Venetia’s is a bustling coffee shop based in the heart of the Chatsworth Road, Hackney, London established and run by owner, Venetia Strangwayes-Booth. Excelling in the provision of quality, locally sourced produce and truly excellent coffee, Venetia’s attracts a regular client base, enticed by its fresh menu of artisan sandwiches and selection of mouth watering cakes, delivered in the surrounds of artwork provided by local artists.
Since the shop opening in 2007, coffee shop transactions were served by a standalone Sharp cash till (or Electronic Cash Register) which simply registered all customer bills after each order was completed. Aware that within this timeframe, technology had progressed dramatically and that EPoS terminals were now affordable for small business, Venetia approached Casio and their software partners, AlfaRichi.
Both companies specialise in the provision of systems to the catering and hospitality industry to provide a completed EPoS solution for front-of-shop and back-office activities. This solution would not only gather transactional details whilst withstanding the rigours of a hospitality environment, but also garner valuable management information
In April 2012, under advice from Casio and AlfaRichi, Venetia installed the new Casio VX-100 Android EPoS Terminal – the first such hospitality system in the world to run on the AndroidTM platform. Recommended due to a combination of its rugged, large, splash proof colour screen simplicity and it’s Android back office platform to provide real-time remote connectivity and hospitality focused applications, Venetia was pleased that it was available to use, straight out of the box. Indeed no interface cables were required and it’s foot -print on the busy counter was a compact 395mm x237mm.
Being straightforward to use and touch-screen prompt driven, little training of staff was required and all commented on how fast and unobtrusive the Casio VX-100 EPoS terminal was, with a quiet operation allowing the customers to fully enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of Venetia’s.Behind this quiet operation is the fact that this new Android platform uses very little power, and will save on Venetia’s electricity bills. Requiring only 20 watts on full power and 4.1% in stand-by, the Casio VX-100 shows energy savings of typically 65% against an Electronic Cash Register (ECR) and 85% against traditional EPoS systems. From a customer experience, introduction of the Casio VX-100 provided an opportunity to re-align the ordering process, with transactions now being paid for at point of order, saving them from queuing twice.
But the biggest impact of installation was not felt on the shop floor but in the back office. Venetia takes up the story. “Because the AlfaRichi EPOS software running on the Casio VX-100 is cloud based, you can access your data from anywhere, in real time, but the till will still work even if there is no internet available in the shop. This was important to me as it provides me with the ability to understand where the business is at any time, even when I am not in the premises. Suddenly, also available to me on demand, was a wealth of management capabilities that I simply couldn’t control before”
Indeed, with the ability to tap in remotely to all transactions, Venetia received some stark and unwelcome feedback that there were major discrepancies between what was registered in the terminal and the takings for the day. Unwelcome and brutal though this finding was, the reporting power of the Casio VX-100 provided full transparency and an audit trail that Venetia was then able to address. The Casio VX-100 also quickly started to assist Venetia to accurately compile staff rotas, ensuring that the staffing levels were appropriate with the transactions per hour allowing adequate staffing levels to best serve the needs of the customers.
And when it comes to restocking, the Casio VX-100 with AlfaRichi software delivers pin-point accuracy on what has been consumed. Going forward, Venetia plans on using the VX-100 solution for email and SMS marketing to existing and new customers.
Venetia summarises her experience after 6 months of use:- “The Casio VX-100 with AlfaRichi software is probably the single biggest tool that any small retail business can have to accurately understand detailed transaction information; deter and stem any possible loss of takings by employees and to transfer the generated management information into valuable assets”.
With the launch of the new Casio Business Portal, for online apps and services, comes more opportunity for Venetia’s coffee shop. Venetia concludes “With more hospitality apps being delivered every day on the Android platform, the possibilities are endless – from customer loyalty schemes to CCTV usage. All in all, it’s been an incredibly positive experience.” She concludes.