Brian Roxborough, his wife Lisa and son Cody worked hard to open The Mad Bean Coffee House. The shop specializes in fair trade and organic coffee. It’s rustic, whimsically decorated and claims to have Toronto’s best Americano. But the Roxboroughs opted for simplicity — a cash register — when choosing a point-of-sale system for their shop.
“It was cheap and we understood it,” Brian said. But counting cash and matching receipts soon had a downside. “I don’t want to be spending all that time in the back room fiddling with paperwork,” he said. “I want to spend my time up front with my customers.”
Brian had to adapt to ensure the business succeeded. “We really needed a point of sale that was simple, effective and allowed us to accept credit and debit cards.” Brian purchased a generic iPad POS system, but he found the system complicated and the reporting rickety. One day a regular customer suggested TouchBistro. It’s an iPad restaurant POS that integrates with electronic payments. But Brian was skeptical.
“The key for us was does it have a really simple interface? Is it the right fit and does it connect to our Moneris merchant account? Because our last system didn’t. You entered the transaction over here and ran your card through over there.”
He relaxed his opinion as he learned more about TouchBistro. “It was compatible with Moneris and it was going to give us reporting,” he said. “We could customize it and make it fit our needs as a community coffee shop. We’ve used it for months and we really like it.”
Now Lisa rummages through the reporting to see what beverages sold better and at what times.
“We never had that before.” She can track sales by time of day, by week, by customer and order. She can see which specialty drinks their customers love — is the Dublin Fog still a best-seller? — and when it’s time to stock up on The Best !#?!%* Granola Bar.
That gives them a better view of inventory management, something that’s crucial for every business. Brian researched several point of sale systems and payment solutions before making a decision. But the tax feature hoisted the TouchBistro solution above the others.
“TouchBistro understood Ontario tax and HST and it was just part of the package,” he said. “All the other point-of-sale systems we looked at, even if they were Canadian, didn’t have a simple way for us to charge taxes properly. The last thing I wanted was Revenue Canada to come and say, ‘For five years you’ve been charging the wrong taxes’.” If TouchBistro and Moneris hadn’t figured out the tax details, they would have rejected the solution.
“We moved away from a cash register because we needed something simple,” Brian said. With TouchBistro integrated with Moneris, Brian and his family can focus on the reason they started the business.
“We opened The Mad Bean because we wanted to focus on the customer,” he said. “I know we’re succeeding because some of our customers are now our close friends. And they love it when I remember their drink.”