When it comes to some things in this world, older ways of doing things are often better. Here at Nona, we like our ice cream in small batches, our bread made by hand, our seafood wild, and our beef fed on grass. But once in a while, newer is better.
Case in point: these iPad cash registers that have been popping up at small food and drink spots everywhere. So slick!
OK, OK. We don’t normally write about cash registers, but it turns out that this particular story has more than a few Brooklyn twists. WNYC reports that the iPad-based point-of-sale/cash register thing we keep seeing at more and more of is called the ShopKeep system.
Somewhat amazingly, ShopKeep is a startup founded by Jason Richelson, a co-owner of The Greene Grape – Fort Greene’s bastion of good cheese, wine, organic produce and pedigreed provisions of all sorts.
Due to ShopKeep’s ability reduce barriers to entry for small food businesses by replicating the performance of bigger, bulkier point-of-sale programs at a much lower price point, its popularity is taking off.
Prospect Heights creamery and ice cream shop Ample Hills in Prospect Heights (whose salted crack caramel flavor has developed a cult following) has been using the system since opening this spring. WNYC reports on Ample Hills owner Brian Smith’s use of the system:
“When Smith prepared to open his shop, he found POS terminals would cost as much as $3,000, as opposed to about $500 to $600 for an iPad. And once he tested the app ShopKeep, a program designed to replace traditional cash registers, he was hooked.
“’And there’s the elegance of how it works,” Smith said. “My 19 and 20-year old employees could train me on it after 15 minutes. They intuitively understand how it functions.’”
ShopKeep offers a much cheaper alternative to the established POS solutions: $49 a month for the service and $1000 for a cash drawer, credit card reader, and wireless printer. In addition to acting as a register, the system keeps track of staffing information and inventory. Plus, all of the data is stored in the Cloud and can be accessed from anywhere.
Hey – anything that makes it easier for food artisans to start a business making what they love to make and what we love to eat is a good thing for everyone, right? Plus, it’s portable. Imagine packing one of those giant candy shop registers into a food truck every day…