Kanuka Tea

Kanuka Tea House - St Albans

Stylish POS is a hit at St Albans' latest 'must visit' tea venue

A passion for tea

Take a look at how we helped John Hesler from Kanuka Tea House, integrate a great ePOS solution with the latest Apple products.
“KRCS were a great help for us...I trusted them and loved working with them, right from the beginning.” - John Hesler


Challenge

When builder, John Hesler turned his passion for tea into a brand new business venture, he created the modern, chic and stylish Kanuka Tea House. As thoughts turned to technology and point of sale, there was no doubt he wanted the modern, simplistic look of Apple products. However, he didn't have a clue which software would give him the solution required to perfectly enhance the customer experience and enable him to carry out day-to-day tasks with minimum fuss.

Solution

KRCS worked closely with John to fully understand his requirements and help him select the very best software and hardware products to deliver not only the best retail solutions, but also provide the perfect aesthetic look to complement the modern, stylish interior of his very first store.

Results

Sleek and minimalist Apple products blend perfectly with the interior of Kanuka Tea House. The integrated software recommended by KRCS gives John and his team instant access - anywhere, anytime - to sales and stock data, reporting, staff management and customer relationship management. Customer feedback is very positive with many visitors to the store commenting on the overall look and the unobtrusive point of sale system.

The wonders of tea

After 12 years in the construction industry, where he grew tired of drinking endless mugs of builders' tea, John Hesler, the founder of Kanuka Tea, decided to explore the world of luxury teas. Prompted by the gift of a specialist tea kettle, his eyes were opened to the variety of blends and possibilities available.

John set about taste-testing the finest teas from around the world and opened the Kanuka Tea House in St Albans in February 2016. What he definitely didn't want was a chintzy, traditional old-fashioned tea room and he certainly hasn't created one. The tea house is a modern, bright and contemporary venue, showcasing the fascinating world of tea. Customers enjoy a sensory experience; viewing, smelling and learning about their chosen blend from the chic display of over 40 loose teas which sits alongside tea-related products including specialist kettles, cups and accessories which are also available to buy online at kanukatea.com

When investigating which point of sale (POS) systems to incorporate, John knew it absolutely had to be Apple. "I was already a dedicated Apple user and knew the products would be reliable." explains John. "I also wanted a POS system that would complement the look of the store and blend into the surroundings rather than have a large, bulky till taking room up on the counter top."

John admits he's a builder by trade and, being totally new to retail, didn't really know which POS systems were Apple-compatible. He took to the internet to search out suitable Apple resellers, contacting three of them for advice and a quotation. "One of them didn't even reply." said John. "One sent through a one-line quote and didn't even follow it up with a call. KRCS was the only company who provided a comprehensive quotation and followed it up. That gave me the confidence to go with their advice and purchase the recommended software and hardware."

KRCS supplied an iPad Air 2; an iPad mini 2; a MacBook Air; a socket scanner and a Star printer and cash drawer. The Apple Authorised Reseller also provided in-store training on the cloud-based system which incorporates Vend and Deputy software along with an iZettle card reader which can accommodate chip & pin or contactless payments via cards, Apple Pay and Android Pay.

"The products not only look fantastic but the Vend and Deputy software on them has certainly impressed." says John. Customers have a range of easy payment options and they can view their purchase receipt on the iPad screen before accepting and paying their bill. They also have the option of inputting their email address to receive news and special offers. We've received really positive feedback. The best comments are from those who also work in retail. They just can't understand where the till is!"

The iPad till in action

Vend is retail POS software, inventory management, ecommerce and customer loyalty for iPad, Mac and PC. It enables retailers to easily and conveniently manage their business in the cloud. Working with leading merchant providers from around the world, Vend allows the creation of custom buttons to accept cash, credit or debit cards, cheque, gift cards or any other type of payment.

It can produce reports on customers, total sales and discounts - right down to the last hour and, when it comes to stock, Vend can use automated reordering to make sure retailers never have too much or too little on their shelves. It's also a great platform for CRM, recording purchase history, creating customer groups and centrally managing all customers.

Being battery powered, Vend also has an offline mode so if Internet access is lost, or the mains power goes down, staff can carry on working and data remains safe and sales are automatically updated once power is restored.

"The great thing about Vend is that it can be accessed on any device from anywhere - even my iPhone." says John. "I was in New York earlier this year and one of the girls rang to tell me about an issue with VAT being added to a non-applicable item. I was able to log into the system and quickly reprogram it. The problem was solved in a matter of minutes."

Staff Management tool kit

Deputy is time, attendance and staff rostering software that makes it easy to schedule staff, track their performance, assign tasks and fill a vacant shift. It integrates with Vend to pull sales data into a scheduling snapshot, keeping it updated in real time to give a clear understanding on how sales are performing daily versus how staff are scheduled.

"It's really useful." says John. "I can easily see when the busiest times of the day and week are and this helps me to roster staff accordingly. If I need to make changes to the rota, Deputy can send notifications out to the staff concerned so everyone is kept informed." John says one of the reasons he chose to use Apple products over any other was the way they look and contribute to the feel of the shop. "Another reason I love Apple is the amount of business apps available and the regular software updates that keep the products fresh and up to date." he says.

Having worked closely with KRCS on the implementation of the Vend solution for the store, John asked the team about FileMaker solutions for his construction business, Hesler Homes. "I was aware of the KRCS software development offering after attending an in-store ePOS event." he explains. "I was unhappy with my existing developer and had been left with a partially completed FileMaker database." After an initial meeting, KRCS was able to take over the development of the FileMaker solution and is currently actively developing new features in the system specifically for Hesler Homes.

"I really appreciate the level of one-to-one help KRCS has been able to offer me." says John. "Knowing there is someone knowledgeable to help when you are learning to use something new has been very valuable. The team at KRCS have gone out of their way to help me with issues that were not even down to them. This really makes them stand out as a business that understands keeping the customer happy will bring them constant repeat business."