Bank branch numbers have been on a steady decline for the last few years, but the trend has only picked up speed since the COVID-19 pandemic began. A report from S&P Global found that more than 2,900 branches closed in 2021 alone. As consumers grew less comfortable with in-person interactions during the pandemic, they started using online and mobile banking apps much more. And as mergers and acquisitions (M&A) have increased to the highest levels since 2006, banks have closed duplicate branches within a 10-mile radius. These combined forces have led to noticeably higher bank branch closures in every part of the country, from cities to rural areas.
So, how do these closures affect quick-service restaurant operators? Several common issues tend to arise.
“The biggest impact to restaurants is that they now have to drive farther to make their bank deposit and to get their change order, so the employee is out of the restaurant longer,” says Lenny Evansek, senior vice president of national retail business development at Loomis. “Another side effect is that they need to open up new banking relationships, which means they now need to manage more of them. Also, banks are raising the fees on commercial deposits if those commercial-connected clients go into banking centers—so restaurants are now paying more to do over-the-counter banking. The cost of going to a bank branch has never been higher.”
As more and more bank branches close, operators are tasked with finding workarounds and new solutions to these problems. That might mean never going into a branch at all.
“Restaurants need to adopt a way to do more banking virtually,” Evansek says. “That is essential in today’s world. Loomis has a variety of solutions that can accommodate virtual deposits. We have the traditional armored car, where we just pick up and deliver deposits and drop off a change order or use our smart safe technology solution called SafePoint. We also offer our own change order management platform called Loomis Cash Exchange, where clients can go online, place their change order, and then we deliver it. Many restaurants are starting to offer tip automation—our solution Kickfin can also send tips instantly to employees as soon as their shift ends.”
For operators who work in multiple states or regions, consolidating all of their banking activity into one vendor has distinct advantages. By simplifying to a single point of contact and implementing virtual deposits, operators can streamline processes and save employees’ time.
“Operators have a complete closed-loop system with Loomis,” Evansek says. “We differentiate ourselves by the high quality of the services we offer, our ability to implement solutions, and our ability to train effectively. We are the ones offering the safe; we manage the service and maintenance plan; we are our own armored car service. We offer automated tipping and change order management. As banking becomes more virtual, we can really become the one-stop-shop for operators for anything related to cash management within the four walls of a restaurant.”
To learn more, visit loomis.us
By Kara Phelps