Proper cash handling at your restaurant comes down to three things: trustworthy staff, accountability, and solid procedures. With these three things, your cash handling will go smoothly. Though you should expect to see minor cash handling mistakes in your restaurant, huge losses that hurt your profits are avoidable with the right cash handling procedures, like the ones below.
1. Limit Cash Handling Employees
The fewer people who handle your restaurant’s money, the better. Hiring trustworthy supervisors to handle the more sensitive cash handling activities is an important step towards effective cash management. The rest of the day-to-day cash management activities should only be handled by the manager and cashier on duty. Having too many people handling cash at any given time raises the potential for misplaced money.
2. Separate Cash Management Duties
It’s never a good idea to have one single person handling all of your cash management activities, such as collecting cash, recording receipts, and reviewing transactions. Giving one person all of the control can increase your risk of error. Separating the duties at each stage is critical to increasing accountability, ensuring that mistakes don’t slip through the cracks, and reducing the risk of theft.
If at all possible, have your servers take the orders, the cashiers collect the payments, the shift manager prepare deposits, and the bookkeeper reconcile the transactions.
3. Assign One Cashier to One Cash Drawer
It’s quite common in the restaurant industry for waiters and cashiers to share cash drawers. They close each other’s tables when the assigned waiter is on break or has left for the evening. However convenient this may be, it leads to a lack of accountability. Don’t let your employees share cash drawers.
4. Perform Regular Cash Drops
Your shift managers should be tasked with performing periodic cash drops in order to reduce overflowing cash drawers. By regularly moving cash from the register to a more secure area, you can remove the temptation for both robbers and dishonest employees. The number of cash drops that should be performed on a daily basis will depend on the customer traffic in your restaurant.
5. Create Strict Rules for Discrepancies
As the restaurant owner, you can choose what happens when discrepancies are found while balancing the cash register. If you just sweep these discrepancies under the rug, your cashiers and waiters will continue to steal from you or continue to use haphazard and incorrect cash handling procedures because they won’t face consequences.
Creating and following strict rules for discrepancies can deter theft and make cashiers more aware while they handle your cash. You can decide on an amount of discrepancy that would require a write-up. You can decide on a certain amount of discrepancies per month that will result in termination. Make the rules clear.
6. Track Your Cash Movements
Any time your cash is moved—from the manager’s hands to the cashiers’, from the registers to the vault, from the vault to the bank—its movements should be tracked. You should know who moved what amount of cash, when, and where. This will increase accountability and help you reduce the risk if misplaced cash.
7. Utilize Modern Technology
The restaurant industry is fraught with cash handling inefficiencies and risks. But many of them can be reduced with the use of modern technology. By investing in cash counters, sorters, and currency recyclers you can increase accountability, increase accuracy, and boost productivity.