Ivan Youseff formerly owned four McDonald’s franchise restaurants in Minnesota. Cash management was one of his biggest headaches. The process presented security and logistical issues. It also took up much of his limited time on multiple fronts—Youseff reports that a manager was spending at least three hours per day counting cash, reconciling with POS, and going to and from the bank. There were countless ways the process was proving costly.
“It was a huge distraction,” Youssef says. “We had 50 or 60 employees per restaurant. We’re talking about high-school age kids who have no experience counting cash. It was a huge burden on us in terms of training personnel and managing the system.”
Fortunately, Youssef eventually found Virtual Vault by Bremer Bank, a cash management solution that he deems perfect for operators like himself. Here’s how it works: Cash is fed into a secure vault. The machine automatically counts the cash and ensures it matches up with the amount recorded by the POS system. The balance is credited to the operator’s bank account—and that balance is available immediately. A secure truck then comes and retrieves the cash.
More recently, Youssef jumped at the opportunity to purchase eight McDonald’s franchise locations in Southern California. He sold his four former locations in Minnesota and moved halfway across the country. One of the easiest parts of the transition was maintaining his relationship with Bremer, which seamlessly implemented its Virtual Vault into his eight new locations—the solution is available to franchisees across the contiguous United States.
Youssef is the exact type of person Bremer’s Virtual Vault was created to serve. In fact, the solution came to be when a Bremer employee who formerly worked as a McDonald’s cashier was brainstorming how banks could make restaurant operations more seamless. He had a grasp of the headaches that come along with operating a restaurant and managing cash and brought his idea to the rest of the Bremer team. After a research and development process, the solution was brought to market.
“What we’ve discovered is we’ve built something unique in the marketplace,” says Steven Shafer, treasury innovations manager at Bremer. “We’ve set up a model with a robust support network that ensures you have one point person who is managing and servicing your account across all of your locations, no matter where in the U.S. you are located.”
One of the things that has made the solution great is that it was created in tandem with operators, for operators, says Shaun Coard, director of the national franchise banking team at Bremer. The bank sits down with each restaurant operator it works with and designs a customized plan that best fits their needs. That procedure often includes a time study of the company’s standard practices and how things could be improved with Bremer’s Virtual Vault. For example, Coard recently worked with a franchisee who was able to cut cash handling from four hours down to 30 minutes per week.
“Brands are looking for places where they can redeploy labor and cut costs,” Coard says. “It really depends on the size of your company, how many locations you have, and what your current cash-management procedures are to determine how much ROI you’d get implementing our Virtual Vault. But what I can tell you is that people are often shocked at the results and how positive they are for their organization.”
As Youssef opens more locations, he says Bremer is a partner he will continue growing with. He loves the fact that cash management is something that has effectively been taken off his plate, and that he is a phone call away from setting up new locations and getting them up and running with Bremer’s Virtual Vault.
“The whole process is so turnkey and simple,” Youssef says. “The integration within our organization is seamless. Bremer will stand by you until you have everything up and running. I wouldn’t do it any other way at this point.”
For more on Virtual Vault by Bremer Bank, visit their website.
Bremer Bank. Member FDIC.