Cash Register, Point of Sale & Credit Card Information Central

10 Tricks Every Festival & Event Organizer should know!

Posted by Bryan Mueller on Fri, Jun 07, 2013 @ 12:06 PM

Whether you’re in the planning stages or getting ready to set up, the summer’s festivals and events are in full swing. We understand all the work that goes into preparing for these events, and we want to help make things simple!  Here are some unique tips that we would like to share with you to make life easier for event organizers everywhere:

  1. knot your cordsTired of extension cords unplugging? Tie them together to keep them from falling out.

  2. store and organize your cordsWith all the different cords you may need at your event, organize them like this for easy access and quick labeling!

  3. pallet on a keychainWhen working with a client on a specific color pallet, paint Popsicle sticks of the color scheme and organize them with a binder ring. This way you can bring them with you everywhere when looking at fabrics or design ideas.

  4. describe the imageWith all the Keys on our key ring, organize them with paint or nail polish for easier and quicker access, after all time is money!

  5. tape tabsTape is a must have for any event whether its scotch tape, masking tape, and the most valuable duct tape. Save the end with a bread clip for easier use.

  6. penny in a vaseIf you are having fresh flowers at your event, place a penny into each vase with a pinch of sugar to keep flowers perkier longer. How’s that for penny’s value?

  7. quick candle cleanupIf candles are a part of the atmosphere at your event, remember to spray each holder with some oil. This way the wax won’t stick to the glass and makes your clean up that much faster!

  8. clever containersOutdoor events and festivals don’t have too much security for your belongings. As event organizers we carry some pretty valuable items, so be sure to disguise them with a unique case!

  9. dry checksIf you participate in outdoor events and are still accepting checks or have valuable paper documents, be sure to store them in a Ziploc with a piece of cardboard to keep them dry and un-creased!

  10. reserved seatsUtilize Space. To help prevent the front rows from being empty, place reserved signs on the last row or two to make people shift forward (you can remove the signs once the front row is filled).

Tags: Events, Event Planning, Service

Key attributes to consider when reviewing a cash register system:

Posted by Haley Kavanaugh on Wed, Mar 20, 2013 @ 02:37 PM

There are many things to be considered when choosing the right cash register system for your business or event. Some of these attributes are often over looked or forgotten about by many individuals. As a solution, we have provided a list of things to consider and help make your decision an easier one.

Raised or flat keyboard?Keyboards: Raised or Flat? A number of people use a raised keyboard for the traditional button “feel”. Raised keys have more moving parts and tend to wear out faster. The flat keyboards provide a more modern look, are easier to update and are dirt and spill resistant, which is ideal for environments in the food/beverage/concessions industry.

Plastic or Steel base?Register base: Plastic or Steel? While plastic is initially more cost effective and most commonly found in registers, the steel base will be more durable after multiple uses and last over the years. A steel base is ideal if needing transportation because plastic bases tend to break or crack. At that point you would simply need to replace the register since there are little to no options in ordering parts for plastic base registers.

Ink or Thermal PrinterReceipt printing: Ink or Thermal? Ink printing has become obsolete in most cash register printers.  Thermal printing has become the standard because they are clean, quick and quiet. Ink printing is still the better option for restaurant kitchen printing however, because thermal paper reacts to the heat lamps.

Paper or Electronic Journal?Journal: Paper or Electronic? If you're an accountant at heart and like holding on to hard copy data, a paper journal is the way to go. However, they are more likely to get lost or ruined and takes up valuable office space storing and organizing the information. An electronic journal tends to be easier to organize and store.

Stand-beside or Integrated Credit CardsCredit Card: Integrated or Stand beside? Registers capable of integrated credit card processing have a higher cost than those without. Integration allows for faster and more accurate transactions with the entire sale being performed on one machine. End of the day settlements are also streamlined.

Replace or Internal BatteriesBattery Backup: Replacable Battery or Internal Rechargeable? Registers with replacable battery backups tend have a lower purchase cost, but have a maintenance cost. If you forget to change a dead battery and the register loses power, you end up losing all your programming. Now, you will need to pay or learn to do it all again, which is expensive and takes up valuable time.

