Restaurant chain saves up to $5M a year in management time using GardaWorld’s smart safe service

September 8, 2015

The 16-year-old daughter of a friend used to work evenings as a receptionist at a high-end, 24-chair salon in an upscale mall. After closing at 9 p.m., her job was to drive as much as $3,000 in cash, plus checks, from the day’s receipts to a local bank’s night deposit. The nightly routine left her father concerned she would be a target for violent theft until one day it happened. Not to my friend’s daughter but to a mall customer, who was robbed and murdered in the shopping mall’s parking lot. And that was the last day at the salon for my friend’s daughter.

Retailers, restaurants and other cash-intensive businesses are perennial targets for this kind of crime, yet employees and managers continue to count out their money and take deposits to the bank themselves. Unfortunately that’s a prime setup for missing funds, unfounded suspicions, poor morale, employee turnover, and potential robbery or worse. And that’s not to mention the time it takes to count the money and reconcile discrepancies.


A better way. A chain of more than 200 casual dining restaurants across the U.S. decided that installing GardaWorld CashLINK smart safes in its locations would be a more efficient and secure way of handling cash while protecting their employees’ safety.


With a CashLINK smart safe onsite, their servers, bartenders and managers can just deposit cash into the smart safe, which does all the counting for them. And because it’s networked to GardaWorld and to the restaurant’s bank, it even provides an immediate provisional credit of the deposits to the chain’s bank account.


GardaWorld’s armored trucks and armed, highly trained cash messengers then pick up the cash at intervals and deliver the deposit safely to the bank. Once counted and reconciled, the bank turns the provisional credit into an actual one. And, if a particular restaurant needs currency and coins, the GardaWorld armored trucks and Cash Services Officers can bring it the specific amounts and denominations it needs.


Big benefits.  At the chain’s headquarters, its controllers can have a precise accounting of all cash deposits at any time — visibility and immediacy they simply didn’t have before. At the same time, the chain has sharply reduced, if not eliminated, its potential for internal cash losses, which included a $40,000 loss once and lots of smaller losses that consumed large amounts of time to investigate and reconcile, not including the time and trouble of issuing reprimands or firing people responsible.


Bring the bank to you. Externally, GardaWorld has assumed all risks and threats of loss by eliminating the chain’s exposure to having more than 200 managers across the U.S. driving to their local bank branches to make deposits of thousands of dollars. Even at just $2,000 per drop, that’s some $400,000 in the company’s cash being moved each day by unarmed, untrained individuals, who are each at risk of an armed robbery.


And that doesn’t count the time either: If all of them average just 30 minutes roundtrip, that’s 100 hours a day or 36,500 hours a year that could be better spent with the restaurants’ customers, with employees (perhaps training them in upselling menu items and extraordinary customer service?) or out in the local community, marketing the restaurant.


Huge hidden costs. In monetary terms, even at a 60-hour week that most managers work, that aggregate time is equivalent to about 12 full-time managers. If the chain’s managers average $60,000 in salary and benefits, that’s $720,000 in lost time — just getting to and from the local bank branch.


That doesn’t count at least that much time in double-counting server cash receipts and reconciling discrepancies. In fact, the chain’s loss prevention director estimates that each location’s management team was spending about 20 hours a week on these tasks. Across 200 sites, that’s 208,000 hours a year, or the equivalent of another 70 managers or about $4.1 million a year just to count cash! And close to $5 million if trips to the bank are included.


*       *       *


If you operate a restaurant or retail location or chain of locations, what is handling your own cash counting and bank deposit chores costing you? Contact your local GardaWorld Cash Services representative or call 855 GO GARDA to find out. They’d be happy to perform a no-cost, no-obligation analysis for you and show you how economical CashLINK can be for you (and provide peace-of-mind, too).