Case study • 07.06.2017

Enhanced customer service through productivity savings

An APG case study in partnership with Grupo Compostelana

Grupo Compostelana is a family owned restaurant chain on the Canary Islands providing excellent food and hospitality to its customers. Some of the restaurants specialize in pizza or fish whilst other provide a variety of food in a very warm, contemporary environment. The restaurants are usually very busy serving customers at lunchtime and in the evenings; some stay open until the early morning.

Supplier
Logo: APG Cash Drawer

APG Cash Drawer

4 The Drove
BN9 0LA Newhaven
UK
Photo: Enhanced customer service through productivity savings...
Source: APG Cash Drawer/Grupo Compostelana

Cash loss concern

Cash globally represents between 30 percent and 45 percent of all transactions. While in the EU28 cash represents 60 percent of all payment transactions and it is by far the largest payment instrument in terms of volume.

The owner of the six Grupo Compostelana restaurants has been running his very successful business for many years but cash loss at the end of day was a concern as the till did not match the expected revenue.

With multiple cashiers operating from a single Point of Sale (PoS), it was impossible to identify the cause of the problem.

The restaurant owner welcomed SMARTtill Cash Management Solution, which ensured that his sales were protected by eliminating a €30 of daily cash loss. In addition to the reduction of cash loses the SMARTtill Cash Management Solution also helped to improve the operational efficiency of the restaurant. This operational efficiency also led to an improved quality of life for cashiers and managers who could go home earlier after their shift was completed.

The solution was provided by PoS solution supplier Tecnireg and after the first trial in one of the restaurants, it was quickly rolled out in the others too.

Tecnireg integrated the SMARTtill Cash Management Solution, from Cash Bases, into their software providing a very sophisticated EPOS solution for its hospitality customers.

Profit protection

Puerto de la Cruz in Tenerife is a tourist destination and Compostelana is a very popular restaurant and bar serving a wide selection of foods in a prime location. Providing the best customer service, the waiters at the restaurant use a single PoS station after the bills have been paid by the customer at the table.

Supporting multiple waiters on a single till lead to a lengthy manual reconciliation process. The totals did not balance and the till was short on a regular basis. The problem was that after a busy day, it was not clear when and where and by whom the loss was generated, and whether it was because of genuine human error or cashier fraud.

The issue with the lost revenue disappeared as soon as the SMARTtill Solution was installed and cash loss became a think of the past. The owner and restaurant managers now rely on the SMARTtill Solution, which has become a very important part of running the restaurant smoothly thanks to the improved cash management system.

Cashier accountability

The SMARTtill Intelligent Cash Drawer tracks all cash movements; whether it is removing or adding money. The SMARTtill Solution reconciles the contents of the till against the PoS System at the completion of every transaction.

If a cashier rushes to the till to add the customer’s money and removes the incorrect change, the system will flag the error immediately and a warning will appear on the PoS screen. Additional alerts can be send to the back office or to a manager’s mobile device.

This is a reliable way of controlling every coin and note the restaurant takes; as the discrepancy has been reported on the system with related transaction number and cashier ID.

There could be a situation where the waiter returns to the customer without noticing the warning message on the screen. This cannot happen in Compostelana, if a discrepancy has not been resolved, the next cashier cannot operate the PoS. Compostelana has implemented an additional layer of security which required each waiter to wear a wristband with a unique identification, which communicated via RFID with the PoS System. Cashiers are able to log in and out very quickly ensuring cashier accountability and efficiency all day long.

Photo
Source: APG Cash Drawer/Grupo Compostelana

Complete cash visibility

The SMARTtill Solution records all cash movements, allowing the manager to view the transaction history at the PoS or in the back office. The transaction history can be for a specific period of time or for a specific cashier. Now the owner or the manager of the restaurant can have a full picture of what really happened at the till on that day without physically being there.

The manager of this restaurant, Francisco Rodriquez Castellano, explained: “The SMARTtill Solution provides both safety and peace of mind. I don’t even have to think about cashier dishonestly any more like I did in my previous job at a different restaurant, as all of my cashiers are doing a perfect job here; my cash loss is ZERO.”

