Category: Order Entry

January 26th, 2012 by Mike Spence

People are sometimes confused by the different methods of collecting tax in SP-1.   SP-1 is capable of handling five different tax rates with in our standard (non-Canadian) version.  We then setup the taxable items in the Menu Group file.   As a reminder, Menu Groups are main categories.  For example, Coffee, Tea, Pizza, Sandwich, Beverages etc.

In the menu group, you can distinguish further by having a different taxable rates by the order type.  Each Menu Group can have a different rate for Carry Out, Dine In, Pick up and Delivery.    For example.  You might have 8.5% for carry out coffee and 9.5% for dine in coffee etc.  There is also the ability to set a Menu Group to the 0 tax rate.  That will indicate that this is a non-taxed item.  This is different than a tax exempt sale however.

Tax exempt sales happen when you sell an item that is usually taxed to a  customer that does not pay sales tax.  This is handled by creating a customer record and then setting the taxable switch for that customer to non-taxable.

Not to take this too far but we also have the ability to handle the GST / PST tax rates in Canada.   Lastly, we handle a VAT (Value Added Tax) ability and the ability to add a PIF (public improvement fee).

Any questions?  Just let us know!


Posted in Order Entry, POS Features, Reporting Tagged with: ,

January 24th, 2012 by Mike Spence

Don’t you wish you had the money to hire an assistant?  You know, that mythical person that would:

Keep track of employees.

Get your payroll ready for you.

Track labor costs.

Verify pricing on tickets and insure employees know the correct prices.

Track and look for menu items that are not selling.

Wouldn’t it be great to have a 40 hour a week assistant?  What if you could get away with paying that assistant $2.40 an hour?  Think about it – paying someone the same minimum today as they did in 1988 (Washington State rate).    What if I told you that not only can you do that but that after the first year, they will work for FREE?

Sometimes you have to think of things in different terms.   SP-1 is a fantastic POS system. It turns out it’s also makes for a pretty good coffee shop manager.

Why?  Let’s list some things that SP-1 will help you with on a daily basis:


1) With integrated time keeping, you will know what time employees clocked in and out.  Don’t forget, at the end of the payroll period, SP-1 will gather all that information and provide it to you.

2) At a moments notice, SP-1 can give you a labor cost and percent.

3) If you want,  kick it another nickel a day and SP-1 will even email you every hour of the day with sales totals, labor percent and more.

4) SP-1 will diligently  make sure your employees ring things in at the right price.

5) Don’t worry, when you need to  communicate with your staff, just tell SP-1 and all your employees will be updated.  You will even be able to see who has seen the message.

6) Theft will shrink because SP-1 only allows employees to use discounts, voids etc when they are supposed to .  Further, SP-1 will track those and let you know what happened.

7)  By the way, SP-1 will never lie to you or cheat you.

8)  SP-1 will help your staff stay on top of inventory and even help you calculate a cost of goods sold each day.

9)  SP-1 will work 24 hours a day / 7 days a week.  No vacations or sick days!

10) SP-1 will do all this without complaining !


Posted in Order Entry, POS Features Tagged with: ,

January 16th, 2012 by Mike Spence

Paper.  It’s not an exciting subject to some people but like everything, we take it pretty serious.  You would think that we could just buy paper and then resell it right?  Not exactly.

We carry:

Thermal receipt paper (in two sizes).  This is great for printing receipts.  The thermal paper  and printers are quick and quiet.  There is no ribbon needed and that reduces the moving parts as well.

Thermal sticky paper.  This paper is simular to the above but when used with the right thermal printer, has a sticky gum backing.  That makes this perfect for coffee cups and to go orders.

Non-Thermal receipt paper. (in two sizes).  This is the paper for a kitchen or food service.  This paper will not blacken with heat so it can be used around heat lamps.  The printers for this paper come with our without automatic cut as well as a red / black ribbon for distinguishing certain menu items.

Non-Thermal reciept paper in two ply.  Perfect for having one printer make two copies.  It’s a type of carbon paper that allows for a white and yellow copy in one print.

Box labels.  We carry two different kinds.  These are thermal sticky labels that are designed to  stick to boxes or bags.  Perfect for pizza and sandwiches.

Barcode labels.  We carry a line of two different labels that are great for barcodes and retail items.  These are small enough to fit most retail items but large enough to read the price and description.

So next time you think about paper, also think about the fact that SP-1 has the functionality to handle all of these different printing roles (no pun intended)!

Posted in Order Entry, POS Features Tagged with:

January 10th, 2012 by Mike Spence

Here is a neat new tweak of a feature.   For those of you with SP-1, you know that you can use our “On-Hold” button for running tabs.  In an environment with a bar, you may run a tab for a customer and  need to go back to it often to add to the tab.

While our integrated table service system is usually the best way to handle this, there are times it is not.   If you have a bar situation where the bartender or server is dealing with customers that are not seated, then the On-Hold system works best as you can name a tab.

Recently we made a change to make this even easier.  Now, if you pull up the on-hold screen, the tickets on that screen will be highlighted if they were entered by the person who is currently logged in.

In the example below, the orders for Mike & Chris were taken by employee 9999 who is currently clocked in.



Posted in Order Entry, POS Features Tagged with: , ,

December 29th, 2011 by Mike Spence

Here is a blog from a year ago that did not make it over from our blog hosting switch over.  I thought I’d repost!

I originally wrote this blog because I have seen a number of “newer” point of sale companies posting these fantastic statistics on how much data, customer records, reporting etc they can handle.  I’ve always taken it for granted that you “over program” based on customer needs.

We originally wrote SP-1 using a C-Tree database that supports incredibly fast indexing of data files.  This allows us to be incredibly flexible when designing software.  The main programming is done in C++, .NET and Assembly for some of the routines.

