cash control procedure

To control the revenue of a unit, particular attention must be paid to the major factors which can have an influence on the profitability. Therefore it is essential to control the main factors which can affect the revenue of a business, such as the menu-beverage list, the total volume of food and beverage sales, the sales mix, the average spend of customers in each selling outlet at different times of the day, the number of covers served and the gross profit margins.
it is important to note, particularly in commercial operations that somewhere in the total control system there is a need for the account ability of what has been served to the customer and the payment for what has been issued from the kitchen or the bar.
The payment for food and beverage may be made in many forms such as cash, foreign currency, credit cards, cheques, travellers' cheques, luncheon type vouchers and signed bills.
All staff handling cash should be adequately trained in the respective company's methods. It it a common practice for a cashier's or waiter's handbook/manual to be produced so that an established procedure may be followed with the specific aim of ensuring that cash security is efficiently carried out at all times. A typical hand¬book /manual would contain information on the standard procedure to be followed for such things as:

1 Opening procedure-instructions here would include procedures about checking the float, having a float of specific denominations, checking the till roll, recording waiters' bill pad numbers, etc.
2 Working procedure- instructions on how to accept payment and the procedure  to follow.
3 Closing procedure- instructions on any documentation and recordings to be completed, cashing up, recording of credit cards, cheques, etc.
4 Procedure for accepting foreign currency - what currency is to be accepted,  how to obtain the current exchange rates, how this is to be recorded, etc.
5 Procedure for accepting credit cards - which credit cards are to be  accepted, how they are to be checked, method of processing credit cards for  payment, recording of credit vouchers, etc.
6 Procedures for accepting vouchers such as lun-cheon vouchers - which  vouchers are acceptable, how this is to be recorded.
7 Procedure for accepting cheques - how cheques are to be made out, customers  to produce a valid cheque guarantee card, checking that signatures correspond, etc.
8 Procedure for accepting travellers' cheques - what travellers cheques are acceptable, what cur¬rencies are acceptable, witnessing and check¬ing signatures, how this is to be recorded.
9 Procedure for a complimentary or signed bill -check against current list of authorized per¬sons and their signature, how this is to be recorded.

there are two basic approaches too recording and controlling food and beverage sales.

1 A manual system, which is commonly used in small and in exclusive type catering units.
2 An automated system, which is commonly used in units with several outlets, in units with a very high volume of business and in up-to-date companies with many units.

Manual systems

a) Sales checks

One of the simplest steps to take when attempting to establish sales control procedures is to require that each item ordered and its selling price are recorded on a waiter's sales check. Using some form of a check system serves the following functions:
1 To remind the waiting staff of the order they have taken.
2 To give a record of sales so that portion sales and sales mixes and sales histories can be com¬piled.
3 To assist the cashier and facilitate easy check¬ing of prices charged.
4 To show the customer a detailed list of charges made.

An additional aid is to use numbered checks and control these tightly, recording all cancelled and missing checks.
It is more common to find duplicate or triplicate checks being used as an aid to control for the following reasons:
1 They provide the kitchen, buffet, or bar with a written record of what has been ordered and issued.
2 They authorize the kitchen, buffet, or bar to issue the food and/or  beverage.
3 They provide the opportunity to compare the top copy of the check with the duplicate to ensure that all that has been issued has been charged and paid for.