Productivity savings

The driving force behind the Grupo Compostelana decision was the reduction in cash loss even with SMARTtill Intelligent Cash Drawer. Another benefit to the restaurant was that they no longer need to spend time counting cash.

Staff counted the coins and notes manually by hand, which was laborious job even though there was only one till; and accuracy was never guaranteed. In the past, staff spent 30 minutes each time they had to reconcile; once after the morning shift at around 4pm and once after closure at around 2am. This time savings has improved the staff’s quality of life allowing them to go home earlier.

Photo: Enhanced customer service through productivity savings...
Source: APG Cash Drawer/Grupo Compostelana

End of day and shift reconciliation

Reconciliation is no longer classed a a time consuming task any more as it is carried out quickly and easily by the SMARTtill Solution. With the SMARTtill Cash Management Solution, the whole process only takes a few minutes and the actual counting is completed instantly as the system automatically provides the till count by denomination. Equally important is that accuracy is ensured to the last cent.

Related reports are automatically generated by the system eradicating the need for manual form filling.

Stall utilization is also important; at the afternoon reconciliation, more time is spent focusing on the customer in the evening, more time is dedicated to tasks related to the closure of the restaurant.

As the restaurant manager explained: “In the past, three people were allocated to tasks such as general tidying and bringing the chairs and tables in. Now I have four people as on has no been relieved from the manual cash counting process thanks to the SMARTtill Technology.”

A waiter from another restaurant commented: “I am very happy as I can actually close the restaurant early and go home to see my family.”

Morning reconciliation

The SMARTtill Solution allows the restaurant to leave a fixed float in the till overnight. This means that the previous night’s float is the starting float the following morning, eliminating the time-consuming process of counting out the till to begin the day’s trading.

The SMARTtill Intelligent Cash Drawer provides the value of the till immediately and ensures that this figure stays the same until the start of business due to its complete cash monitoring.

As the manager explained: “The person who is setting up the till in the morning is no longer under pressure to count the cash quickly when we open up the restaurant as the SMARTtill Solution does it quickly for them.”

Pinpoint accuracy

Other restaurants in the Grupo Compostelana chain have seen similar benefits. At the Compostelana Pizzeria, Grupo Compostelana, one of the waiters mentioned that when they used to do the afternoon reconciliation, which took 15-20 minutes, they had to stop taking payments from the customers. Now it is so quick (only a few minutes) and customer do not even notice that the procedure is happening.

Calculating tips

Staff used to count the tips manually, this took time especially when they accidentally dropped money or had to recount it.

The new procedure, uses the SMARTtill Intelligent Cash Drawer to calculate the tip value. Coins and notes are dropped into the proper compartment and the value is calculated within seconds, saving valuable staff time for the manager.

Paying the suppliers

Another added benefit of the new cash management system is that when staff pay the supplier from the till, the money taken out is automatically counted and recorded; encouraging staff to give the exact sum and discouraging employee fraud and related disagreements.

With complete cash visibility at the till and full cashier accountability, the SMARTtill Cash Management Solution protects honest employees and allows non-managers to pay supplier directly from the till without any supervision.

In La Cazuela restaurant, the SMARTtill Cash Management Solution was implemented and within just four weeks the new system has been adopted by all the staff who talk very highly about the main advantage; that it is not necessary to count the coins and notes any more.

The cash handling procedure of lifting excess notes has also been enhanced. Now the value of the lift can be printed instantly and put in an envelope with money, eradicating manual counting and form filling which is open to genuine human errors.

Cash management solutions

The cash management solutions available today will inevitably cut cash losses and maximize revenue growth. Restaurants and retailers like Grupo Compostelana who invest in new cash handling technologies will provide operational efficiency through the automation of cash counting and real-time cash visibility at the PoS. For the restaurant chain in the Canary Islands, the Intelligent Cash Drawers offered many benefits at the PoS. Larger businesses who have implemented the SMARTtill Technology have seen benefits across the entire organization in Operations, Loss Prevention, Treasury, and Data Analytics.

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