Today I want to teach you how handle cash in your restaurant so you can eliminate mistakes, make more money and prevent theft!

To learn more please either watch the video above, read the transcript or listen to the podcast below.



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Hey restaurant owners. Today I want to teach you how handle cash in your restaurant so you can eliminate mistakes, make more money and prevent theft!

Hello my name is Ryan Gromfin. I’m an author, speaker, chef, restaurateur and I’m the founder of as well as

And as I said earlier, I want to teach you how to handle cash in your restaurant!

When it comes to handling cash in your restaurant there’s really a lot of things that stay the same, no matter what kind of restaurant you have and only one variable.

Servers as their own bank

If you have servers in your restaurant the chances are they’re going to carry their own bank, and they’re going to need somewhere to make change for that bank. But if you have cash registers, cashiers, counter service, or bartenders that have a register… the rest of the procedures are all exactly the same for you.

So first, let’s address those of you who have cashier’s or have servers who are going to make their own bank. Now you can’t force your servers, at least the United States to bring in a certain amount of money. That’s not their responsibility. You can encourage it!

I would generally encourage my servers to bring in about a hundred dollars in various amounts of change. Just coming in with a hundred-dollar bill isn’t going to work. They should have quarters, nickels, dimes, singles—fives, tens, twenties. You know whatever works for you. But again I would encourage this, you can’t require it… y

Now should their first order of the day, or they didn’t come in with enough change be some strange amount. Like let’s say, a ten-dollar check and someone paid with a hundred dollars. They might not have the right to change that. So that’s where you would need a bank of some sort.

I would always train my servers to go to other servers to try to make change first if there was another server, If you don’t have a cash register set up, then this is when they would go to a manager to get change.

Now from here on out. The rest of these procedures are identical no matter how your restaurant is set up. Whether your servers carry their own bank, whether their are cashiers are not.

Cash Handling Procedures for All types of restaurant

The first thing that you need to know is that you should have at least five hundred dollars in your safe, the main bank in your restaurant. I would always have a thousand dollars in that bank because I never wanted to deal with running out of money, going to a bank or being embarrassed about not having the right amount of change. Now that would always vary between hundreds, and twenties, and five, and quarters, and everything else but I never wanted to run out of money so I always had a thousand dollars in that bank. That money will drop usually throughout the week, but for me, twice a week I would refill that when I went to the bank. You may refill that once a week, you may refill that three times a week, that’s totally up to you. But the most important part here is that it’s always gets reset to the exact same amount of money. I never like to just get money and have random amounts. Because that’s where theft, that’s where mistakes, that’s where problems can occur. When it comes to cash handling systems—CONSISTENCY is most important.

Now I want to quickly show you a form that I use for that petty cash, or for that safe bank to make sure that it’s the same. Or to make sure that it’s consistent throughout and you can find mistakes if there are any mistakes. So quickly as you can see on this safe log we have a Date,  a Time,  a Transaction Description, Withdrawals, Deposits, Balance and then Initials from the employee—whoever’s filling this out. So every week I would print out a new form for all of my restaurants, and we would enter the starting balance with their initials, the date and time, and then anytime money goes in or out of the safe. No matter what. It gets entered ‘here’, even if it’s just to make change. It gets entered ‘here’, how much came out the time, what are your balances, and how much comes in, and what the new balances. And so this way I was able to go to all of my restaurants and audit their safe at any point in time. And make sure they have the exact amount of money that they were supposed to have in their safe.

The next thing, when we talk about proper cash handling is “How you set up your cash register?” Some of you are going to have multiple cash register. Some of you are going to have one cash register in a bar usually… Some of you might have multiple drawers in one POS system for different people? It’s totally up to you. I always suggest that you have one drawer person, because then you can hold that person a little more accountable and find out if their staff after the mistakes are happening on their shift. Otherwise, sometimes you might have two or three bartenders in one drawer and that’s okay… The only challenge there is, you can’t really hold one bartender or one cashier responsible. If multiple people are going into a drawer.

So that’s a decision you’re going to have to make, based on how much you care about this, how much time you have in your hands, and what your POS system or cash registers capabilities are. But again. When it comes to this. I always set my drawers to the exact same amount—I always set my drawers to $300. I see a lot of times with my client’s restaurants that their drawers will change every day. They just kind of set it with whatever they have. That didn’t work for me…

I always set my drawer to $300 at the end of a shift. And then it gets re-checked in the morning.

Now we covered a lot here but there’s a lot more to cover. I have a lot more forms and a lot more procedures for you. In the next video, in Part 2 of this—How to Handle the Cash in Your Restaurant video that I’m going to release next week.

In Part 2

I want to show you exactly how I set up those drawers. How I close out those drawers. How I build my deposits on a daily basis. How I get change. And then how I transfer all of those overages and unders—the cash short and over into my accounting software.

This has been Ryan Gromfin with The Restaurant Boss and Restaurant Profit and Performance. I hope you enjoyed this video. If you did they’ll be a little blue button somewhere on this page. If you’re watching on YouTube, scroll down click and come over to my website. And below the video is a blue button that will say ‘Like’. If you can go ahead and smash that button. Tell the whole world how great this video is. Share it with some of your other friends in the restaurant business. That’s how I’m able keep producing this great content for you free of charge. Also there’ll be an opportunity for you to leave a comment. Please if you have any questions or comments you’d like to share with me…I’ll make sure that I get back to you as soon as possible, usually within 24 hours on those.

Have an absolutely wonderful day! And don’t forget to check out part 2 in this How to Handle the Cash in Your Restaurant Video Series.

Thank you!

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