Patrick Abbott, the founder and owner of Monks Coffee Roasters, has always been a great coffee lover. He has been working in the coffee industry for years – from helping people designing their business models to setting up cafes. When Patrick got the opportunity to come to Holland, he wanted to have his own coffee place… so he founded Monks, on the Bilderdijkstraat in Amsterdam.
It all started over a cup of coffee
Patrick knew he needed a POS system, so he started out with Lightspeed. However, the system is too complex for a small cafe like Monks (35 seats) and the monthly fee is expensive. Also, the sales person in charge was a bit pushy and was not particularly good at explaining the system. Patrick knew there are other options out there and thus began asking other cafes in the neighbourhood.
He was given different advice about different systems but several of the cafes were using WaiterOne. The solution is inexpensive as it was quite new in the marketplace, so Patrick decided to give it a try. After a few months using the system, he met John.
John, CEO of Countr POS, is a Monks regular customer. He lives above the coffee place and often stops by for a coffee before heading to work.
“John told us about what he is working on, showed us the demonstration of the system, explained how it works and how much it costs.” says Patrick. He signed up for the free trial and played around with the app.
Another reason that made Patrick decided to switch from WaiterOne is its customer support. “It was almost impossible to contact the support and tell them our problems,” says Patrick, “not to mention that it took a long time to get a response back.” Moreover, if there is a problem with WaiterOne, Patrick has to wait until the next app release to have it solved.
Patrick needs a system that is going to work for him and grow with him simultaneously. Having the right point of sale system in place is vital for him because it counts his money. If it doesn’t work well, he will let go. “If the system doesn’t work, I would not know how much sales I made. It looks like we are selling coffee, doing fine, but we need to know exactly what’s selling and what’s not.”
Thus, he thought maybe it’s time to switch.
“John asked us what we wanted in the app and what sort of features we need. It was a great approach to begin with. When I talked about different aspects of the program that we needed, John says he can make it happen or he can fix it for us. So, it feels like we are special and have a customised version of the app – and that’s really good!”
The switchover happened very quick – all done in less than an hour. The app was already set up for Monks and within short period of time it was up and running. “Countr’s on-boarding process was straightforward and easy. The app is working just fine.”
All that we need in one system
Monks has been using Countr for a few months and the system has lent a much-needed hand. For example, it significantly reduced the error margins on the cash register. “We had problem with our till before. At the end of the day everything was not adding up because we have separate keypad for bank cards. It never happened with Countr, we found the system is very accurate.”
Having Countr in place is not only beneficial when evaluating sales data, but also valuable for making data-driven decision in real-time. The reporting tools provide him with actionable insights that he needs to measure the success of his business.
Countr keeps us on track. I really like the reporting features – the analysis is very good and it helps me to understand how we are doing (business wise).
Thanks to Countr, Patrick is also able to make a customised list of tables – a feature that WaiterOne was trying to introduce but never worked for him. It is important for Patrick to have this feature as it helps him to be more organised and keep better order accuracy.
Patrick explained that dedicated customer service was his main reason for choosing Countr – he appreciates there being a team there to assist him whenever he has a question.
The support team is reachable and always accessible if we need something – the answers are always there.
“Additionally, John is watching how we are growing and that is important. It is good to have the boss nearby.” says Patrick while laughing. “He cares a lot about the app because it is his baby.”
Patrick says he often gets questions from his customers about the system he is using. “They see how I handle the order and payment, and they ask what system I use. I show them how the system works and give them John’s card – in case they want to know more about Countr. I believe in the system so I want to give support as much as possible. It’s done a lovely job, why not promote it?”
Not only does Patrick let his customers play around with the app, but he also speaks to his colleagues who pointed him in the direction of WaiterOne – “this is my graduation from WaiterOne and now I’ve switched to Countr”. They come to Monks to see how the system works and discuss with the Countr team the possibilities to switchover.
By using Countr point of sale technology, you can simplify your day-to-day business process and focus on growing your business. The system helps you to run a more efficient business. It covers you from taking payment to processing sales to managing inventories and gathering customer data.
Secret to Monks successful coffee business
Since Monks has opened to the public, the place is always full of happy customers. It has a growing number of regular customers coming back all the time, and has an extremely high ratings across social media platforms and review sites. Patrick and his team know his regulars – who they are, the coffee they drink, and even their seat preferences. They are working hard to make their customers feel comfortable and welcomed, everyone receiving warm greetings from the staff when they walk in.
“Generally, people need three places in their daily life. The first place is your home, the second place is your work, and then you need one other place – somewhere you go and feel comfortable, somewhere else you like to spend your time. We want to make their third place our place, not somewhere else. We put a lot of effort to achieve that. It is actually not too difficult. It really is about doing the simple things well and ensuring the staff are happy with what they are doing.”
Patrick always make sure that he and his team deliver the best service. The staff are always well-trained and they have very high product knowledge. Patrick also knows it is important for the staff to have everything that they need to do their jobs properly. He says that he has been really lucky with the promotion and publicity that Monks are getting. He created Facebook and Instagram accounts but only did a little promotion there. “Most of the pictures on social media are posted by our customers. They tag us, we repost it. There are a lot of photos and great reviews on Google as well, so bloggers found us very quickly when they are looking for a cafe in Amsterdam. They take photos and write about us because we make excellent coffee.”
It is important to always make sure that the product is what it says to be. If you are consistent, you cannot fail because people will choose your place.
If you want to check out Monks Coffee Roasters, it is located on Bilderdijkstraat 46, Amsterdam. On the surface, Monks is a coffee place but in fact, it’s a place where friends and family come to relax and reconnect. Who knows it might be your new favourite place for catching up with a friend… or even your next office away from the office!
This article is also published on pointofsale.com