Diners at Lux Bar and Restaurant in Lan Kwai Fong are in for a hi-tech experience. The restaurant, owned by Allan Zeman's Lan Kwai Fong Holdings, is believed to be the first in Hong Kong to use a mobile ordering and cashiering system on a wireless local area network. Staff are equipped with Hewlett-Packard iPaq H5450 Pocket PCs for taking orders and issuing bills. Receipts are issued via a wireless connection to the nearest printer. The system accepts only cash payments. The restaurant uses two mobile point-of-sale (POS) devices and three fixed POS tills, but will eventually phase out the fixed tills, save for one to hold cash, according to LKF Holdings chief operating officer Jonathan Zeman. While wireless solutions have been quickly adopted in restaurants, bars and cafes across Europe and the United States, Hong Kong establishments have resisted the trend, preferring to hold cash in fixed tills. With mobile POS systems, waiters will have to be trusted with cash payments. Mr Zeman, who championed the wireless POS idea for Lux, said the company held off adopting a wireless mobile POS solution until the technology was secure and mature enough. Before arriving at the iPaq solution, the company had tried out a proprietary mobile device from the same company that supplied its fixed tills, but had found the device too big and heavy, and its battery life too short. 'Since we started using the iPaq system two weeks ago, we've become a lot more efficient. The time taken for orders and payment is shorter. Also, the service has become more personal. Our waiters can focus on our customers without having to run around dispatching orders and payments,' he said. He would not comment on the financial details of the deal, but said the iPaq costs four times less than one fixed till. In June, the Body Shop spent $500,000 on a mobile cashiering system in five retail outlets, also using iPaq devices. Data captured on the mobile system flows from the iPaq to a server using a wireless local area network (LAN). Jim Johnston, regional product director of Sweda International, which helped LKF Holdings develop the software for the system, said information was saved to the server rather than the device. 'There are a couple of security steps. You must know the employee ID code, and then the pass code. You cannot hack into the wireless LAN unless you have our software, which is proprietary. Even if you get your hands on the software, you will still have to know all the pass codes. So we think the system is as secure as the fixed system,' he said. Depending on the success of the mobile POS system at Lux, Mr Zeman said the company would eventually use the system in its 17 bars and restaurants. There are also plans to open up the networks to provide free Wi-Fi access to customers. 'We could even wire up all of Lan Kwai Fong because we have got restaurants spread out in the area,' Mr Zeeman said. A number of cafes and bars in Hong Kong operate private Wi-Fi hotspots, including Area in Lan Kwai Fong. However, most are operated by PCCW through Pacific Coffee, Starbucks and Delifrance. McDonald's in Hong Kong and Guangdong last week announced plans to roll out Wi-Fi hotspots.