A customer self ordering system is provided for a retail sales store that reduces labor costs, increases efficiency, facilitates managerial tasks and improves customer service. The system provides one or more clusters, each of which is usually operated by a single employee. At least two customer ordering terminals are included with each cluster. A customer enters an order by manipulating a touch screen at each customer ordering terminal. Software for running the customer ordering terminals is designed to be self-teaching, while the proximity of the customer terminal to a cashier terminal at the cluster permits easy customer access of employees for assistance. Terminals may be provided in order preparation areas for displaying customer orders. Additionally, the system operates several managerial subroutines, and the system can accumulate all order data quickly and efficiently for accounting purposes.