Singular setups or networked together?Communication: Inter-register communication (IRC) or not? Having the option to network registers together is vital for most businesses which use inventory tracking, make global program updates, or gather consolidated reports. If you're only using one register, the IRC feature is not needed.

If you are looking through cash register options and run into something that could use some clarification, leave a comment and we would be happy to explain. You can also check into pricing using the request a quote button.

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Tags: Cash Registers, Service

How to Use a Cash Register: Tip #4-The PLU Button

Posted by Bryan Mueller on Wed, Oct 10, 2012 @ 02:57 PM

Finger pressing buttonIf you've ever looked at the keyboard of a cash register and wondered what in the world is that PLU button for, allow me to shed some light on the subject. A PLU or Price Look Up is really just the register's code for an item. Programming a PLU includes assigning a description, price, tax status, etc. to a specific number. 

PLUs are usually accessed either by pressing one of the item buttons on the keyboard, or using a barcode scanner. Alternately, you can ring in an item by entering the item number and pressing the PLU button. This allows the users to ring in barcoded items even if the barcode is damaged, smudged or otherwise unreadable. Just enter the barcode number on the keypad followed by the PLU button.

In the case of an ER-285 cash register, there are a default 15 item buttons on the keyboard (up to 24 with some custom programming). To accomodate tracking a larger inventory, you can set up each product with its own PLU number, and program each item (up to 10,000 for the ER-285) into the register. The only trick is making sure the cashier knows which PLU is assigned to each item, though this can be easily overcome by tagging each item, creating a master list for each cashier or simply memorizing smaller inventory lists.

The PLU button makes managing a large inventory an easy task. If you're faced with an item list that is larger that your keyboard, American Metro can help find a solution. We can program them as PLUs for you, or we can create barcodes and labels enabling ultra fast and easy scanning capabilities for your event. For more information about how American Metro can help with the point of sale situation for your business, click the link below.

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Tags: Cash Registers, Service

Cash Register Training Made Easy

Posted by Bryan Mueller on Thu, Jun 28, 2012 @ 02:22 PM

Maybe you haven't picked up on it yet, but at American Metro, everything we do is designed to make the point of sale for our customers as easy as possible. We program each piece of equipment to be extremely user friendly while providing the necessary features. We provide training sessions for customers in house. We offer on-site support to take care of all the details regarding equipment running smoothly. With each rental, we send easy to understand cheat sheets out as a reference. We have service technicians available 24 hours a day by phone or email to make it easy to get questions answered.

Getting familiar with setting up and operating your cash register has never been easier, especially now that we have one more tool at our disposal. Introducing the American Metro video training series. Get step by step instructions you can see and follow along with on any computer or smart phone. It's the next best thing to having an American Metro service tech follow you around all day. 

The first set of videos covers operations and programming of our most popular rental register, the Sam4s ER-285. More videos will be posted in the coming weeks and will contain guides for operating other register models. All videos will have links posted on If you have a specific register for which you would like a video tutorial created, please let us know.



Tags: Cash Registers, Service, Rental

Simple and Speedy Taxes on Your Point of Sale System

Posted by Bryan Mueller on Thu, May 31, 2012 @ 04:05 PM

Smiley FaceIt's a fact: people like round numbers. I can't quite explain why, but round numbers are more appealing than their fractional counterparts. While walking through the grocery store I saw a product selling for $2.79 each or 2 for $5.00. Ooo, a round number so it must be a better deal. Advertisements do it all the time. They will market a product that costs $49.99, go over all the latest features and close with "and you get all this for under 50 bucks!" Again, tying it to a nice round number. Everyone's happy.

Fact number 2: nobody likes taxes. I think I figured out the reason behind it. It's becuse they never lead to round numbers. Adding in the tax just made the deal I got for my two sodas less impressive. "I had the 3 dollars ready. Let me try to scrounge up another 21 cents," as I dig though my pocket for the coins tangled amongst my keys, phone and the receipt from lunch.

