Happy Carrot Collective Serves the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

happy carrot michigan

Located in the upper peninsula of Michigan, is Happy Carrot; a medical marijuana collective in Marquette. A collective is a place where those who provide medical marijuana (caregivers) can provide it to those who do not grow or have their own. Collectives provide this setting as long as the patient has both a medical marijuana recommendation and as long as they are a member of the collective itself. Qualified patients may sign up as Caregivers in order to provide other members with their excess meds. Caregivers must also meet specific requirements by the state, such as being at least 21 years of age or older and have no felonies, for example.

Finding a Point of Sale Company that Meets their Collective Needs

In early 2017, Happy Carrot began searching for a Point of Sale System. Happy Carrot provides medicine in a safe environment and within the strict accordance of the law. One of the most encompassing ways they can adhere to the laws and regulations of the state is via their POS system. A POS is a critical bridge from which the collective verifies patients/members, tracks inventory and accepts donations. So finding a reputable and reliable software provider was a key goal of theirs.

Since 2007, Cafe Cartel Systems has been providing POS systems to the ever evolving industry and has adapted accordingly with the different regulations for the different states. For example, in mid March 2017, Franwell METRC won the contract to provide the state tracking system for Michigan. This seed to sale tracking software must be used by marijuana providers in the state. By using CCS, Happy Carrot can easily export data from the POS to a CSV file and upload it to the METRC system.

By utilizing their CCS Point of Sale, Happy Carrot can verify patient’s membership and recommendation status in their system. The system will alert them if the patient’s recommendation is soon expiring or expired. They can also scan and upload associated documents to each member's/patients profile and include any notes such as preferences to strains or allergies. These features ensure the safety and legality of the patient/caregiver relationship.

Choosing a Modern POS Tablet Setup with Integrated, NTEP Approved Scales

While Cafe Cartel offers a variety of POS styles, Happy Carrot opted for a modern tablet with printer in the base - the Altera 3800. Their setup included an integrated scale, label printer and a software license for the admin computer. This solution comes complete with extensive inventory control, over 100 analytical reports and charts, data encryption and much more. While being a powerful solution, that didn’t make it any harder to setup. In fact, after a few training sessions, Happy Carrot was using the system effectively in no time. To review your collective’s needs with an industry consultant, call 866-973-8099 or request a quote today.

Don't get Ripped off this Holiday Season by your Customers

Holidays are upon us and you have come up with some great ideas to get a lot of gift cards sold/issued. That income without sales can offer a boost to your business and allow you to invest more into things you need to get done. It's also of course a great marketing advantage. Not only will customers buy cards for their friends, but you can also get them to buy cards for themselves. You do this with the discount concept, that the cards value is greater than the amount they paid.

Three ways you are loosing money

Without pre-planning of this, you may have some vital liabilities that will cause you distress. These two liabilities are the state laws for redemption, and how you actually report and collect income for a gift card. If you don't understand these liabilities, you can loose thousands and not even know it.

Many State Laws Require Cash Redemption Value

Many states have a rule that if you have a gift card, it can be redeemed for the value of the card, or that the cash value of the card must be paid back on it. If you are issuing gift cards for $20 dollars, but charging $10.00 a smart yet jerky customer can come in and request 10 gift cards, and come back later in the day and ask for the cash value of them. You just lost $100.00 dollars.

So how do you avoid this issue? You will have to review the laws and required verbiage in your state. Most likely you will have to indicate the rules of redemption on the receipt, and the card itself. This means you will probably have to make cards specific for the promotion with their own rules printed on the card itself.

You are paying more in Income Taxes than you thought: You offer a discount for Gift Cards

When you offer discounts for gift cards, you gain the promotion, but you loose in the income. This is obviously true. But what is not obvious is that when you issue a gift card for $10.00, and report $20.00 in sales, your liability is $20.00 so your your gross sales is $20.00 once that card is used. This means you are paying taxes on something you didn't even earn. You are paying more taxes than you should!

So when you offer a discount for the gift card, it's important to understand how to use your system to avoid that kind of problem. With CCS we recommend you use a percentage discount on orders, this way you can equivocate the discount as a percentage. You will most likely need to put a printed percentage discount on the card itself. Therefore, Issued value would $10.00 the card value itself would be $10.00, but for each purchase they would receive 10.00 off. In this instance, we would suggest you deny a split payment, however if you don't that still better than the alternative.

You Double Report Sales

Most businesses know this by now, but not a lot of new business owners and quite often accountants and bookkeepers over look this problem.

Many bookkeepers look at the deposits as an income, or and many business owners do this as well. When you look at the total of cash/credit collected daily, that is not actual income. When you provide a gift card to a customer, that's called issuing, and it results in a liability, not a sale. So it's important that your system remove the issuance of gift cards from your gross sales report and that you understand your gross sales report properly.

