Get A Receipt

It all adds up.

Day five of our 2020 Coast-to-Coast Adventure: We camped at Palomino RV Resort in Cullman, Georgia. We really liked the campground with its chapel, walking paths, and friendly hosts. They have a fantastic 1909 mechanical National Cash Register in their office for public view.

James H. Patterson, owner of the National Cash Register Company, was the maker of the first mechanical cash registers. Patterson pioneered the first modern advertising methods, “Sales make news and news makes sales.” His campaign “Get a Receipt” sold the world on the need to get a receipt with every cash transaction. He invented guaranteed sales territories, point systems and quotas, sales conventions, and dress codes for salesmen.

National Cash Registers were sold to merchants to control the performance of cashiers and alleviate pocketing cash from the drawers. This amazing model kept track of sales in real time. All registers were equipped with a special counter which showed how many times the register was operated, and special keys, such as received on account, charge, and paid out. You could keep track of up to nine separate totals, meaning it could be used by nine different clerks. The register stands often held more than one cash drawer to take advantage of this feature.

Today, we think of all these functions as essential. The big difference is the cost to the retailer of the 1909 cash register compared to the cost of a cash register to a retailer today.

The cash registers that our son Larry, Jr. uses in his six Subway restaurants keep track of sales, labor costs, food costs and much more in real time. The big difference is the price. The 1909 with an average price of $315 (equivalent to almost $9,500.00 today), was a much bigger decision for a merchant. It required a hefty sum of their annual profits to purchase the machine. Today’s registers with at least ten times more capability, cost only $200-$300.

Just one example of the amazing resources we have at our fingertips. We have instant access to more information than the libraries of the best universities in the world.

We live in unprecedented times. Everyday more apps are available continuing to expand the use and value of our cell phones.

So, how are you keeping up? How are you pioneering greater value for your customers than ever before? You must continue to improve the quality, or quantity for the same price, or less to stay in the game and get ahead.

Keep up or you will fall hopelessly behind.

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