5 Avoidable Restaurant Cash Handling Mistakes

    Feb 24 2016

    Topics: cash handling

    Though the majority of restaurants do accept debit and credit as payment, cash is still king. Every day, thousands of dollars go through your employees’ hands. The more money you handle, the higher your risk of inefficiency, theft, losses, and cash handling mistakes.

    As a restaurant owner, reducing cash handling mistakes should be top priority. By adopting effective and efficient cash management procedures, you can avoid the cash handling mistakes detailed below—all of which can eat into your profits.

    1. Double Counting           

    You might think that instilling a double-counting policy at your restaurant is a sound move to improve accuracy and avoid losses caused by cash handling mistakes, but doing so will increase your labour costs considerably. When cash has to be counted twice while creating and handing out floats, while processing transactions, and while reconciling profits at the end of the night, you waste a lot of time. Performing the same task several times might reduce your losses, but in turn, it’ll also increase your labour costs, so it won’t make much of a difference to your bottom line at the end of the day.

    If you want guaranteed accuracy along with lower labour costs, then using cash counters and sorters is a far better idea. The machines will do the work at record speed, and you won’t need to worry about double counting. You’ll be able to count on an accurate total every time.

    2. Too Much Cash on Hand

    When your staff are busy, they might not really consider how much money is in their registers. Or they might not have the time to perform a vault drop in the middle of a rush. But overflowing drawers are problematic—you increase your risk of lost, misplaced, or stolen money, especially when your registers are in view of your customers. Having too much cash on hand makes you vulnerable.

    To eliminate this cash handling mistake at your restaurant, use a cash recycler instead. The recycler also acts as a vault, and recycles the same cash from previous transactions for future ones, so your money will always be safe, and you’ll always have the right amount on hand.

    3. Manually Verifying Bank Notes

    If you haven’t invested in counterfeit detectors yet, you’re at risk of counterfeit fraud. Your restaurant employees might try their best to verify large bills through sight and touch, but they might not be able to spot sophisticated counterfeit bills without the use of technology. And smaller fake bills can slip through the cracks, too.

    Counterfeit detectors should be available at all registers. Otherwise, you’ll be the one taking on the loss of counterfeit.

    4. Sharing Registers

    It happens all the time—a waiter goes on break, so another one takes over his tables. But if these employees aren’t signing in and out of your registers during these moments, you lose all accountability. If money goes missing, you’ll have no idea who to seek out for answers. It’ll be a lot easier for one employee to steal and not get caught. Sharing registers is always a bad idea. Each employee should be accountable for his own cash, and no one else’s.

    5. Untimely Cash Management

    One of the most common cash handling mistakes is untimely cash management. When your employees are too busy, they might skip balancing the day’s cash at the end of each shift. They might wait until the end of the night or even the next day to reconcile the day’s profits. Unfortunately, this means you’ll never know when cash went missing or who was in charge when cash handling mistakes occurred, so you’ll have no one to blame and have no way to solve the problem and rectify the situation, ensuring that it doesn’t occur again. Your money should be tracked and counted every step of the way—any time it is transported or changes hands.

     A CFO's Guide: How Cash Handling Is Affecting Your Bottom Line

    Andrea Lombardi

    Andrea Lombardi

    Andrea joined the CashTech team upon its inception in 2003. Learning the business from the ground up, she now utilizes her expertise in account management, planning, and negotiation while managing the daily operations of CashTech’s sales, marketing, and logistics departments. Andrea holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Western Ontario. She enjoys travelling and has a passion for personal fitness, including obtaining her kettlebell certification. Andrea lives in Toronto with her husband and two young sons.

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