We think a lot about how our customers use our Point Of Sale system. Printing is one of those areas that we really tried to make sure we covered all the bases. Printing to remote printers is incredibly helpful if you have a Barista in that is 5-10 feet down the counter or if you have a separate kitchen area.
SP-1 has the ability to support multiple types of remote printers or displays for your Kitchen, Barista or Delivery staff. It starts with the flexibility of the SP-1 program itself. SP-1 has been designed to be able to specify when and where items are printed or displayed. This can be designated by the specific menu items as well by including by any of the following:
Menu Groups (Coffee, Sandwich, Pizza)
Group Sizes (small, medium, large)
Specialties (Mocha, Latte, Garden Sandwich)
This means that you can specify that the Coffee goes to the Barista and the Sandwich goes to the Kitchen printer or monitor.
In addition, we can also specify that any of the printers print multiple receipts. Here are a couple of examples:
Single Station with one printer: You can print a receipt, Barista ticket and kitchen ticket from the same printer.
Single Station with three printers: You can print a receipt at the counter, Barista ticket at the espresso machine and sandwich receipt in the kitchen.
Additionally, SelbySoft offers other printing options:
Printers with red/black ink for highlighting (useful for kitchens).
Thermal Printers with logo printing and coupon printing directly on the receipt.
Sticky thermal paper that will stick right to a cup.
Boxlabel printers for sandwich bags.
Finally, the option of forgoing a printer for the kitchen or barista and use a monitor with a bump bar instead. This system will allow you to see up to ten orders on the screen at a time! This screen can also be setup to only show certain menu items just like the printers. These are a great tool in high volume locations.
Do you take phone orders? If so, you can save your staff time by implementing a Caller Id system. SelbySoft has a fully integrated Caller ID system that allows your employees to see who is calling in!
This caller id system will appear when the phone rings. SP-1 will show you the customer name and phone number. If that customer is already in your customer database, the address will be shown as well.
When you select the appropriate button, SP-1 automatically pulls up the customer and shows you their information and last order. That eliminates having to enter the entire phone number when you answer the phone.
If the customer is not in the database then you have the option to add that customer. Once you add, the name and phone number information are automatically added to the customer file by the caller id system. That eliminates having to re-type that information in.
Give us a call if you would like to explore this option more fully! There are some neat little factoids for you about Caller ID below!
Kazuo Hashimoto, a Japanese inventor with over a 1,000 patents built the first prototype caller id display. That is now on display in the Smithsonian!
Ok, maybe just cool to us. I know most people don’t give a second thought to the cash drawer that the POS system is using. That’s where we are a little different. We know that every piece of equipment that goes into a store has to work properly.
So what makes the cash drawers cool? Let’s start with the technology side of things. . .
These drawers are all steel construction and not plastic or aluminum. The drawers are solid. You are not opening this one by smacking it on top ala Fonzie. Additionally, they have a three position key lock that can be set for manual open, electronic open or locked. These drawers do not have the cheesy button on the bottom that opens the drawer without a key either. The cables are routed from the bottom and not the back.
These drawers have a number of options available and come in two sizes. Media slots are available so you can place credit card slips in the drawer without having to open it. Additionally, there are extra inserts and locking lids available!
So, what about the software side of things? This is where we try to cover all the bases. The cash drawers are setup to only open electronically through SP-1. This insures that the drawer is only open when it is supposed to be. If you need multiple drawers, each station can have up to five that open independently. I know that’s a lot of cash drawers but we always like to over design. Typically a store will use two at a time so they can have the employees accountable for cash. Finally you can assign specific drawers to an employee so there is no question as to where the cash shortage came from.
1) Don’t leave cash in the drawers! Those signs you see stating that no cash is left on the premises are there to help discourage break ins. Make sure your staff knows that you don’t keep cash on hand as well.
2) At the end of the night, make sure that potential thieves can see that your cash drawer is empty. Leave the drawer open and set the inserts on top of the counter. This lets people walking by see that you have nothing in the drawers. Seriously, we sell a few replacement drawers a month because thieves rip the drawers out.
3) When handling cash, make sure that the bill the customer hands you is not put in the drawer until the change has been handed back. There are a number of scams involving money exchanges (as well as legitimate mistakes). Doing this will help eliminate the potential for confusion regarding what bill was handed to you. If you have a camera system at the register or POS station, then make sure it captures the denomination of the bill as well.
4) Use the POS for counting back change. I know we all joke that kids today can’t count back change but this is important. If the employees enter the tendered amount onto the POS screen then you will see less mistakes and confusion on the change going back to the customer.
5) Watch where employees store their personal items. Employees should not have easy access to jackets or purses right next to product. It’s just too tempting for some people to slip product into their jacket when leaving the store.
Hopefully you have all seen that we are now carrying a line of tablets for POS use. The question now becomes “what would I use it for?”.
Well… Let me give you some suggestions . . .
