recessed compartment configured to enclose and retain said electronic control module.
13. The guest check presenter of claim 1 wherein said electrical switch is disposed under an activation area on a surface of said front panel, said electrical switch responsive to a user pressing on said activation area.
14. The guest check presenter of claim 1 further comprising a battery in electrical communication with said electronic control module.
15. A guest check presenter suitable for use by a restaurant patron, said guest check presenter comprising:
a substantially planar back panel;
a flexible sleeve attached to said back panel, said flexible sleeve configured to frictionally retain a substantially flat item;
a spine having a hinged connection to said back panel;
a substantially planar front panel having a hinged connection to said spine, such that said front panel can be closed against said back panel to form a folder, said front panel including a window having a logo disposed on a surface of said window, said logo including at least one of a service mark, a trademark, an establishment name, or an advertising image;
at least one light-emitting diode disposed within said front panel and positioned proximate an edge of said window;
an electronic control module in electrical communication with said at least one light-emitting diode, said front panel further having at least one of a hinged lid or a sliding lid to cover said electronic control module; and
an electrical switch in electrical communication with said electronic control module.
16. The guest check presenter of claim 15 further comprising an activation area on a surface of said front panel, said electrical switch applying power from a power source to said electronic control module in response to a user pressing on said activation area.
17. The guest check presenter of claim 15 further comprising a miniature billboard disposed on an outside surface of said back panel.
18. A method of obtaining payment from a patron for service provided by a business facility, the method comprising the steps of:
placing a payment request in a guest check presenter, said guest check presenter configured as a folder, said guest check presenter including a window at least partially illuminated by a light source controlled by an electrical switch; presenting said guest check presenter to a patron of the business service;
reviewing said guest check by said patron; and
activating said light source to illuminate at least an edge of said window by closing said electrical switch to indicate submittal of payment by said patron.
19. The method of claim 18 further comprising the step of removing said guest check presenter by an agent of the business facility.
20. The method of claim 18 wherein an electrical timing module functions to shut off said light source after a predetermined amount of time.
PCT/US2012/026674 2011-02-26 2012-02-26 Method and apparatus for guest check presentation WO2012116356A2 (en)

Priority Applications (4)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US201161447045P true 2011-02-26 2011-02-26
US61/447,045 2011-02-26
US201213405332A true 2012-02-26 2012-02-26
US13/405,332 2012-02-26

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WO2012116356A3 WO2012116356A3 (en) 2014-04-24

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US5813748A (en) * 1997-03-25 1998-09-29 Maxymych; Peter Nicholas Illuiminated transaction tray
US20040099546A1 (en) * 2002-11-20 2004-05-27 Marc Schlosser Guest check presenter
US6808208B2 (en) * 2002-12-16 2004-10-26 Sandra J. Ward Food/drink tab/check holder
US7163307B1 (en) * 2003-12-03 2007-01-16 Brooke Baily Clark Illuminated document caddy
US7270437B1 (en) * 2005-09-19 2007-09-18 Eric Racoosin Illumination device for a guest check presenter
US20070253187A1 (en) * 2005-08-12 2007-11-01 Howard Cohan Light sensitive illuminated exhibitor
US7559665B1 (en) * 2007-12-21 2009-07-14 John Pfanstiehl Low cost automatically illuminated document holder

Patent Citations (8)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US5355115A (en) * 1992-12-14 1994-10-11 Goor Associates, Inc. Waitstaff signaling device for use in a service establishment
US5813748A (en) * 1997-03-25 1998-09-29 Maxymych; Peter Nicholas Illuiminated transaction tray
US20040099546A1 (en) * 2002-11-20 2004-05-27 Marc Schlosser Guest check presenter
US6808208B2 (en) * 2002-12-16 2004-10-26 Sandra J. Ward Food/drink tab/check holder
US7163307B1 (en) * 2003-12-03 2007-01-16 Brooke Baily Clark Illuminated document caddy
US20070253187A1 (en) * 2005-08-12 2007-11-01 Howard Cohan Light sensitive illuminated exhibitor
US7270437B1 (en) * 2005-09-19 2007-09-18 Eric Racoosin Illumination device for a guest check presenter
US7559665B1 (en) * 2007-12-21 2009-07-14 John Pfanstiehl Low cost automatically illuminated document holder

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