the cashiers role

In addition to following precisely the unit's procedure for the handling of all revenue transactions within the restaurant or bars, it is normal practice for the cashier working a manual system to be required to complete the following:
1 To issue check pads to the waiting staff prior to a meal period, to record the numbers of the checks issued in each pad, and obtain the waiting staff's signature for them; and on the completion of the meal period to receive from the waiting staff their respective unused check pads, record the numbers, and sign for the receipt of those returned. This information to be recorded on the check number issue control sheet.
2 To check the pricing, extensions and subtotals of all checks and to add any government tax charges and to enter the total amount due.
3 To receive and check money, credit or, when applicable, an approved signature in payment for the total amount due for each check.
4 To complete the missing check list for each meal period. This is an aid to the cashier in controlling what checks are used. The respective check numbers on the list are crossed out when pay-ment is made. When a missing check is identified, investigation to be carried out to find the reason for this, and if no satisfactory explanation is forthcoming, to inform a member of management on duty. Missing checks to be marked on the missing check list.
5 To complete the restaurant sales control sheet for each meal period. This form requires that all revenue received (or its equivalent) is recorded under specific headings, such as cash, cheques, credit card transactions, etc. From this control sheet basic data -such as the number of covers served or the average spend per customer on food and bev¬erages - is quickly obtained.
6 To complete the necessary paying in of all cash, etc. in accordance with the unit's established practice. This could be direct to a bank whether a small independent unit, or a unit of a large company, or to the head cashier's office if a large unit with many outlets.

Problems of the manual system

In brief, the basic problems of controlling any food and beverage operation are:
1 The time span between purchasing, receiving, storing, processing, selling the product, and obtaining the cash or credit for the product, is sometimes only a few hours.
2 The number of items (food and beverage) held in stock at any time is high.
3 A large number of finished items are produced from a combination of the large number of items held in stock.
4 The number of transactions taking place on an hourly basis in some operations can be very high.
5 To be able to control the operation efficiently, management ideally requires control in formation of many types to be available quickly and to be presented in a meaningful way.

The full manual control of a food and beverage operation would be costly, time consuming and data produced would frequently be far too late for meaningful management action to take place. Certain aspects of control such as regularly up-dating the costings of standard recipes,calculating gross profit potentials, and providing detailed sales analysis would seldom be done because of the time and labour involved.
A manual system providing a restricted count of basic data is still widely used in all- and medium-sized units although they are likely to be replaced in the near future by machine or electronic systems.
The day-to-day operational problems of a manual system are many and include such common problems as:
1 Poor handwriting by waiting staff resulting in:
(a) Incorrect order given to the kitchen or dispense bar.
(b) Wrong food being offered to the customer.
(c) Incorrect prices being charged to the customer.
(d) Poorly presented bill for the customer, etc.
2 Human error can produce such mistakes as:
(a) Incorrect prices charged to items on a bill
(b) Incorrect additions to a customer's bill
(c) Incorrect service charge made
(d) Incorrect government tax (for example VAT) charge made.

3 The communication between departments such as the restaurant, dispense bar; kitchen and cashiers has to be done physically by the waiting staff going to the various departments. This is not only time consuming but inefficient.
4 Manual systems do not provide any quick management information data, any data produced at best being normally 24-48 hours old, as well as being costly to produce.
5 Manual systems have to be restricted to the bare essentials because of the high cost of labour that would be involved in providing detailed up to date information.

Machine systems

Pre-checking systems

Pre-check machines are somewhat similar in appearance to a standard cash register and are designed to operate only when a sales check is inserted into the printing table to the side of the machine. The machine is operated in the following way.
1 A waiter has his/her own machine key.
2 A check is inserted into the printing table and the particular keys, depending on the order taken, are pressed giving an item and price record as well as recording the table number, the number of covers and the waiter's reference number.
3 A duplicate is printed and issued by the machine which is then issued as the duplicate check to obtain food and/or beverages.
4 For each transaction a reference number is given on the sales check and the duplicate.
5 All data is recorded on a continuous audit tape that can be removed only by authorized persons at the end of the day when the machine is cleared and total sales taken and compared to actual cash received.

The advantages of the system are:
1 the sales check is made out and record of it made on the audit tape before the specific items can be obtained from the kitchen or bar.
2 Analysis of total sales per waiter is made on the audit tape at the end of each shift.
3 No cashier is required as each waiter acts as his/her own cashier, each keeping the cash collected from customers until the end of the shift and then paying it in.
4 As each waiter has his/her own security key to operate the machine, there is restricted access to the machines and no other way by which pre-checks can be provided and used in exchange for items from the kitchen or bar.

