I'm looking for a POS program for my coffee house.

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Jared are you running this? I checked it out but decided not to go open source, really tempting though.

Jared Rutledge said:
i will be. i gave it a quick once-over and it seems pretty solid. i just tend to trust open source projects. the learning curve can be a little steep, but most open-source programming is very functional and responds quickly to user demand
We use a locally made POS system here...BUT if I was in the US I would for sure use Selby Soft. I would use it here... but I am kind of anxious about the 9000miles+ between us and the US!
used csm at my last job. it was really cool actually. easy to navigate, awesome support. easy to teach people too. id use it again if i was opening my own place.
We use Aloha in our restaurant across the street, its great, but very costly. We use CSM in our coffee shop, its easy to work with for the most part, we've had it for a year and half with no problems. Some of there reports are clunky. I wish I spent more time during the training with them, but thats my fault. One of the reasons we went with them is the gift card data base
most other systems make you pay a fee per swipe or per card. This is a very simple system that does the job. CSM staff are all very helpful.....but sometimes hard to get to. If I had to do it again I would buy the same system.
Thanks much, for the replies about CSM I really appreciate the info. Andie-Bean

eric said:
We use Aloha in our restaurant across the street, its great, but very costly. We use CSM in our coffee shop, its easy to work with for the most part, we've had it for a year and half with no problems. Some of there reports are clunky. I wish I spent more time during the training with them, but thats my fault. One of the reasons we went with them is the gift card data base
most other systems make you pay a fee per swipe or per card. This is a very simple system that does the job. CSM staff are all very helpful.....but sometimes hard to get to. If I had to do it again I would buy the same system.
Coffee Shop Manager
Unless you have few offerings in your store, CSM has sub-menu after sub-menu, forcing you to classify items. Is it highly customizable? Well yes, if you are particular about where your money goes--but only if you know HOW you want to classify items. When the task of adding new items to the POS fell to me, I had to deal with long scrolling menu's (that you HAVE to scroll through, there isn't another navigation method) to find the broad category I was looking for. Then, I had to figure out which of the 20+ modifiers applied to the items. This step was important. If you intend to use your POS as a way of monitoring what items sell, what items turn a profit, et cetera, you have to know these things from the get go--I never figured out how to delete categories that were created by previous employees. It was really messy and overwhelming for me to figure out.

Customer service was another issue for me. Being a west coast customer, I could only find help Mondays through Friday, 6:30 AM (when the store opened) to 2 PM (5 PM EST). Outside of that span I was SOL. Heck, during the business hours when I could theoretically reach someone I always reached an answering machine. I don't know if that's standard for CSM, but there was always at least a 40 minute lag time between when I'd call and when someone would call me back. Having a human connection is important to me, especially in a crisis, so not having an actual person receive my call was always disheartening.

In theory, CSM could be used for scheduling as well as inventory management, but I wouldn't try it. The program has a sharp learning curve. Just inputing all of the inventory and modifiers was a big time investment. Putting my inventory AND human resources information into one complicated (for me) program just sounds like I'd be asking for trouble.

And it's $5,000-$8,000. Holy crap.

My new shop will be using Selby-Soft, so I hope it's all of the things CSM is not.
We used CSM at our coffee shop after trying several other local brands that totally sucked & didn't have coffee functionality. We always had great support with CSM (even in Central time) & the extra hours of training really made the difference. It was also very easy to teach to my employees. Some have mentioned problems about inventory, creating new modifiers, and employee scheduling, all which I though were very easy & rather intuitive. Building our customer database was awesome & keeping track of free drinks, discounts, and how much specific customers purchased as well as their history & a place for notes (like dogs'/ kids' names) was fabulous! Using that data I was able to offer "frequent customer specials, isolate VIP spenders for exclusive discounts, etc. Some issues that I think could've been improved were at the "complete transaction" screen - entering in discounts in coupon form was difficult. Our cafe also served lunch & we were able to queue orders, assign tables, and add items with ease. Also, as an owner I really liked have access to so many valuable reports like "recommended reorders, sales per hour, sales per employee, 'no sale' access, etc. I also liked being able to assign different security levels for each employee based on duties, seniority, etc. After fooling around with both Selby Soft & CSM I chose CSM and I would highly recommend it to those looking to implement a new system fast and with minimal headaches.

If you are interested in buying this system but can't afford the $6000+ to but new, I'm selling my system (because I'm moving to Costa Rica & closed my shop) for $3500. I also purchased a new service, support & upgrade warranty that I think should transfer (not totally sure though). During the time I used I had three problems: 1) once the screen froze - the support at CSM installed a fix remotely that was related to my pole display & everything worked fine, 2) once I couldn't get a specific employee's schedule to print...found out that I had accidentally entered in his work schedule as his vacation schedule (duh!), 3) The screens began to lag for a long time between screens...I called CSM and they suggested that I not leave a bunch of customers in the queue for long periods of time (like over two weeks). Anywho, like I said, if you are interested in purchasing a used system I've got mine listed in the classifieds section of BE.
Is your system still for sale? We are interested in buying one.
jr.



Dominique Mccall said:
We used CSM at our coffee shop after trying several other local brands that totally sucked & didn't have coffee functionality. We always had great support with CSM (even in Central time) & the extra hours of training really made the difference. It was also very easy to teach to my employees. Some have mentioned problems about inventory, creating new modifiers, and employee scheduling, all which I though were very easy & rather intuitive. Building our customer database was awesome & keeping track of free drinks, discounts, and how much specific customers purchased as well as their history & a place for notes (like dogs'/ kids' names) was fabulous! Using that data I was able to offer "frequent customer specials, isolate VIP spenders for exclusive discounts, etc. Some issues that I think could've been improved were at the "complete transaction" screen - entering in discounts in coupon form was difficult. Our cafe also served lunch & we were able to queue orders, assign tables, and add items with ease. Also, as an owner I really liked have access to so many valuable reports like "recommended reorders, sales per hour, sales per employee, 'no sale' access, etc. I also liked being able to assign different security levels for each employee based on duties, seniority, etc. After fooling around with both Selby Soft & CSM I chose CSM and I would highly recommend it to those looking to implement a new system fast and with minimal headaches.

If you are interested in buying this system but can't afford the $6000+ to but new, I'm selling my system (because I'm moving to Costa Rica & closed my shop) for $3500. I also purchased a new service, support & upgrade warranty that I think should transfer (not totally sure though). During the time I used I had three problems: 1) once the screen froze - the support at CSM installed a fix remotely that was related to my pole display & everything worked fine, 2) once I couldn't get a specific employee's schedule to print...found out that I had accidentally entered in his work schedule as his vacation schedule (duh!), 3) The screens began to lag for a long time between screens...I called CSM and they suggested that I not leave a bunch of customers in the queue for long periods of time (like over two weeks). Anywho, like I said, if you are interested in purchasing a used system I've got mine listed in the classifieds section of BE.
I'm glad I opened with it. Been open for going on a year and a half and have not even begun to tap all the options that come with it.
I am using Selbysoft POS. The biggest issue I have is that you can't download reports into excel, except to view them. Other than that it has been good, very easy to use, has built in gift cards, and credit card processing.
I can't speak for the cost (I'm not the owner) but can say that Aloha has been the easiest POS I have ever used in any environment. Training new employees to use it takes no time at all, and once you are familiar with it you can rip through huge lines of people in no time. Very efficient.

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