To satisfy our curiosity I thought I’d check the statistics on what we can handle in our database!

Customer File and Tracking:

999,999,999 Total number of customers.  Yes just shy of one billion.

10 email addresses per customer.  Or 9 billion or  1.42 email addresses for each person on the planet.

10 phone numbers per customer.  Or 9 billion or just shy of one per every phone number possible in the U.S.

4 addresses per customer.  Or  12.8 addresses  per person in the U.S. – 314 million at last count.


How about order taking?
9,999 Total tickets per day – That is 6.94 tickets a minute for 24 hours.  Or 13.88 tickets a minute in a 12 hour day.


Menu items?  I think we have you covered. . .
9,999 Total Menu Groups.   Coffee, Pizza, Ice Cream, Smoothie, Sandwich etc.

999 Active specialty or signature items per menu group.  Examples would be Latte, Mocha, Meat lovers, Veggie etc.

999 Active modifiers per menu group.  Examples are Vanilla, pepperoni, wheat, hot, cold, extra shot etc.

99,999,999,999,999 Inventory or retail items.  (That’s Trillion with a ‘T’ and probably the only thing bigger than our national debt).

Yes – 9 million specialty and 9 million modifiers!  By the way that’s just active at any given time.


Pricing options?  Other than flat pricing of $1.00, $2.00 etc. . .  We handle 195,000 unique price tables. Each price table can be setup with 9 different prices per day of the week.   That’s 45 different prices that change based on the time and day.


Unlimited items?

Coupons, discounts, total tickets, customer history, reporting – these are all based on the size of your physical hard drive.


99,999 Total employees or one new employee added to the system every day for 273 years!

9,999 Active employees at a time.

5 Cash drawers per workstation.

30 workstations per store.


Other statistics?

We have been selling POS for over 25 years.

We have stores that have been using our products for over 20 years continuously!

Updates?  SP-1 has gone through over 87 version releases (free when you are on support) and over 500 minor program revisions since 1994.

Stability?  Over 6 of our employees have worked for us over 10 years.  Total combined SP-1 experience through Customer Service & Tech Support  is over 80 years!

Posted in Order Entry, POS Features, Technology Tagged with:

December 27th, 2011 by Mike Spence

Order confirmation monitors are becoming more and more popular with our customers that are looking to up grade that old pole display into something more effective and exciting.

OCM is fast becoming the way to promote your products from the counter top.  With a 9″ or 17″ monitor, this system allows you to promote your products through a slide show of pictures  while the customer is thinking about their order. 


Once the customer starts to place their order, the screen changes to show them, clearly, what the employee is entering.  This way you have a very exact understanding that the customer will get what they ordered.  Further, the side of the screen will still show three up-sell pictures and a scrolling message.








This is a great way to help cut theft as well  as the customer knows what the change should be.


Posted in Marketing, Order Entry, POS Features Tagged with: , ,

November 22nd, 2011 by Mike Spence

This blog was inspired by a discussion that our training staff had with one of our local customers.  The store brought a new manager in and wanted to get them familiar with SP-1.  In the middle of the training it was discovered that the store had some outstanding account balances and it was apparent that some of the staff was confused by the differences in gift cards, customer accounts, account payment and running a tab.

Let’s start with Gift Cards . . .  In our system, a gift card is really a “cash card”.  You put money on it and take money off it.  It’s really that simple.

So what’s a customer account or profile?  Well, they are really two different things.   Once you create a “customer profile” you have opened a powerful set of options.   You can now assign that persons cash (or gift) card to their customer name.  Keep in mind that this is just a way to identify a person.  If you then pull up that persons profile by name, card or phone number, you will be able to see their last order (and every order previous).  This is a great way to increase your speed of service as a large percentage of people order the same item every time.

If you have a customer profile created, you can choose to activate customer accounts.  Accounts are similar to gift cards in some ways but there are key differences.  An account is basically allowing a customer to run an extended tab.  If a business orders $100 worth of product from you once a week, you may choose to bill them for the product – this is a good use of a tab.  It is possible to run a negative tab, where the store owes the customer money.  This is a good use for bartering etc.

Finally, there is another method of tabs. If you place a ticket “On Hold”, then the order is not paid for.  This does not require a customer name or information.   This method of running a tab is only intended for same day payment.  If you are running a tab over multiple days you would use the accounts method.

Posted in Gift Cards, Order Entry, POS Features Tagged with: , ,

November 15th, 2011 by Mike Spence

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.



Posted in Hardware, Order Entry, Uncategorized Tagged with: , , ,

November 10th, 2011 by Mike Spence

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!


Posted in Hardware, Marketing, Order Entry, POS Features, Uncategorized Tagged with:

November 3rd, 2011 by Mike Spence

There is so much that SP-1 does it’s challanging to be aware of all of it!  Here are a couple of  things you might not be aware your system does!  Both of these came up recently with current customers so I thought I’d present them here!


1) Color coded buttons.   A great feature in SP-1 is the ability to color code and highlight modifier buttons.   This provides you with a way to visually break up the on screen menu as well as aid the eye in finding specific groups or items.

SP-1 supports ten different colors to choose from for these buttons so you can easily create different groupings of items.
Some examples of different groupings might be using a specific color to separate your milk choices from other items, using two colors to distinguish between meats and veggies and so on

2) Deferred orders. Do you take orders for catering?  What about a customer just wanting to order for the next day?  Deferred orders in SP-1 make this very easy to do!  Get rid of the post-it note system that is too easy to lose and use the calandar in SP-1 to schedule orders.  We allow you to create a quote, assign the order to a customers, select the due and the make time so you don’t miss those big orders.

Posted in Order Entry, POS Features Tagged with: ,