Preset pre-checking system
This is an up-date on the basic pre-check machine. The keyboard is much larger than the previous machines, and has descriptive keys corresponding to all items on the menu which are pre-set to the current price of each item. A waiter pressing the key for, say one cheeseburger would not only have the item printed out but also the price. A control panel, kept under lock and key, would enable management to change the price of any item, if required, very quickly. It is also possible to have a running count kept of each item recorded and at the end of a meal period by depressing each key in turn to get a print out giving a basic analysis of sales made.

Electronic cash registers (ECRs)

These are very high speed machines which were developed mainly for operations such as super¬markets and were further adapted for use in high volume catering operations.
The particular advantages of these machines are that they will
1 Price customers' checks through pre-set or by price look-ups.
2 Print checks, including the printing of previously entered items.
3 Have an additional special key so that the preset price can be changed during promotional periods such as a 'happy hour' in a bar.
4 Provide an analysis of sales made by type of product and if required by hour (or other similar period) of trading.
5 Provide an analysis of sales by waiter per hour or per shift period.
6 Analyse sales by method of payment for example cash, cheque, type of credit card/ etc, .
7 Complete automatic tax calculations and cover and service charges.
8 Provide some limited stock control,
9 Provide waiter checking-in and checking out facilities.
10 Provide facilities for operator training to take place on the machine without disrupting any information already in the ECR,
11 Restrict access to the ECR and the till drawer by the key or code for each operator.
12 Have rotating turret displays of prices charged to individual customer transactions. This is of particular value in self-service and counter operations.
13 Eliminate the need for a cashier, by requiring each waiter to be responsible for taking payment from the customers and paying in the exact amount as recorded by the ECR at the end of each shift.

Electronic cash registers are not without their problems and it is important to consider the following prior to selecting an ECR for purchase
1 Is it suitable for the type and size of operation it is to be used in?
2 Cost- how does this compare with other models of similar capacity?
3 Is it an up-to-date model or is it about to be superseded?
4 What on-site training will be offered if this model is purchased?
5 Can this ECR be linked to similar ECRs as part of a network or directly to a micro com¬puter?
6 Maintenance. How foolproof is this machine? What level of maintenance is normally expected? Can simple maintenance be done by staff for example, changing of the printing ribbon etc.
7 what safeguards (for example, battery override) are standard or optional to the
model when power failures occur? (The memory of the day's business could be lost in a power failure causing a serious loss of control.)
8 What built-in security features are included so as to restrict access to commands, re-setting, and disclosure of information to autho¬rized personnel?
9 Will this particular model of ECR function perfectly when near to other powerful electrical equipment?
10 Does this model of ECR have a seal-in keyboard to restrict dust and moisture, which could result in the keys of the ECR operating intermittently?

In addition to following precisely the unit's pro-cedure for the handling of all revenue transac¬tions within the restaurant or bars, it is normal practice for the cashier working a manual sys¬tem to be required to complete the following:
1 To issue check pads to the waiting staff prior to a meal period, to record the numbers of the checks issued in each pad, and obtain the waiting staff's signature for them; and on the completion of the meal period to receive from the waiting staff their respective unused check pads, record the numbers, and sign for the receipt of those returned. This information to be recorded on the check number issue control sheet.
2 To check the pricing, extensions and subtotals of all checks and to add any government tax charges and to enter the total amount due.
3 To receive and check money, credit or, when applicable, an approved signature in payment for the total amount due for each check.
4 To complete the missing check list for each meal period. This is an aid to the cashier in controlling what checks are used.

Point-of-sale control systems

At a basic level a point-of-sale control system is no more than a modern ECR with the additional feature of one or several printers at such locations as the kitchen (or sections of the kitchen) or dispense bar. Some systems replace the ECR with a 'server terminal' (also called 'waiter communication' systems), which may be placed at several locations within a restaurant, and is a modification of an ECR in that the cash features are eliminated making the terminal relatively small and inconspicuous. The objectives for having printers are:
1 To provide an instant and separate clear and printed order to the kitchen or bar, of what is required and by and for whom.
2 To speed up the process of giving the order to the kitchen or bar.

