How much can cash register order errors cost?

Earlier today I walked into an Italian Deli which has one of the best sandwiched I have tasted. The place has been owned and operated by the same family since the 1960s and little has change. Its one of those traditional deli/markets which carries a bunch of imported Italian goods including pastas, wines, a variety of gelatos and of course your meats and cheeses. There is only one problem with the place. It typically takes about 20 to 30 minutes from the time you step in to the time you get your sandwich. Well, a good place does deserve a wait. So, when I am in a hurry,  just phone in my order and pick it up.
A little more about the place it has two counters. The main counter is for walk in customers who want to order sandwiches and make purchases. It has two cash registers, a credit card processing machine, and two scales.  The side counter has one cash register, one large calculator, a separate credit card processing machine, and a scale. It is for pick up customers like me. Point Of Sale System From Sintel Systems
So I place my order with the deli on the phone and make my way there. When I walk in, there is a long line at the main counter and about two people at the side counter. So now I am third in line and by chance see my sandwiches prepared and ready in the fridge next to the counter. The lady in front of the line had apparently placed a phone order and was there to pick up some sandwiches. The staff was unable to find her order. Then she proceeded to call her husband to find out what the order was. The staff was still unable to find the order after she relayed the message from her husband over to them. Then the customer was asked by the staff who she spoke to. She stated that when she called, a woman picked up the phone and then a man took the order. (Same thing happened to me). This went on for at least five minutes and I just continued to observe the matter and the store. What was happening?

  1. Almost three workers were trying to locate the order.
  2. The lines were getting longer at both counters.
  3. Customers were starting to show signs of frustration.
  4. The lady was now arguing with her husband on the phone.
  5. The place was getting so busy that some customers entering the store, were leaving immediately.

As this was going on they just decided to place the order again at which point the lady was asking her husband to once again give the specifics of the order. So once again, they wrote the order down on paper and took it back to make it. As they went back, a third worker returned from the back with the order slip stating that he was already making the order. By now at least eight minutes had passed by and occupied the time of about three workers.
All this was happening while my sandwiches which were ready were sitting in the fridge looking at me. Now the original lady stepped to the side frustrated and the customer I in front of me proceeded to the counter with several items in her hand and apparently. That took another five minutes which included the staff having to look up the price for two items, getting the sandwiches, ringing them up on the cash register, and then running on a credit card machine that took about 25 seconds (I timed it) to process. Just to put in perspective, this entire transaction should have taken under 60 seconds, but too over five minutes.
It was almost my turn after 15 minutes, right? Wrong!
Now the original lady’s order was ready and that took another 5 minutes.
Finally it was my turn after 20 minutes. The staff asked me what I was getting and I actually pointed to the sandwiches in the refrigerator. She got the sandwiches. Had to look up how much each cost and rang it up on the cash register. Then had to take my credit card, run it on a separate credit card machine, wait for it to print, and had me sign. I was only presented with the credit card receipt and no actual product receipt. How is the credit cards receipt and regular receipt consolidated? It is not.
The moral of story: The place has the best sandwiches, but is not operating satisfactorily. It is conceivable that this happens at least once a day and if we assume that the places looses just two customers who don’t want to wait then that is about $30 per day. That is a very conservative estimate. Lets say the places looses another $30 due to employee error. Again, a very conservative estimate, then that is $60 a day and $1500 a month. They are closed on Sundays. That is about $18,000 a year and again is very conservative. Our partners at Affiliated Research Economics (a business consulting firm) put the estimates upwards of at least $60,000 or more.
The solution is very simple: A multi-station point of sale system from Sintel Systems would greatly reduce this. All this at a fraction of the losses being experienced. What kind of a POS systems do they need:

  1. Multi-Station Deli/Market POS
  2. Integrated Credit Card Processing (included above)
  3. Scales
  4. Kitchen Display

All this at about a quarter of the estimated annual losses!
We have not named the deli here because we do not want to discourage anyone from visiting this fantastic place. And we do not believe in hard selling. Sintel Systems is a solutions provider and POS is part of our solutions package. I’ve simply let the owner know. We look forward to assisting them and if we do, we plan on keeping you updated.
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