This article will show you the basic steps needed to get your facility off the ground and give you a headstart for getting your training completed and taking online bookings! All of these pages have more in-depth articles in our help center, so be sure to use the links to see more about these pages below.
Table of Contents
The first thing that you want to do is to do some basic setup of your facility information and facility-wide settings. This is done by going to Admin--->Facility Info.
Under Facility Info, there are two tabs. Profile mostly deals with pure information about your facility and contact info that will appear to customers on their invoices and receipts. The Preferences page deals with facility-wide settings like taxes and invoice text.
Facility Info - Profile Tab
The things that you want to pay attention to here are the Address and phone fields, the Email field, and the Home Page URL field.
The Address info is what appears on invoices and receipts that customers get, as well as on your Online Booking site.
The way the Email field works is that when customers are sent their invoices, it is sent from partycentersoftware.net, which means if the guest replies to that email, it gets sent to an empty box of ours. This Email field allows you to set what email the invoices appear to come from so that when a customer replies to their invoice, it sends to an email box you have set and can access.
The Home Page Url is important because the Online Booking site will attempt to redirect customers back to this address once they are done booking, so they can go back to your website. Also, if anybody clicks on your logo in Party Center Software, it will send them to the Home Page Url as well.
Facility Info - Preferences Tab
The main things to check on this page are the Time Zone, Tax Rates, Allowed IP Addresses (IP Based Security), and Invoice text settings.
The Time Zone setting is important to make sure is correct as early as possible to make sure your schedule gets set up correctly.
The Tax rates are created and managed here so that you can apply them to your products later on.
Allowed IP Addresses sets up our IP Based Security system that allows you to give users different permissions based on whether they are logging in from a known computer listed here (i.e. inside the facility) or from an unknown computer (inside their own home or their phone).
Your invoice text settings should already have default text created when your facility is created, but we always recommend that you review them yourself and add any facility-specific information that is relevant, like your contact info and any special concerns or requirements.
The next thing you want to set up is giving your employees access to PCS as well as make sure they have permission in the software based on their position and usage of the software. To access user accounts, you would go to Admin--->Users.
From here, you can view all active users in your facility, their email, and their last login times. You can add more users for your employees by clicking on "Add User" in the top right.
Adding a New User
When filling out the information for a new user product, or anything in our software, the required fields to save are notated by a red square.
For security and accountability reasons, we highly recommend you create an individual user for any person needing to access your software and you do not share account information between individuals.
Home Page/External IP: The home page is the screen the users see whenever they first log in. This is most commonly used when you are creating users for register workers, where you can set it to the POS screen so they don't need to access anything else. You can also set this to be different if accessing from an outside computer if using our IP-based security.
Party Host: If a user is marked "Yes" as a party host, they are on the list of available users to be assigned as a host to an order.
Once you create a User, a couple of new options pop up.
Active: Like many things in our software, users don't actually get deleted when you get rid of them, instead they are hidden and made inactive. If you ever want to turn that user back, you can show hidden users and mark them back as "Yes" for active.
Account Lockout: If a user attempts to login 3 times in a row, this option will get marked as "Yes" and the user will be locked out, forcing them to reset their password to login.
On the right will be all of the User Groups this user is a part of and you can adjust what groups they are in, as well as whether they get them based on where they logged in (if you are using IP-based security).
User groups are how you manage what permissions are given to your users.
You can see here that, by default, all facilities have these 3 user groups already created. The administrator group is the one that is used by PCS members to help you with software and so should not be edited, and will be reverted if it is edited. All other groups can be edited, created, or deleted as needed by your facility.
Once you go into the User Groups, you can see who is a part of this ground and edit that, as well as seeing which individual permissions this group gives its users. It is a good idea to review your default groups to ensure that they will suit your facility's purposes.
One of the main things that need to be done when you are first setting up is creating all of your products, both parties and items to be sold to customers. You can look at your existing products by going to Admin--->Products and then in the top right will be a red button to add new products.
There are two product types that you will need to create, Parties for guests to book with and be assigned to a schedule slot, and then items to be sold through the POS and be added onto party bookings.
To set up an item, you need to set up a name for it, assign it a category, and set its price. The category is purely for sorting it within the product list and in reports. You also give it a description that appears on the online booking site. If you use an outside business to supply your items (like Papa John's pizza's), you can assign a vendor to the item.
Once you create the item, you will get another tab called "Online Booking".
These settings are in addition to your parties' settings, so these will be added onto whatever the settings are for any party this item is added to.
You can also check which parties you want this item to be available to be added to. You can also go to the parties "Online Booking" tab and add the item, both ways work.
Initially, setting up a party is much the same as creating an item. The name and category are the same, but you can set up a Schedule Page Name that will appear only on the management side of PCS so you can shorten or change the name to be more clear for users. The biggest change is the pricing, which is set up once the product is created in a separate tab called "Pricing and Guest Count".
The Guest minimum and maximum are the lowest and highest guest count's anyone can book online, if the guest tries to go below or above those numbers our system will stop them.
If you want to set up any form of per person pricing, you can use overflow tiers to set a threshold and then a fee for every guest above that threshold, up to the guest maximum. You can then set the price that is charged regardless of guest count and the deposit type and amount.
After that, you would want to go to the "Online Booking" tab.
The Available For Online Booking setting is very useful if you want to temporarily keep a party from being booked, as you can turn it on and off at will. The Advanced Notice Required is how far in the future is required to book the party, and you can set a limit on how far in the future bookings can be with the Maximum Order Time Allowed. At the bottom, you can select which items can be added onto this party, which works the same as going to the item and adding the party.