3 To aid control, in that items can only be ordered when they hive been entered into the ECR or terminal by an identifiable member of the waiting staff and printed.
4 To reduce the time taken by the waiter in walking to the kitchen or bar to place an order and, as frequently happens, to check if an order is ready for collection.
5 To afford more time, if required, for customer contact.

printers are at times replaced by VDU units

Server terminals are part of a computer-based point of sale system. These special terminals are linked to other server terminals in the restaurants and bars within one system and, if required to, also interface with other systems so that, for example, the transfer of restaurant and bar charges may be made via the front office computer system. The advantage of a computerized point-of-sale system is that it is capable of processing data as activities occur, which makes it possible to obtain up-to-the minute reports for management who can be better informed and able to take immediate and accurate corrective action if necessary.
This type of point-of-sale control system has been taken one step further with the introduction of hand-held terminals. Remanco's electronic server pad (ESP), for example, is a palm-size unit which uses radio frequencies to communicate from the guest's table direct to the kitchen and bar preparation areas. The use of such a terminal offers a number of advantages: food and beverage orders are delivered faster and more efficiently to preparation sites; waiters in turn can attend more tables; with a two way communication service staff can be notified if an item is out of stock; all food and beverage items ordered are immediately charged to the guest's bill, which is accurate and easy to read; finally operations can reassess their labour utilization and efficiency, certain members of the service staff, for example, can take the simple orders, while others can spend more time with customers to increase food and beverage sales.
The ESP is a completely noiseless terminal with orders being entered alphabetically, numerically or by using pre-set codes. When not being used and the unit is closed, its design resembles a conventional order pad, compact and light in weight that can easily be carried around by service staff. It is currently being utilized in a variety of situations, including restaurants (for example, Smollenskys Balloon, London); coffee shops (for example, the Tower Hotel); and in lounge areas (for example The Chelsea and The Churchill hotels).

National cash Register

 National Cash Register is a  Company which improved the typical cash register by adding a paper roll to record sales transactions, thereby creating the receipt. The original purpose of the receipt was enhanced fraud protection. The business owner could read the receipts to ensure that cashiers charged customers the correct amount for each transaction and did not pilfer the cash drawer.[4]
In 1906, while working at the National Cash Register company, inventor Charles F. Kettering designed a cash register with an electric motor.


Before the invention of the microprocessor only a few large organizations were able to justify the high cost of a computer system. In the hotel and catering industry these systems were mainly applied to areas such as the front office, and reservations in particular, as well as for many aspects of the accounting function. The very complex area of food and beverage management including purchasing, storing, stock control, standard recipes, menu planning, pricing, sales analysis, etc. received scant attention from computer firms.
The information required by food and beverage management, to be efficient, is demanding in terms of computer programming, storage and retrieval of data. The move from manual systems, to systems aided by mechanical cash registers, to systems aided by the many types of ECRs, has led to the evolution of totally computer-aided control systems.
The reason for this evolution is simply that the computer equipment necessary for a food and beverage control system is getting smaller, more powerful, cheaper, more reliable, less complex for an operator to use, and relevant software packages are available. The equipment required is of two kinds:
1 Hardware. The physical unit comprising the computer unit itself, plus VDU, printers and hard disk drives.
2 Software. The computer programs designed and written to fulfil a specific purpose.

From the user's perspective, software is seen as being in two major categories:
1 Packages - software that is bought in from a computer firm and is already pre-programmed to perform a specific function, for example payroll, stock control, etc.
2 User-developed programs - software which is designed by the food and beverage management staff or by company staff with or without the assistance of computer programming expertise.

In addition, computer firms are marketing turnkey systems which are pre-programmed software packages designed to serve a particular sector of the industry or to perform a particular function; they may also come with the necessary hardware. The basis of this marketing approach is that it would be far too expensive to purchase
computer hardware

electronic cashregister

point of sale


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