Monday, April 07, 2008

Searching out the elements...of my coffee shop.

I am trying to move ahead with the idea of an actual brick and mortar coffee shop. Lately, I have been scheduling more education on the various components of technique/management. I am excited!!!

Today I am researching of the most important pieces being the cash register.

As a current retail employee, I can tell you that a cash register can make or break the atmosphere of a store. Out-of-date or not easily operable=DISGRUNTELED customers. Cash registers don't have to be super fancy they just have to be helpful.

My strategy is to buy used equipment and trade whenever I find something that might be more up should be an easier strategy with used equipment. Refurbished point of sale will not tie me into one system. I think that a lot of companies invest in a certain system and get stuck with it way beyond its usefulness...because of the extreme cost of upgrading and system maintenance. This is why I have been looking at companies like Vision Point of Sale.

I am leaning towards the more established/proven systems like IBM's refurbished pos systems. I want something that can enable a employee to get on and off of the machine herds of people with increasingly disgruntled attitudes.

The ibm surepos pos seem to be the best choice....they can take a long-term beating, accept credit cards (making the store safer against would-be-burglars), and are FAST.:-)

I don't know that anyone reading will be interested in the specific pieces of software.....but your feedback on what makes a good checkout experience would be appreciated. :-)


Sleepypete said...

We had all our shops on site "upgraded" with their tills late last year ... The people who have to work them now hate their tills. It adds to the stress of their jobs.

They're a good bunch of people who will laugh and smile with the people coming through the shop. They're not quite so cheerful now because they're working against the tills instead of the tills making things easier for them.

Being able to easily change prices on the tills must help a fair bit - and being able to ignore the automatic bits when you need to as well.


Thank you so much for the feedback Pete.

There has to be ease of understanding and proper training...something I have noticed lacking at a lot of places. Both the customer and the employee MUST be able to understand all that goes on the screen and receipt.

I think that customers should get a screen that tells them a play-by-play of what they are being charged...not every till does this yet. Employees should receive actual training for keeping calm during the scrutiny that occurs throughout the ringing/receipt process.

I have been at many workplaces where the person in charge of training is outright mean. The trainer then subconsciously or deliberately is hostile to most of their trainees. Who does the training and how they do it makes a BIG difference.

Poor communication about changes on the registers is another issue. I think that if something is even slightly re-programmed ALL employees who might use a cash register should get a memo....not rely on the reliability of word-of- mouth.

Overrings and so on are the most aggravating thing to have to sit through....also, it seems that is when the machines decide to be the most cantankerous.

Thank you for pointing out that machinery that works well makes the employees happy,too. :-)

Joey said...

What kind of location are you looking at for your coffee shop? Is this in an attempt to work towards urban sustainability?


I am not sure about the size...a lot of strategies could work (depends on what is available when I go to purchase or rent). I do eventually hope that my urban sustainability efforts will allow me to be my own primary supplier for many ingredients...realistically, I think this will take time.

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