Now, for retailers doing business in high traffic, temporary locations (such is case with many of our customers operating at sporting events, festivals and the like), they are looking for the most efficient point of sale process possible. When speed is key, you want to minimize the extra time spent counting out change or waiting for that customer to rifle though his pockets for his. Dealing with change also means you need to keep enough on hand during the event.

You have all your prices set to nice round numbers. What's the solution to the tax issue? Use your cash register to figure taxes as a Value Added Tax (VAT) instead of the standard Add-on Tax. What's a Value Added Tax you ask? When you program your product prices and tax rate, the VAT formula subtracts out the correct amount of tax from the final desired item price. 

The other option is to use the standard add-on system and manually figure out all the pre-tax prices. The downside to doing it that way is the way those fractions round. Figuring out the pre-tax amount for one item may be easy, but when multiple items are purchased, the .3 cents that was rounded down for the single item, will be rounded to an extra penny when 2 items are purchased. Then you're stuck using change again. 

The additional benefit of using the VAT system is that you wouldn't have to refigure and reporgram all your prices if the tax rate changes. Whether you run into an unexpected city tax, have multiple registers in different cities, or you travel and need to change the rate for each new location, it's just one quick program change. 

Enjoy those nice round numbers. It's probably not enough to make you enjoy taxes, but VAT taxes can vastly improve setup time, transaction time and streamline accounting paperwork. The point of sale professionals at American Metro are ready to help with any questions on making your cash register system as easy to use as possible.

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Tags: Cash Registers, Service

Discounts on Point of Sale Cash Registers

Posted by Bryan Mueller on Tue, Mar 06, 2012 @ 10:59 AM

discounts and couponsOffering special promotions and discounts is a great way to inspire more business traffic. After all, who doesn't like saving money from time to time? When it comes to implementing these special offers, we look to a special function key known as the discount button. Your cash register is equipped to accept and track discounts with a variety of options.

By default, the discount buttons are usually labeled with a [-%] symbol on the keyboard. You may find one or two of these buttons on the standard keyboard, but often times up to 5 discounts can be programmed. A unique discount button should be used for each offer you would like to track. For instance, a restaraunt is runs a flyer each month with three different coupons; Get $.50 Off a Large Beverage, Save 10% on Orders of $25 or More, and a punch card with Buy 9 Sandwiches, Get the 10th Free.

The primary programming options for discounts include:

  • Discount is amount or percent
  • Discount is open or preset
  • What is the rate or amount
  • Discount taken off individual item or subtotal amount
  • Are multiple discounts allowed

$ Item Discount

Let's say that the first coupon changes each month to promote specific items, but is always an amount. In this case, the discount would be labeled something like $ ITEM DISC and would be set as an open amount off an item where multiple discounts are allowed. Since the discount changes month to month, the discount amount is set to $0 to allow for a manual entry amount. In this case, after pressing the item [Large Beverage], the cashier would press [5] [0] [$ ITEM DISC] to apply the $.50 discount to that item.

% Sale Discount

For the second coupon, the button could be labeled 10% SALE DISC. This would be a fixed rate that remains the same month to month. This button would then be programmed as a preset percent taken off after subtotal is pressed and would only be available once per sale. The rate amount would be entered as 10.000 for a 10% discount.  After all items are entered, the cashier would press subtotal. If the sale total meets the $25 requirement, the cashier would press the [10% SALE DISC] button then press the subtotal to display the revised amount.

% Item Discount

For the Free 10th Sandwich card, the button might read LOYALTY CARD. This one would be programmed as a preset percent off an item with the rate of 99.999 percent. Most cash registers don't allow for a full 100% discount, hence the 99.999 entry. After pressing the sandwich button, the cashier would verify that the card had the 9 previous purchases applied and would then press the LOYALTY CARD button.

At the end of the night, the closing report would list all discount names and totals. This can help you analyze what offers are driving in customers and allows you to plan more successful marketing efforts.

