When it comes to deciding whether to use servers or cashiers for collecting payment, there really is only one way to go: server banking. It’s a more guest friendly approach, it will more than likely allow you to cut your labor cost a smidge and it helps you turn tables more efficiently.
Here are six simple steps to taking control of server banking and making it work in your full-service restaurant.
1. Make sure all checks are closed.
POS systems do not show that cash has been collected unless a guest check has been closed out. Before you start counting out a server’s check out, make sure that the report shows that all tickets have been closed. (Most reports have an open tickets section which should be empty.)
2. Count the cash.
Assuming you are counting your servers’ cash in the office (the best place for this to take place), you will have access to an adding machine, preferably one that prints on a paper tape. First count the loose change and key it into the adding machine. Then do the same for $1s, $5s, $10s, $20s and so on until all of the money has been counted. Total, print and rip off the tape.
3. Verify the cash due.
Take that total from the adding machine tape you just created and verify that it matches the POS server cash out report for what it says the server’s cash was due. If it matches, on the adding machine tape write the server’s name, how much the server was over or under based on what the report called for (I’ll touch on this later), the date and the manager’s initials. If it doesn’t match, find out why.
4. Verify credit card receipts.
Look at the POS server report and verify first that you have the correct number of signed credit card receipts turned in. Once that number has been verified, total all the credit cards by card type, i.e., all the AMEX receipts are added together and so on. Now match that each card type totals match the server report. This step ensures that both you and your customer are not getting ripped off.
5. Collect and bundle.
Now it is time to create a record of the when, how much, and who so that if a problem arises any manager can find the answer, even if they didn’t check this server out. Staple the adding machine tape to the server report. (If you have a separate credit card terminal, staple the yellow copy of the server’s credit card batch report to this as well.) Next, staple together all the signed credit card receipts. (You would staple the white copy of the batch report if you have a separate credit card terminal.)
6. File and store.
Place that day’s server reports that have been checked out and verified in a pile and the credit card receipts in a separate pile to be filed by the closing manager later that day.
Finally, here are a few tips to make the server banking process painless and fast:
- Make sure that when your servers turn in their cash all of the bills are turned and faced. This may sound nit-picky, but I assure you that this will make your life easier, save you time and most importantly, ensure accuracy when counting.
- When a server turns their cash in, they should not give you more than one dollar in loose change. Think about it. They need loose change for their next shift and boy does it take a lot of time counting out 100 pennies, especially when you have to do it a second time because you lost count. (And that’s no fun to do at 3 a.m.)
- Make sure your servers are clear on the fact that you are not their bank and they are responsible to turn in exactly what the POS server report says or more. What do I mean by this? If the server report shows that the server is to give you $352.24 and they give you $352.25, I’m not taking the time to give them a penny. It’s more work than it’s worth.
Is all this really necessary? Absolutely! Having this system in place ensures everyone on your management team is doing the same thing and best of all it ensures that every penny makes it into your bank account.