Originally Posted by yimyammer
Yes, that would be one option, the other would be to relunctantly have to refuse the sale.
I'm probably at least a year away from trying this venture and am currently weighing the pros and cons of various aspects of the way the business would operate. Accepting or not accepting cash is one of the issues I'm trying to determine what the costs & pros & cons would be for either option.
I've been told repeatedly by people that have run restaurants that employee theft of cash is an important issue to manage via good controls, do you feel I'm overstating it's importance?
Sorry for the delayed response. Glad to have read you are confronting internal theft in front of your opening. You should know that it's pretty common for operators to use employee theft as an excuse for cash shortages they are responsible for. I know of no serious operators who are concerned about the type of theft you are asking about, but most all have implemented some version of the guidelines I have listed below.
1. I am not overly concerned with being robbed & I have been robbed several times over the years. Use cash drops throughout the day,secure your backdoor, install some cameras, get an alarm system (NOT ADT) & leave your POS cash drawers open and empty when you close. The biggest expense of my being robbed was replacing bent cash drawers or POS systems damaged in the process of trying to open the cash drawer.
2. I recommended you not use ADT because they will not instantly report an alarm condition at your store to the police. They will first call the store & then call you or whomever the emergency contact is & if that person does not answer, they will call the next person on the list & so on. Even after that they will still jump through some additional hoops before dispatching the police. ADT gets charged for false alarms & there is some kind of expense involved to be patched right into the police dept. Talk to some independent contractors & ask them to explain the process of how & when the police will be dispatched. If you are really concerned about theft, pay to have additional alarm horns installed outside your exits or, depending on your local codes, very near to them. Also, many false alarm conditions are a result of doors or windows that don't close properly. Ensure your physical plant is in order & then take a gamble on allowing every alarm being routed directly to the police after just one call to the store. It's a difficult to hear the phone ringing over the alarm, so instruct your employees to move near the phone asap after a false alarm has been triggered.
3. Give every manager or keyholder a unique keypad code & make sure your alarm company will allow you to easily audit which keycodes were used at which time of day.
4. Keep your keypad clean, LOL. When there is only one code in use, it's usually made up of the dirtiest four numbers on the keypad.
5. Re-key all your locks with high quality MEDECO or better cylinders with keys that cannot be duplicated without your permission.
6. Take control of all the keys to your cash drawers so that your employees can only open the drawer with a recordable transaction....an order, a void, a no sale. These transactions will generally appear on your daily sales reports so you can question each of them & make a habit of doing so. "What's this void for, what happened, why?"
7. You will have the ability to assign cash drawer privileges. Those privileges will require that your employees first identify themselves by swiping a card or entering a code. Don't rely on that. Invest in a POS that has integrated fingerprint readers.
8. Know that overages are worse than shortages. A clever thief will keep the cash from an unreported sale in the drawer until he/she can find a good time to pocket it. If your suspicious of someone, you can decide if it's ok to load the drawer with an extra $20 & see how they react.
9. Be more concerned with theft of time, theft of product, over portioning & waste. One person per cash drawer will allow you to isolate who is coming up over or short. How long will you keep someone running a drawer when they are habitually over or short?
10. Position a camera so that you have full view of the drawer, the customer & your employee. That alone will eliminate most problems.
11. Have procedures in place to close & balance the drawers twice per day
12. Invest in a auto coin dispenser that is integrated with your POS. Most cash shortages out of drawers are due to bad math skills so ensure that your POS is programmed to display the correct change for every transaction.
13. Most POS systems allow you to spot balance them throughout the day. Come in unannounced from time to time & count down the drawer. You are looking for overages here obviously & not shortages.
I read in another of your posts that you felt you could make up the increased transaction costs associated with 100% plastic sales by other accounting efficiencies. I would be curious to hear what they are. Are you suggesting that because your are 100% plastic your can save x% elsewhere or is it that you have some other efficiencies up your sleeve that will lower operating costs by 2-3% regardless of if you accept cash or not?
Last thing, if you told me you were going to take on increased packaging costs by branding all of your take-out containers with your logo & color palette (FYI the % are quite similar in this example)& that this was a worthwhile expense due to the brand awareness you are building, I would be in agreement. It will indeed drive your top line. Accepting 100% plastic will not drive up your top line, in fact it will only serve to reduce it & the 2-3% efficiency you believe will balance the transaction costs is not worth even a 1% reduction in your top line & that's being optimistic--I think it would be much, much higher.
Cliffs:Don't put zippers on your customers pockets.