Hey everyone. I run a coffeehouse in the DFW area and we are currently using VitalLink. Not happy at all - nothing is intuitive, there are many glitches in the screens, doesn't sync with anything. Anyhow, just not satisfied and is not doing what we need it to do.

 

I am a die-hard mac user and have been scouring the internet for mac based solutions with cafe options or just retail w/addons and modifiers that will work for cafes. 

 

Found Lightspeed and its gorgeous & easy to use. But its not designed for our kind of environment. Is anyone in the coffeeshop world using it or know someone who is?

 

Also looking at Checkout for mac - any users there?

 

Sixth Sense Cafe?

 

Or Paygo?

 

Any input at all would be so helpful. I want to make sure I purchase the right software the second time around. 

 

Thanks!

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I've read on Sprudge ( sprudge.com ) about a cafe using an iPad and a program called Square for their system.  No personal exp with it, but it sounded cool...
square would only work with a very-very non-traditional younger crowd.  Receipts are email only (which means entering customer emails with each order (ok if you are the mac store, but would kill bar production imo).   Also, I have tried to contact square via their website several times and NEVER got a reply.  Maybe if you were the artist who sells 1 or 2 pieces of work a month that the device was designed for I would recommend it, but seems impractical for a coffee bar.

I've never found a Mac-based POS that really was usable for foodservice - and I'm all Mac, but when it came time to equip Spro with POS systems, we went with CoffeeShop Manager.

 

We did, however, do a test in May with the Square POS on an iPad during an outdoor festival we were working.  Overall, there are some functionalities that are missing from a traditional POS and there were some reporting issues, but it worked decently overall.  Not to mention the price is right - initially free but with a 2.75% credit card rate.

 

If you want to remain in the Mac realm, it's probably your best bet.

My fantasy POS.

 

An iMac 27" TOUCH. using Bootcamp for Windows operating system with Coffee Shop Manager.

 

The Apple touch can't be that far off with Dell/HP and others already there.

 

Coffee Shop Manager is supposed to be coming out with an upgrade 'really soon'.

I've gone through the same search. 

 

I tried a trial of Checkout - seemed to be more for inventory based operations. 

Never tried Sixth Sense because it just looked ugly and there was a lot of hardware to purchase. I know this seems petty, but I find there to be no reason for any program to look ugly on the screen. 

 

Haven't tried paygo yet. 


We are currently using square. It is essentially just a digital cash register that keeps track of sales. 

It was a cheap option for us seeing how we've got amazing deals with another credit card processing service. 

Jeremiah-

When we were testing Square on iPad back in May, we discovered that if the iPad lost its internet connection it would double the transactions during that period.  During the end of the day reporting, we found the till "short" and started looking into the transaction records.  Turns out that during those period of being "offline" the application was storing the transactions and then transmitting them once the connection was re-established.  However, it would send a transaction with the proper itemization detail and a separate as "unidentified" - with the same date/time stamp and pricing as the itemized transaction.  Meaning that a $3.50 transaction became two totalling $7.00 and resulting in the till being "off."

 

Have you experienced anything like this with Square?  I'm presuming that they have corrected this bug in the application.

It happens sometimes. But they usually correct it pretty quickly. 

It's probably not as much of an issue for us as it would be for you. 
We are a new store and it is only me and the other business partner. We are not doing enough business that it makes a huge issue. 

But, Square (in its current state) will not working sufficiently for a busier store or multi-unit operation. 

We decided to go with it for now because Micros wanted a total package of $6000 to upgrade/license the system that was in the store that we purchased. So I sold it all for $2000, and bought an ipad and paid some bills with the remaining. 

 

I've been working on finding a software developer that could design a more robust version of square. 

How many of you would be up for it?

I think the reason that the few developers I've talked to haven't bit is because they don't realize the potential goldmine it could be. 

Jay Caragay said:

Jeremiah-

When we were testing Square on iPad back in May, we discovered that if the iPad lost its internet connection it would double the transactions during that period.  During the end of the day reporting, we found the till "short" and started looking into the transaction records.  Turns out that during those period of being "offline" the application was storing the transactions and then transmitting them once the connection was re-established.  However, it would send a transaction with the proper itemization detail and a separate as "unidentified" - with the same date/time stamp and pricing as the itemized transaction.  Meaning that a $3.50 transaction became two totalling $7.00 and resulting in the till being "off."

 

Have you experienced anything like this with Square?  I'm presuming that they have corrected this bug in the application.

I would be interested - but right now, we've got probably $15,000 sunk into CoffeeShop Manager.  The problem with CSM, Aloha, Micros and the rest is that it's quite a considerable investment.  Square is on the right track with it's low cost of entry, but if they made it more robust it would be a no-brainer.

 

Thinking about implementing Square for smaller, test operations in 2011.

I have also read about the iPad for cafe pos but i can't imagine it working in my cafe. too many hands, too much potential for accidental drop, misuse...seems really risky. i'm a mac junkie too, if you hear of anything, please let me know!

will frith said:
I've read on Sprudge ( sprudge.com ) about a cafe using an iPad and a program called Square for their system.  No personal exp with it, but it sounded cool...

Lisa-

Just because you can pick up the iPad doesn't mean you have to. When we used it for operations, we mounted it on an angled platform as a computer screen would be placed.  It sat there and the baristas rang in transactions.

 

 

 

narrow-minded brand loyalty isn't going to get you the POS system you're looking for.

 

i use an MSI touchscreen nettop with openbravo pos. it's amazing but it won't work on a mac. http://www.openbravo.com/product/pos/

I'm actually imagining a web-based operation, which means it could be used on any device. And this is pretty much all square is because it can be used on android and blackberry.

And I prefer mac because its better, not because I'm narrow minded. ;)




Jared Rutledge said:

narrow-minded brand loyalty isn't going to get you the POS system you're looking for.

 

i use an MSI touchscreen nettop with openbravo pos. it's amazing but it won't work on a mac. http://www.openbravo.com/product/pos/

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