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Scott, MIT Graduate
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 17710
Experience:  MIT Graduate, United States Traveler, Information Finder
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this is a cash register question. Are some registers ...

Customer Question

this is a cash register question. Are some registers set up so that they have to be entered in a certain order. For example when I get an espresso the charge for the flavor always comes after and I wondered if that is because if you put the flavor first it would not register properly and the customer would not be charged. Thank you.
Submitted: 10 years ago.
Category: General
Expert:  Scott replied 10 years ago.

HiCustomer and welcome to JA!

I'm sure there are many different computer programs running on various brands of cash register, but the way I've seen it work is this (and this also makes the most sense for the programmer to do):

If an employee tries to charge a customer for a flavor, without having purchased a drink, it will give an error, because flavors only come in the drinks. Another example would be a restaurant that charges extra for whipped cream and a cherry on top of an ice cream. The register programming would not allow the whipped cream and cherry unless the ice cream had been entered first. Another example is at a fast food place. If you want, say, no onions on your burger, you would have to ring up the burger before you could ring up the "no onions".

On many receipts, I have seen the flavor (or other optional items) slightly indented, to signify that they belong with the main item... in your case, the espresso.

I hope this helps. Let me know if that's what you were looking for.


Scott and 34 other General Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Reply to Scott's Post: I think I am happy with the answer and your quick response but may I just ask for a clarification to the answer by a quick example? I mean may I send a quick real example to have you let me know if I am understanding?
Expert:  Scott replied 10 years ago.

Hi againCustomer

Feel free to send me another example.

Here's another that I made up:

I am at a bagel store, and I order a bagel, plus cream cheese. If the cashier tried to ring up the cream cheese before the bagel, the register would not let him/her, because the store doesn't sell cream cheese by itself. The bagel would have to be rung up first, followed by the cream cheese. Additionally, the receipt would likely show the cream cheese indented compared to the rest of the items.

I hope this helps,


Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Sorry I meant can I give you my example to see if it fits your answer? I asked because a place that I go often the manager told me that he would be giving me a discount by leaving off part of my order the flavor type example and has done so - but today when a new employee asked how to ring my order (which I gave in complete) he was told to put the "flavor" etc. first and then my espresso and I still got my discount without the employee being involved I realized afterward and wondered if that is how the register would react. Is this like what you are saying? Thank you for replying.
Expert:  Scott replied 10 years ago.

Hi again,

Without knowing exactly how that store's register works (or seeing your receipt), I would say that if they put the flavor in before the drink, the register would not accept it, and you would not be charged for the flavor. Yes, you are correct.

If you have the receipt, you can upload it to this question, and I can take a look at it for you. If you can't upload it, do you know if the flavor was listed on the receipt at all? If the flavor wasn't listed, then that proves these examples correct.


Customer: replied 10 years ago.
did not get the receipt this time or I could have been a better detective myself. But I did not expect the discount this time and was surprised when it came anyway and then thinking back on the scenario it started to make sense that maybe the register would react that way and who really would check it especially when you are new at it all. Thank you!
Expert:  Scott replied 10 years ago.

You're welcome!