Why you shouldn’t automate the cashier at cafes

My favorite local cafe is Blackberry Market. They have good quality food, great coffee, and a nice atmosphere. The cashier mostly just types in orders, and takes someones credit card to swipe it.

Why not automate that task? And while I understand Blackberry Market is too small for this to likely be feasible anyway, I want to make the point.

For people like my wife, there is always a question about her order. Something she wants to know more about. Can something be removed? Is there a recommendation between a couple different items? The cashiers are helpful at Blackberry Market, and that’s one of the features of the business and a benefit to the customers.

If you’re a business who thinks automating the cashier is a good way to save your business money, it’s best to understand that the main component of your business better be the cheapest price. If it’s not, why are you doing that? You can’t cut corners everywhere then claim to be a premium product.

How can you claim you are flexible, generous, willing to help customers, when all you have done is plopped a machine in front of them, and shown them if they want additional help beyond what is programmed, they onus is on them to find someone to help.

You can’t.