News / Halifax

Popular Dartmouth cafe now serving up a new way to order

A popular Dartmouth cafe now has a special type of apple on their menu.

On Monday morning, patrons of Two If By Sea Cafe on Ochterloney Street had their coffee orders filled on an iPad for the first time ever.

“It was just convenient, easy and looks sharp,” said Zane Kelsall, co-founder of the cafe.

Kelsall said he knew the cafe needed to replace the older cash registers at some point so he could use tools like spreadsheets, and not just see a final transaction.

“It was more of a glorified calculator,” Kelsall said.

When Kelsall’s friend in Montreal developed a new software for cafe-owners called CMS, he took the chance to beta test the program here in HRM. He's also the first to test the program east of Montreal.

One iPad acts as a cash register and the other is mounted above the espresso machine, so workers can punch in a coffee order on the till and send it wirelessly to the barista.

“Before, we always did handwritten chits,” Kelsall said. “And you can just lose [those].”

Kelsall added many customers on Monday knew something was different, but couldn’t put their finger on it.

“Things like ‘there’s a lot more space,’ and ‘did you make the bar longer?’” Kelsall said with a smile.

He can also use an iPod with the new software during rush times to take orders from a line of people, so everything is bagged and ready by the time they reach the till.

Kelsall looked into buying a touch-screen computer register, but the whole system (which wasn’t wireless) ran $12,000 while both iPads and software added up to a $1,000 nvestment.

“I’m excited about it,” he said.

An iPad fan for the past few years, Kelsall said he’s already recommended the devices to a few people.

“I think there’s a young enough business and restaurant industry crowd here that you could see some of those things being adopted,” he said.

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