Sponsored by Loomis.
Cash management solutions like safes may do exactly what their name implies—protect money until it can be deposited at the bank—but today’s cash management can do far more than that. It can actually make restaurants money, too.
Chris Fowler, president of Fowler Foods, says that before his team found the right cash management provider, the 88 KFC and Taco Bell restaurants he operates across nine states were spending an hour and a half to two hours a day counting out cashiers’ drawers and banking. Additionally, managers had to leave the store to make deposits, which increased opportunities for both internal and external theft.
“We knew that what we were doing was inefficient, but we didn’t know the solution,” Fowler says. “Once we got educated about cash management, including smart safes, it was an absolute no-brainer.”
Fowler tested a few different smart safe systems but none of them were the right fit for his business. Then he discovered SafePoint by Loomis. This complete cash management system combines smart safe technology, integrated IT support, online access to reporting and account information, cash-in-transit services, and outstanding customer service.
Fowler was immediately impressed with the SafePoint Titan smart safe. One of the biggest benefits is that Titan smart safes automate the entire banking process. Cash is fed directly into the counter on the safe, which immediately secures the money and eliminates the need for manual counting. With Loomis’ cash-in-transit services, cash is then picked up by a driver on an optimized schedule to ensure that restaurants never have too much cash on hand, while also reducing the number of pick-ups per week to reduce banking fees. This means managers never have to leave the store with cash, which keeps them and funds protected.
Since implementing the SafePoint system across his company, Fowler says that his stores now spend only 15 minutes a day banking. With rising hourly wages and labor costs, these savings are substantial. Additionally, by reducing the time employees spend in the back office, more payroll can be allocated where it’s needed most—on guest-facing tasks.
Additionally, Titan smart safes offer another very important benefit—same-day deposits. Even though the cash is still physically inside the store location, funds deposited in the Titan are provisionally credited to the business’ bank account the next day thanks to Loomis’ banking relationships. Because cash hits bank accounts sooner, restaurants start earning interest immediately, which allows them to pay debt faster.
“The efficiency of having money deposited almost immediately without a two- to three-day posting period means you have quicker use of your money,” Fowler says. “With interest rates rising, you can now also make some money with your cash.”
When money hits bank accounts faster, companies are able to make smarter financial plans that have big impacts chain-wide.
“Smart safe solutions such as SafePoint have traditionally provided the most benefit to loss prevention and operational functions by reducing labor expenses, streamlining the cash handling process, and by keeping employees and cash safe,” says Lenny Evansek, senior vice president of SafePoint Business Development at Loomis. “What we’ve seen over the last 12 to 18 months is an expanded benefit of having access to cash deposits quicker so money can be used to invest, earn interest, or be used to pay down lines of credit faster.”
Through SafePoint, Loomis also gives restaurants same-day visibility of their cash data with Loomis Direct, its online customer portal, which improves leaders’ knowledge of their cash situation.
“It’s as close to real-time banking as you could ever get,” Fowler says. “Even though 35 to 45 percent of our business is conducted with credit card, we now know our cash totals almost immediately, just like we do with credit cards.”
Increased visibility of cash means that restaurant chains also benefit from same-day access to store-level data.
“Corporate treasury and accounting teams are spending less time reconciling cash deposits or moving cash to their main operating bank account,” Evansek says. “When a business knows its enterprise-wide cash position every single day, leaders can make better decision on how to invest and spend.”
Though SafePoint cost Fowler Foods fees, Fowler says SafePoint solutions have more than paid for themselves in the money saved on payroll, bad counts, theft, and interest earned.
“At the end of the year, SafePoint will cost us about $26,000 between Loomis’s fees and the bank fees for all 88 stores,” he says. “But I think we’ll end up saving five times that.”
By Peggy Carouthers