For Bakeries, Deli’s Fishers, and your Store. How a POS Accepting WIC EBT Payments Will Increase Your Sales

In this article we are going to address what you may or may not know about how easy it is to increase your sales using State run programs WIC and EBT. If you think about it, these are customers who have a limited area they can spend money, and for what they can spend it on. If you are a bakery or provide services that fall within these guidelines, you can increase your sales just by accepting WIC and EBT payments, with just a little marketing

WIC is a Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). They provide Federal grants to States for supplemental foods, similar to SNAP or food stamps. These public assistance food supplementation programs are redeemed and reconciled using an EBT card. Food products can then be purchased with an EBT card. In this article we will explore how accept WIC EBT will increase your bakery sales.

Determining Your Bakery’s Eligibility

When considering accepting WIC EBT at your business, it is important to note that only specific food products are eligible for this program. Additionally, your bakery must be approved to accept these payments. Fortunately, the EBT acceptance program is easy to sign up for and straightforward. Essentially, your bakery must do at least 50% of its sales of EBT eligible foods or you must offer three of the four food categories eligible on a daily basis: grains and bread; fruits and vegetables; dairy; and meat, poultry and fish.

Gaining More Business & Maintaining Loyal Customers by Accepting WIC EBT

WIC EBT benefit holders frequently research locations they can redeem these benefits at. By accepting WIC EBT at your bakery, you will open the door to more business that you otherwise wouldn’t have received. Additionally, your current customers who have EBT cards will then be able to use these benefits with you as well. Which means they may end up spending more at your bakery and inspire their loyalty to your business. These chances will go up if you place signage at your bakery and list online that you accept WIC EBT.

Increasing Sale Amounts by Accepting WIC EBT

At first glance, these supplemental programs are only seen as programs for the needy in the community. But what most business owners don’t realize is how these platforms provide a large amount of revenue for retailers that accept these programs. Bakeries that accept EBT cards are essentially receiving payment from customers who aren’t paying - so this will increase the likelihood of higher ticket sales and revenue that they otherwise wouldn’t have gotten.

CCS Point of Sale Payment Processing for WIC EBT

Now that we know that accepting WIC EBT will increase sales and is relatively easy to sign up for, the next topic to review would be what accepting them at your bakery would actually look like. With Cafe Cartel, WIC EBT payment options are assigned to the eligible items in inventory. Then, once a cashier rings an order up, they can select the payment option button in CCS. From here, cashiers will see the total of the order and the amount eligible for WIC/EBT. By selecting the WIC button for example, it would then allow the cashier to accept the WIC payment via the terminal or it will just apply a payment on the transaction. This will then apply the amount and update the balance due. From here, the cashier will accept payment as usual.

The All-in-One Point of Sale System for Your Bakery’s Needs

As you can see, Cafe Cartel provides an easy system for accepting and remaining compliant with WIC and EBT payments. Below is a video detailing the step-by-step process for setting this up in CCS. For more information on industry related features or to speak with an industry consultant, please call 866-973-8099 or request a quote today.

Seasonal updates to your Menu and Promotions at your Coffee Shop

When the colors on the leaves begin to change and the breeze brings a little chill, signals that it’s time to start gaming planning your promotions for the busy holiday season. The holidays are a busy time for everyone since it involves shopping, travelling, etc. Through all the hustle and bustle, people warm themselves up and get a kickstart on their errands by drinking a cup of hot coffee. Now you just need to make sure that people are drinking your coffee. Because of this, we’ve prepared eight different holiday promotional ideas you can run during the fall and winter months.

Adjust Your Holiday Hours

November 1st is when most malls and shops begin adjusting their holiday hours. Sometimes they extend them, other times they open early and on other days they shorten them or are closed on the actual holiday day like Christmas or Thanksgiving. Because of these hours, shoppers frequently check the opening and closing times of the places they’d like to go. By adjusting your hours to match to local shops or malls near you, you can take advantage of the early risers or the late shoppers during this time.

For example, most people will arrive to the mall early, even before they open to make sure they get the items they need before they run out of stock. By opening your nearby coffee shop an hour before the mall’s time, you can make sure that people get their coffee fix before the chaos ensues. You can also extend your hours later to accommodate the tired shoppers on their way out. Research local holiday hours in your area and game plan yours. Be sure to post on your holiday hours on your website and social media pages.

Add a Theme to Your Website & Social Media

Speaking of your website and social media, you’ll want to pepper them both with some seasonal pictures and content. Customers won’t know what specials you have going on or what new goodies you have to offer if you don’t inform them about it. Businesses that don’t actively update their pages with current holidays or events can appear that they don’t have anything new or exciting going on at their shop - like it's just another day. Don’t be one of those coffee shops.