Line Busting: The most common thought with tablets is to line bust. The scenario is that your customers come in and are waiting in a line. Instead of waiting for the customer to hit the counter, order, pay and wait for the product, we switch it around some. While they are in line waiting, you send an employee with a tablet down the line for pre-orders. Now the overall perceived time spent waiting for the product is cut down. This is a great way to help in busy locations.
Pre-Ordering: This is similar but a little more involved. The goal here is to immediately engage the customer as they walk in the door. The employee takes the customers order while standing face to face with the customer. Once that order is taken, the customer can then move through the line to pay at the terminal and pick up the drink. One big advantage here is that once the order is placed, most customers are more willing to wait and less likely to leave.
Drive Thru: Take the concepts above and apply them to customers waiting in line at the drive thru. This can allow you to have an employee get out and pre-order for the drive thru windows.
Table Service: Have your server use a tablet at the table to take the customers order. This allows you to make full use of the up sell (forced modifiers) capability of SP-1 as well as speed up table turns as well as a more accurate order.
Take it outside: Do you have seating outside? Using a tablet can mean that you can dedicate an order taker to handle those orders and make it more convenient for your customers.
Tablets. It seems that we hear about tablet ordering every time we turn around. There are a number of companies jumping on the tablet bandwagon. Is this just fad? I don’t think so. I think the issue with most of the tablet POS systems is that they are focusing on the hardware and “cool” factor and don’t really have any substantial product from a software standpoint.
Does a tablet have a place in coffee shops and restaurants? Yes! Can they add value to a store? Absolutely! What is required is to have a stable, reliable and full featured POS software to integrate in the right way with a tablet.
SelbySoft has been working on a tablet based system for our customers for a while now and we are happy to announce that we have it ready!
This is a complete handheld unit with a 10″ screen that is perfect for mobile orders, table service and line busting or drive thru lanes.
Please call us to learn if a tablet is right for you and to see how we can help!
Recently, I wrote a blog on customer receipts. The focus was that a number of the receipts out there are not very attractive looking.
After that blog post, I had some emails asking about a larger font on either a kitchen / barista ticket or on the customer ticket itself.
My support and development department looked into this and came up with a way to do it for our customers. The image on the left is the standard font and size that we typically print.
The image on the right is an example of a larger font.
More on the on-going fight between coffee shop owners and people that want to camp in the store working on laptops etc. This news Grid Lock: Starbucks Covers Electrical Outlets to Curb Laptop Lingerers – TIME NewsFeed illustrates the frustration.
The issue is not that people want to hang out in the store, it’s that the customer doesn’t continue to buy product while sitting there. Heck, I’m guessing that you want people in your store – the catch is you also want them buying product!
The best way I’ve seen to approach this without a confrontation is to use a product like WEBbeams. WEBbeams helps eliminate the whole issue by requiring a login code to access the WiFi connection.
When the customer orders product, SP-1 prints a unique, one time code. That code is then used by the customer to log on to the WiFi system in the store. The great thing is that the code can be for a limited amount of time. So, if you have campers that want to sit, surf the web and stay all day, they will be forced to buy more product.
With summer coming and the heat (finally) starting to hit, we know that some of our customers will see hardware failures due to overheating start to become more common.
Most of this can be easily avoided. All it takes is a little preventative maintenance. What we are talking about is no different then getting an oil change, tuning your oven or backflushing an espresso machine. It’s necessary to keep things running along smoothly.
There are really three things to consider when checking out your POS.
- Removing materials from around your POS computer. Are you one of those people with a roll of paper towels on your computer? Do you stack menus on top and around the computer? If so – Stop it! Computers (even those without fans) need air flow.
- Cleaning. When you have a chance, open the case on your computer and spray it with a can of compressed air. You might be amazed at the amount of dust that fills the air! Do this once every six months and you will extend the life of your computer.
- Printers. Don’t forget that those printers load up with dust from the paper rolls. Every so often, just open the lid, turn the printer upside down and tap it once or twice.
If you need some additional advice, don’t hesitate to contact us!
Why are they there? The simple answer is to print the order out right? It goes deeper than that once you start really thinking about it.
1) They are efficient. It’s true, they are. Count how many steps an employee has to take to hand a receipt, cup or hand written note to the Barista or cook. Then double it (they have to walk back right?). Now multiply that by the number of orders you take in a day. Virtually all of that time is wasted.
2) Less Mistakes. Order accuracy is key when thinking about implementing a monitor or printer for a make line. Handwriting mistakes vanish when using this type of system. The Barista and cooks know precisely what to make because it is all laid out in front of them. Additions and subtractions are handled correctly as well.
3) Theft Controls. Want to stop product from being handed out without getting paid for it? While a monitor or printer does not completely stop it from happening, it can certainly cut down the potential. If you have two employees the rule is that without a paper slip or display on the monitor, you don’t make the product.