Ken Burgin

Can we talk about cash?

With many cafes and restaurants reporting up to 80% of sales being made on card, the traditional informal cash transactions and ‘owner’s cash bonus’ have become much more difficult to manage. They’re going away – forever. We’ve relied on cash shortcuts for…

  • The great kitchen hand with a visa problem, who is happy to work long hours for $20 ph in the hand.
  • The electrician who comes immediately because he’s paid cash.
  • The cook with a complicated family and social security payments, who wants to keep her declared income much less than her take-home pay.
  • The vegetable guy who says he gives the best prices for cash.
  • The $500 that disappeared from the till to pay for your birthday dinner.

For a long, long time, we’ve been addicted to cash – it’s almost part of our DNA. And cash shortcuts stand in the way of essential innovation. Just like we have to accept that delivery is here to stay, and growing, the days of cash are almost over. Hospitality has also been called a world of thieves – cash, food and alcohol, all with poor security and weak checking systems – it’s not just the boss who fiddles and robs. Time to go cold-turkey and start to operate successfully in a brave new world.

So how do we operate in this scary new environment?

  • Running staff attendance, rostering and payroll through a modern online rostering system will shave significant costs off the old manual system. It also insulates you from the low-level blackmail that some staff can run, when they know you’re cheating the system. Staff with complicated lives usually make the workplace complicated too. It’s time to regain your power.
  • Good kitchen staff are hard to find, but as you build a team of people who are employed fairly and paid properly, you’ll get massively more productivity and attract a new type of person. And who said hospo people want to keep changing jobs all the time? Create a satisfying, predictable workplace with good equipment and efficient systems, and you will keep people for years. That’s your real job – creating a highly-productive workplace, not worrying about shortcuts and staff dramas.
  • There are other tradies available – pay them on the spot, recommend them to others and make sure they get a coffee. Services like Mendr let you organise it from your call, like you call an Uber.
  • Ordering supplies online with groups like Ordermentum or Foodbomb, gives you comparison shopping that often reveal your ‘mates rates’ aren’t all they’re held up to be. Manage the supplies with proper recipe and menu management, and the savings become even larger. And by pushing your (considerable) purchases through a credit card with a high points offer, you can get flight benefits as well.
  • I haven’t forgotten about your birthday or splashing out on family events – traditional ‘cash purchases’. But if you’re working with a good accountant and financial planner, the taxes you’re trying to avoid can mostly be eliminated, and your Profit & Loss statement looks much healthier… and your business more saleable.

New ways of thinking for a dramatically new world…

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.