It’s also important to note that you should respond to any inquiries online ASAP. Many of your social media followers may inquire about your specials, gift options or hours during the holiday season. Lack of timely response can cost you some business.

Play Holiday Music

Adjust the tunes you play at your shop to ones that get people into the holiday spirit. Don’t worry - these don’t have to be the traditional versions of the songs. Many artists put out their versions of this music that can be anything from acoustic, to pop. And of course, there is always Pandora if you don’t want to spend a ton of time or money researching the style you want.

Set up a Gift Card Display

Setting up a gift card display at your register will inspire people for what gifts to get for that work holiday party, a friend or even possibly someone that they forgot about until last minute. Besides, who doesn’t love coffee? Gift cards are always a great idea, so make sure that your guests can easily spot them while they’re paying for their drinks.

Offer Pre-Wrapped Gifts & Gift Baskets

Whether you sell your own coffee mugs, coffee blends, baked good or chocolates, prepare some already-put-together gift sets or baskets for your customers. Once again, last minute shoppers will be grateful that you’ve put together a charming, wrapped set, that didn’t take much effort on their part. Not to mention, if the recipient of the gift enjoys it, you may have gained your coffee shop a new loyal customer.

Create a Holiday Window Display

Whether it be signage or a painted window display, you want to change this display to match the holidays. Include the specialty drinks or treats that you think will be the most popular selling items. Passersby won’t be able to resist the limited editions advertised and come in for a delicious cup of coffee.

Get Involved in Community Work

Both Thanksgiving and Christmas are about giving and appreciating friends, family and the community. Sometimes connecting with your customers isn’t just about selling them a cup of coffee but building a relationship with them. By hosting a local food drive or participating in something like Toys for Tots, makes you an integral part of the community in which you live and will earn your business loyal customers.

Offer Space to Community Groups

Consider offering your business space after hours to local community groups. Whether they organize parades, feed the needy or anything similar for that matter, these groups are usually featured on the local news channels. This in turn will gain your coffee shop media attention simply by providing them a location. Of course, the terms of doing these will need to be reviewed carefully by you to make sure it will work to your favor.

More Ways to Improve Your Coffee Shops Sales

We hope that this article has been of benefit for you. We‘ve been helping small businesses succeed since 2004 and provide them a variety of resources. To check out more helpful tools and tricks, check out our industry page for your business to see how you can continue to grow your business and reach your optimal potential.

Prepare for the Cold while keeping your customers coming back.

While most people joyfully anticipate the festivities that come during the Fall and Winter months, many ice cream and frozen yogurt shops seem to loath the slowing down of their sales. Of course, it’s no surprise that foot traffic can dip down in the colder months. But with that being said, there are some key things your business can do to re-engage your customers this time of year and keep the cash flow coming in.

Incorporate Seasonal Flavors in Your Selections

Start offering specialty flavors that relate to the season. Flavors like pumpkin, candy cane, gingerbread, cinnamon, eggnog and even fruit cake are excellent options to promote at your shop. These same flavors can apply to toppings as well. For example, there’s pumpkin cheesecake, white chocolate candy canes, peppermint patties, sugar cookies or candy corns.

Offer Hot Holiday Drinks

Let’s face it, the main reason sales dip is because of the cold weather. Adding hot drinks options to your menu will be more enticing so that customers can warm up and not get even more cold from eating frozen yogurt or ice cream. Not only is hot coffee and tea a great idea, but adding kid-friendly options such as hot chocolate and hot cider are even better.

Add Melted Toppings & Complimentary Warm Desserts as Options

Now it’s time to take the heat up another notch. Start incorporating melted options such as melted chocolates, candy bars, etc to your topping selection. Serving your froyo or ice cream with warm pies, cookies or brownies is even better.

Make Social Media Your Best Friend

Potential customers won’t know that you now have seasonal flavors and hot options at your shop unless you inform them. Social media is the perfect (and free) tool you can use to let everyone know what new specialty options you have. Most people pack on a few extra pounds in these months so advertising your low fat options is a good way people can indulge without feeling too guilty. It’s this time of year when people are gift shopping as well, so be sure to let everyone know that your gift cards are the perfect gift for any ice cream or froyo lovers out there.

Further Tips and Tricks for Frozen Yogurt and Ice Cream Shops

We hope that this article has been of benefit for you. We‘ve been helping small businesses succeed since 2004 and provide them a variety of resources. To check out more helpful tools and tricks, check out our industry page for your business to see how you can continue to grow your business and reach your optimal potential.