Time Out Food Awards 2013: Best Café


Great coffee, great food, friendly service in a hangover-proof atmosphere

First published on 18 Jul 2013. Updated on 22 Jul 2013.
Winner: Excelsior Jones

Being priced out of your neighbourhood is a recurring theme in Sydney. It’s time to get alarmed as soon as there’s more than one good café or bar within walking distance of your house. On that note it’s time to get packing, residents of Ashfield. Excelsior Jones is an absolute pearler of a café with its beautiful, bleached-wood space, high windows and vintage, dusty-green awning. It’s pretty much a giant breakfast welcome sign. Inside, you can take a seat at one of the wooden benches running along the window, or wander on through to the main part of the café for some more civilised bentwood seating. We really dig ordering off the kids’ menu. We’re not sure if it’s against the rules, but we chance it anyway and co-owner James Naylor doesn’t seem to care. We’d do it again, too, for the crisp, golden, schnitzel-esque chicken nuggets and old-school, crinkle-cut chips. Coffee-wise, we’d consider this a food destination over somewhere you’d travel to for an espresso. Order one, enjoy it – it’s straight-up good and offered in either ‘white’ or ‘black’. No fuss, no muss. Or maybe you’ll order a milkshake instead. There’s classic vanilla, chocolate and caramel, then jaffa, butterscotch and – if you’re a total pervert – lime and coconut. We’re all about the sourdough pikelets on the all-day breakfast menu. The mini-pancakes come topped with sweet, stewed strawberries and a little jug of light custard. But of all the fine tastiness that comes our way, it’s the juicy cheeseburger that keeps this café front and centre in our hearts and minds. A thick patty of grass-fed black Angus beef wears an overcoat of melted gruyère, tomato relish and aioli, all sandwiched in a soft bun with a side of smashed-then-fried potatoes. Make a beeline for Ashfield for an (all-day!) breakfast menu you’ll want to marry with your mouth. Excelsior!

What is ‘The Cloud’

Everyday business applications have steadily been moving towards ‘The Cloud’ but not everyone knows what it is.

Before ‘The Cloud’ was developing mainstream acceptance, traditional Point of Sale was always very complicated and expensive. To gain the knowledge required to properly operate a ‘legacy’ system was somewhat equivalent to getting a new diploma – time consuming, and often confusing.

But what is this Cloud that we are talking so much about? ‘The Cloud’ itself is very similar to the internet. It is constantly used by everyone yet holds no physical form to the user.  Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo are familiar names you would have heard of and are some of the earliest examples of businesses utilizing the cloud.

The Cloud is a model which allows a user access to their information on demand, conveniently and affordably. ‘The Cloud’ can only be seen as a step forward for anyone serious about moving their business to the next level. For this reason it’s not hard to understand why forward thinking business owners have been quick to adapt and move their business operations to ‘The Cloud’.

A Better Way…

With ‘The Cloud’, the restrictions you previously faced with your POS are no more. You only pay for what you need, updates are done automatically and its easy to scale either up or down depending on your situation.

This is where Kounta comes in. An awesome cloud based service for brick and mortar stores, quick to get started and simple to use. Your new Kounta can run on an iPad or just about anything else, including the existing Point of Sale Equipment you’ve already got.

Get started with Kounta today!

The ultimate mobile payment and point of sale for stores and shoppers


Australian cloud point of sale start-up Kounta, has partnered with PayPal and Beat the Q to offer hospitality merchants like cafes, restaurants, bars and their customers an exciting new mobile ordering and payment experience, in and out of stores.

The partnership allows customers to use the PayPal app to find stores around them, check-in and pay for items they wish to purchase using their mobile phone.

Customers can also view menus, pre-order, pay and earn loyalty rewards; making it a cash free transaction which increases speed and efficiency in busy cafes, restaurants and bars.

A video of how the app works can be viewed here: http://paypal.kounta.com

Some benefits for merchants:

Merchants can accept PayPal mobile orders and payments with Kounta Point of Sale
Advertise to potential customers in the area
Accept mobile payments and see a customers face, name and information on their Point of Sale
Free 30 Day Trial of Kounta system with PayPal and Beat the Q
Kounta General Manager Josh Harrison said this new concept is a way for stores of any size to have the most innovative retail technology for a fraction of the cost.

“New POS solutions like Kounta allow merchants to focus on customer service and experience, as well as connecting easily with complementary services like Paypal, Beat the Q and Xero.

“This gives them access to real time reporting and centralised management not even a prohibitively expensive legacy solution can offer.

“It’s clear that NFC hasn’t had the sort of rapid adoption anyone thought it might. The good news is, seamless shopping and mobile ordering is a reality without the need for any added hardware from the consumer. Everything is handled in-app.”

Last week, Kounta launched an affordable Point of Sale starter package for hospitality and retail merchants from just $599. Kounta in a Box makes it even easier for any business to sign up, setup Kounta and start trading.

Kounta’s cloud POS software works on any device, so merchants can use their existing hardware to make a Kounta – whether it be an iPad, Android Tablet, laptop or PC.

Mobile ordering and payments is made exclusively available by Kounta here: http://paypal.kounta.com

Kounta in a Box is exclusively available from: http://kountainabox.kounta.com

To see all of Kounta’s features, head to: http://www.kounta.com/features/

Kounta’s flagship customers can be viewed here: http://www.kounta.com/customers/

The challenges of legacy POS systems in modern retail as seen on Current.com.au

p style=”text-align: left;”>We asked Kounta GM Josh Harrison to identify the biggest challenges for bricks and mortar stores using old or out of date point-of-sale (POS) systems.

Adapting to a new POS system can be difficult for a reasonably experienced retail staff member, but can be even more daunting for those who have never used a POS system before.

Searching and locating where products are within a POS is one of the most common challenges any new staff member faces as a result of archaic legacy POS systems. It pays to have a POS system that has an easy-to-navigate, user-friendly and flexible interface.

Training new and existing staff on using POS is often seen as a time-consuming task by a business due to having just one or a limited number of staff trained on using the POS system upon installation.

This results in having staff who aren’t trained in troubleshooting, consequently affecting the in-store customer experience.

As a new team member, it takes time to become knowledgeable about a store’s products. Having software that runs on smart phones and tablets and not just on a fixed register, allows team members to get immediate access to answers both online and from within the POS system while on the floor, engaging with customers.

Businesses have to deal with the monumental task of processing reports and managing stock and inventory manually, which is time-consuming due to the lack of ‘smart’ POS systems.

Having a POS that generates automatic reports and provides businesses with real-time information reduces the human errors that can be made caused by having several people managing that.

Josh Harrison is the GM of Kounta, which is “is an extremely flexible and scalable online Point of Sale POS Software System that is quick to get started and easy to use yet powerful enough to run your businesses,” according to a company statement.

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