Cashmaster serves up an innovative cash management solution for KFC!

Background

KFC is the world’s second largest restaurant chain with almost 20,000 outlets located across 123 territories. The business model combines corporate-owned stores with others operated by franchisees and licensees.

KFC in Hong Kong (KFCHK) and Macau is operated under license by Jardine Restaurant Group (Jardine).  Having started trading in 1985, there are now more than 80 outlets which employ some 3,000 people and serve millions of customers each month.

In 2017, Jardine was pursuing a strategy of innovation, which empowered the KFCHK senior team to look for creative solutions to their business challenges.  One such challenge was to drive more effective cash management processes alongside other continuous improvement initiatives including improving store efficiencies.

A Drive for Continuous Improvement

The competitive nature of the Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) sector means it is necessary for successful operators to achieve continuous process improvement and to maximize efficiencies.  As is typical with many QSRs, KFC customers regularly transact in cash and KFCHK also operate ‘pop-ups’ at events, such as the Hong Kong 7s, where they accept cash only. 

Thomas FAN, Operations Director of KFCHK said: “Before we started working with Cashmaster, our cashiers had always counted cash by hand which was time-consuming and could sometimes lead to discrepancies and errors.  As we count cash many times per day in each of our KFC outlets, the time taken to count and then resolve discrepancies was significant and using up valuable staff and management time.  Our staff were also manually entering cash count data into our Back-End system which was again time-consuming and error-prone, meaning that staff time was diverted away from more productive tasks such as serving our customers or making the restaurant more efficient”.

KFC cashier serving a customer

Having heard of the leading Cashmaster One range from another retail business in Hong Kong, Mr FAN then engaged Cashmaster Asia to identify a cash management solution that would allow staff to spend less time counting cash and inputting data and more time on serving customers.

Phase One - Discovery and Trial

Cashmaster is a leading, global provider of count-by-weight cash management solutions and offers more than 30 years of experience having worked with many ‘blue chip’ brands in the retail, supermarket, health & beauty, QSR, and banking sectors.  

With any new prospective client, our initial approach is to observe existing cash management processes, drawing on our proven cash management experience and knowledge of industry best practices, which then enables us to recommend effective solutions which deliver benefits and meet the specific needs of our customers.   

In March 2017, KFCHK and Cashmaster held an initial ‘Discovery Session’ in KFCHK’s Whampoa store which allowed our experienced team to observe the manual, cash counting processes, in real time, in the store.

During the Discovery Session, we demonstrated the Cashmaster One range and trained the store manager and his colleagues to use the device.  The response was overwhelmingly positive - indeed, it was so positive that the KFCHK staff did not want to give up their Cashmaster device when we left the store.

Following the visit to the Whampoa outlet, KFCHK were keen to extend the pilot to a wider selection of outlets.  Rocky LOK, CFO of KFCHK said, “Following the positive reaction from the initial store, we anticipated there could be significant operational and financial benefits to the wider business, so took the decision to begin in-store trials in six other KFCHK outlets.  The initial feedback from our staff was very positive and it was evident that the Cashmaster One range would significantly reduce the amount of time spent counting cash and improve store efficiencies.  Based on what we had seen so far, we projected a very fast payback and excellent ROI”.

Phase Two - Customization of Product, Training and Implementation

Throughout the trial process, staff from Cashmaster and KFCHK worked together to identify the right hardware and software configuration to meet KFCHK’s exact needs.  The Cashmaster One Max model was quickly identified as the best fit model because of its advanced level functionality and connectivity options.  As well as cash, stores need to be able to count different types of coupons, and they want greater traceability of cash counts by tracking various process identifiers, such as till ID.  KFCHK also wanted to automate cash-count record keeping and reconciliation with the POS and they were keen to integrate the Cashmaster scale with their back-end IT systems.  With ethernet connectivity as standard, as well as serial and USB ports, the Cashmaster One Max gives flexible options for integration now, and in the future.  

Cashmaster Printer One is also a key part of the overall solution, providing improved record keeping and adding an extra layer of staff accountability.

Following the successful trial process, the decision was quickly made to roll-out the Cashmaster One Max and Printer One into 75 KFCHK outlets.  The Cashmaster devices were manufactured in the UK at our manufacturing headquarters and shipped directly to individual stores, pre-configured to work out of the box. 

Gordon Mckie at KFC Headquarters

To further optimize the cash counting process, Cashmaster designed and supplied 200 sets of removable till cups to suit KFCHKs Wincor Nixdorf till drawers.  Removable till cups help cashiers quickly remove coins from the drawer for counting, which significantly speeds up the process of counting coins.

At the same time as the units and till cups arrived in the stores, Cashmaster delivered a coordinated training program over the course of 2 days which enabled some 140 managers and staff to be trained at KFCHK’s training center.

Phase Three - The Results

Cashmaster and KFC outside outlet

Thomas FAN, Operations Director of KFCHK said, “Feedback from our staff has been very positive with all outlets reporting significant time savings and improved operational efficiencies including process improvements and happy customers”.

Cashmaster staff continue to work very closely with KFCHK to ensure that the projected benefits are fully realised and that any ongoing process amendments can be revised within the software.  These benefits have included:

  • A time saving of c.30 minutes per store, per day;
  • Significantly reduced time in preparing and transferring data to the back office, together with the virtual elimination of data errors;
  • More than 500 staff hours saved per week which can be spent doing other tasks, including more revenue generating initiatives;
  • Management Information is now available at a central level, which allows the management team to make faster, data-informed decisions, such as change ordering and scheduling of cash-in-transit suppliers.
  • Commercial payback on the investment, based on the results, has been less than 15 weeks

The Outcome

Gordon McKie, Group CEO of Cashmaster added -

“We are delighted to add KFCHK to our list of satisfied customers in Asia.  Our Cashmaster One range has brought significant benefits to their previous business model which was heavily reliant upon manual cash counting and significant time was also being incurred in manually recording data.  KFCHK is a great success story for everybody involved and especially the staff from each company”.

Rocky LOK, CFO of KFCHK commented:

“We are very satisfied with our investment in Cashmaster technology. Our staff are also very happy with the Cashmaster One Max devices as their daily cash counting tasks have become much easier and opportunities for errors in counting and in record keeping have been significantly reduced”.