Tags: Cash Registers, Service

How to use a Cash Register: Tip #2 - Reporting

Posted by Bryan Mueller on Thu, Feb 16, 2012 @ 07:30 AM

Cash Register Tip

After a busy day of sales, multi-tasking during closing proceedures is a common practice for most businesses. There is usually plenty of work to do around the shop that can be preformed while waiting for reports to print from the cash register. So when it comes time to start on the closing paperwork, there can be a sudden sense of dread to realize something went wrong when printing the end of day report. Whether the paper ran out part way through printing, or some type of paper jam occurred, what are the options to access the important information you just reset?

The first line of defense against data loss is to plan ahead. Here are a few methods to take to ensure you won't run into issues. 

  1. Check paper levels before running reports. It never hurts to open up the printer cover and verify that there will be enough paper to run the entire report. Most receipt paper will have a colored stripe that will appear when nearing the end of the roll.
  2. Run an X report before running the Z report. Running reports with the key in the X position will let you eXamine the total without resetting it. If a paper jam occurs during this process, you can always run the report again and the numbers will still be there. Just be sure to run the Z report to Zero the totals when you have a full copy.
  3. SD slot on a ER-285Upgrade registers. Newer registers have a failsafe that stops operations when paper runs out. A warning message will be displayed and the current task is held in memory until a new roll is loaded. Printing will resume where it left off.
  4. Skip the paper report and go digital. Using either a reporting software on your computer to connect directly to the cash register, or saving reports to an SD or USB drive from the register allows you to ignore the uncertainty of paper reports. This can also save time by importing data into your sales database rather than entering numbers manually.
Of course, those suggestions are all best case scenario where you're not already in the middle of a reporting catashrophe. If you happen to find yourself in a situation where the printer ate your only copy of your data, what do you do then?
  1. Check the journal. Regular transactions as well as reports are saved on the journal. If your register doesn't have the second printer that serves as a hard copy journal, you may have a model that uses an electronic journal. In many Sam4s models, this is accomplished by turning the key to the X position and pressing 3 0 0 SUBTOTAL. 
  2. Run the weekly/period report. If you run a period report at the end of each week and have the totals from each day since the last time you can do a little math. Run the period report in the X position and subtract out the previous daily numbers to get the current totals.
  3. Run a Daily Sales report. Often times the end of day procedures call for resetting the Financial, PLU and maybe Group reports. There are a handful of other reports that will remain intact including the Daily Sales Report. Purely a breakdown of sales totals over the last 30 days, this report will at the very minimum, allow you to balance the drawer.
For help determining the capabilities of your specific model of cash register, enabling or using electronic journal or for information on reporting software, contact us with the button below.
Get more info button

Tags: Cash Registers, Service

How to Use a Cash Register: Tip #1

Posted by Bryan Mueller on Mon, Dec 05, 2011 @ 02:12 PM


help button on keyboardWe get a lot of service requests at American Metro, so in an attempt to help our clients as well as anyone just searching for point of sale assistance, I will post some of the questions that come in. This was a recent question submitted on our contact us page.

"What can we help you with today? I have a ER-260 that stopped running and printing sales receipts in regular mode. However, it still prints the daily reports and summaries for the end of day count. Please let me know if I need to reprogram something or bring in the machine."

Here was the response I emailed back.

"Thank you for contacting American Metro with your questions. It sounds like your receipt has been working in the past and has recently stopped printing. Your register has a Receipt On/Off function that was probably activated. To turn on the receipt printing back on,

  1. Make sure the key is in the REG position

  2. Make sure you are not in the middle of a sale.

  3. Then press the button in the top right of they keyboard (labeled PO by default).

That will turn the receipt back on. Pressing it again will turn it off. You also have the ability to print/reprint a receipt by pressing the CASH button again after ringing the sale through.

If there is anything else I can help you with, please let me know."

We really are here to help with any cash register, credit card or point of sale questions you may have. Our specialty is in Sam4s, Sharp and Exadigm models. If you have service or operations question, post them here or submit them to our service request page.

Tags: Cash Registers, Service