App of the Day
Point of Sale Software March 18, 2014

Change Review - Point of Sale App

Change, built by BitMethod, is a point-of-sale application made for the iPad. Targeting small restaurants, this application offers integration with receipt printing hardware and unique third-party APIs. When the application was launched in 2012, Change reached a milestone of over 100,000 transactions within just one year. Offering a user-friendly interface, unique integration options, and affordable plans, Change has made the order-taking process so easy that restaurants can " ditch their cash register.”

First impressions

After downloading Change on the iPad, new users are taken to the Demo area so that they can try out the product before buying. This area appears to have the same functionality of the application once purchased. The main navigation area is at the top with setup and configuration to the left and order history and till options to the right. Screen layout buttons are displayed directly under the main item screen.

Change Main Screen Order

For order taking, the interface is simple. Order and Payment options on the left and items available for purchase on the right. Order Options include dining in, delivery, and to-go orders. Seats can be added which is handy for payment separating. Payments, which are configurable in the Settings area, can then be made for the orders. Once a payment is entered and the Checkout button is clicked, a receipt is shown listing items for the entire order including order number, tax, applicable discounts, and change due. The Payments area also allows for discounts as well as gratuity to be applied which can both be done using a dollar or percentage and Notes can be attached. All in all, the order-taking process is intuitive and easy to use. Example Kitchen Order Receipt:

Change Kitchen Order Screenshot

The Settings area is where the Account, Payment, and Receipt details are set up. Logos, headers, and footers are customizable making receipts unique. The Create and Edit areas are for configuring items, departments, tax rates, units, and editing the screen layout. Items can be placed into departments and groups. Departments allow for better reporting and Groups allows for similar items to be categorized for easier ordering on the screen layout. Different tax rates can be added and applied to different items and departments. Units can be set up for weighted or bulk items in the Miscellaneous section. 

Logging into the Change Dashboard in a browser allows users to view and/or edit account settings, business information, plan details, top selling items, and most importantly, the reports. Reports are listed by date, time, and amount. Session reports show transactions, net sales, and net payments with necessary information for each section of the report. Reports can also be easily exported to a zip file containing six different reports: discounts, items, payments, surcharges, top sellers, and transactions as csv files. Example Report Section:

Change Report Section Screenshot

Pricing & Availability

Once an account is created on the website the Change Dashboard is available from any browser by logging in at the same URL. The Change application is used on an iPad running iOS 5 or later. The application can be found in the App Store with a simple search for “Change cash register”. A trial is available once the Demo is exited on the iPad. After the 14-day trial, plan options include $45 per month or $39 per month if you prepay for a full year.

What it does well

Highlights of Change include order receipt emailing to customers, receipt printing (with additional hardware), flexible and multiple screen layouts, and till options including suspend, swap, add/remove money, balancing, discrepancy resolution options, and email reports.

The customization and flexibility of the application are great features. Photos of items can be added for easier viewing as well as colors in the screen layout. Layout options allow for grouping similar items or displaying single items. Grouping works well for categorizing items such as wines, cookies, or coffees where there are many options are available. This makes the layout less cluttered, even though single items can be displayed as well. The Miscellaneous screen option lets users add money to the order without selecting a particular item, but by choosing a Department instead.

Viewing all tills and orders with a simple click is convenient by choosing either the Drawer or Order button on the top navigation. The Drawer button lets users create a till or open a previous till to begin a session. This makes handing it over to different order takers quick and easy. Viewing session orders by number, date, time, and amount is convenient and allows users to refund, void, or preview the customer or kitchen receipts easily. Example Till Screenshot:

Change Till Screenshot

Cloud Backup and Sync options are additional reasons to use Change. The application also works without an Internet connection (unless using Dwolla). Data is saved and synced once the device is connected. 

What we would like to see in future updates

Although the Demo is perfect for getting the feel of the application; both the setup and the order process, we would like to see either an interactive tutorial or more screen tips when entering the Demo. Test-driving the application before purchasing is important because it did take a little while to figure out that Departments and Groups are quite different. We also would have liked to try out the Unit feature for Miscellaneous items, which did not appear in the Demo. Moving Groups on the screen layout is a helpful feature. 

The Verdict

Change is an easy-to-use, flexible point-of-sale application. The setup is simple and the customization creates an intuitive interface for order taking. The multiple screen layout feature is perfect when a restaurant would like to separate, for example, breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus. We were impressed with the simplicity of the application all around.

If you are looking for an easy, intuitive, affordable, portable, point-of-sale system for your café or bar, then you should definitely check out Change by BitMethod.

Check out Change in our Marketplace for more detailed information!

Interview with Change CEO, Daniel Shipton:

Q. What moved you to pursue to build Change? What does it do different than other products?

We were frequently approached by people wanting to build services that could integrate with, or improve upon, the point of sale. After looking into this, we realized many of the systems are old, expensive, insular, and not very flexible. Instead of working within this ecosystem, we decided to tackle the root of the problem by building a better point of sale.

Our company has always thrived off making complex things simple and easy to use. We are also very customer-centric and focus solely on solving real problems. If we can make someone's day easier, we'll find a way to make it happen. No gimmicks, no fluff. We just want to pack in as much value as we can for the price.

Q. What has been the most challenging experience in building Change?

Keeping our app simple. Point of sale software can get complicated pretty easily. We want anyone and everyone to be able to use Change confidently without thinking about it. We spend a lot of time researching, observing, and experimenting. Every now and again, we are still thrown for a loop, but we enjoy the challenge.

Q. What has been a major influence for the design behind Change?

Our customers. They are just as much part of our team as we are. They are the ones helping us shape and mold Change. What's great is we share many of the same values as our customers. They know they wouldn't exist without their customers, and we wouldn't exist with them.

Q. Who is this app for?

Change is ideal for small- to medium-sized restaurants, cafes, and bars. Establishments that are busy and growing, but can't quite afford an expensive, fully-integrated solution. Whether it's a one-man taco truck or an elegant fine French bistro, we want to help owners and their staff spend more time focused on their business and their customers, not fussing with their point of sale.

Q. Who would be a better spokesperson for Change: Superman, Batman, or Spiderman?

Batman, definitely Batman. 

Q. What is in store for the future for Change?

Continue to improve and grow. We love chatting with our customers and they teach us new things everyday. I don't think we'll ever reach the day when we think Change is perfect. There is always something to improve upon and new problems that need to be solved.

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