Cash Control: Protect Your Liquid Assets
The cash a restaurant generates daily is a valuable asset—and it’s also vulnerable. Do you have strong internal processes in place to protect cash from theft and fraud?
Secure cash control depends on your operating procedures for cash handling in your store—and how well you train staff to follow them.
Put your restaurant POS system to work to simplify and lock down cash control practices.
Cash Counting—make counting easy, but add safeguards:
- Keep driver, server, and till floats consistent by setting a default opening amount for banks in your POS.
- Use a “Quantity” counting method to record the number of bills and coins, rather than totaling dollar amounts, which is slower and prone to error.
- Allow bank recounts in the POS, and have counts of closed banks double-checked by a second person.
- Set the POS to require blind counts so staff won’t be tempted to pocket overages.
Cash Limits—to reduce the risk of theft, limit the amount of cash kept on hand:
- Set limits in your POS software to warn when drivers, servers, or cash drawers have too much cash on hand and need to drop.
- Make one person responsible for the contents of a cash drawer—either by assigning drawers in the POS software, or by having one cashier or shift manager cash out orders and give change to several servers.
- Restrict access to comps, voids, and discounts. These can be converted to cash from the till by a dishonest employee. Set comps, discounts, and voids to require a manager override.
Auditing—your POS system should print slips and reports that help you track the flow of cash from one place to another, and detect irregularities:
- Set account signature slips to print on receipt printers whenever money is removed from or added to a cash drawer, employee bank, or safe. If your POS doesn’t support this, use printed forms to do the job. Have both the manager and the employee sign the slip to verify the amount of cash moving, and keep it under the till for future reference.
- Review your store bank account reports regularly to detect cash control problems early. Look for short/over counts, and suspicious voids, discounts, coupons added after close, or pay-outs.