Celebrity Chef Fabio Viviani Puts People First By Tipping Out with Kickfin

Success Stories

Celebrity Chef Fabio Viviani Puts People First By Tipping Out with Kickfin

Hospitality Group | Full-service

About the founder

Fabio Viviani is a celebrity chef, restaurateur, TV host and bestselling cookbook author. He rose to stardom after competing on the reality television competition series Top Chef in 2008.

About the company

Fabio Viviani has created a “restaurant empire,” partnering with other restaurateurs and hospitality groups across the country to launch dozens of concepts.

Number of locations

20+

Service type

Full service, Fast Casual, Bar & Nightlife

“We’ve done cash tips. We’ve done tips on payroll. We’ve tried prepaid cards. None of those keep you competitive with other employers. Kickfin does.”

Shane Farzad

Head of Operations, Fabio Viviani Hospitality

Meet Ken and Shane.

For years, these two hospitality pros have helped drive the success of Fabio Viviani  Hospitality. Shane, Head of Operations, and Ken, who’s launched dozens of restaurants alongside Fabio and on his own, know everything there is to know about restaurant operations.

And — as credit card transactions continued to increase in their restaurants — they knew they needed to resolve their tip payment problem, fast.

“We never had enough cash to pay out tips,” Shane said. “Our managers were constantly going to the bank and coming back with $40,000 of cash in their pockets. It’s crazy.”

Managers also were spending way too much time on the (tedious, error-prone) admin tasks that come along with cash management: counting out cash, divvying up tips, running reports.

But inefficiency wasn’t the only concern.

“Cash was a safety risk,” Ken said. “Our managers were walking around with thousands of dollars in their pockets. Servers and bartenders are leaving with a lot of cash every night after getting tipped out.”

Ken and Shane are the first to acknowledge that hospitality can be a grind. Cash was only making life harder for their team, and they knew it was time for a change.

Kickfin for the win.

When one of their partners told them about Kickfin, Ken says it was “a no-brainer.” They quickly signed up for Kickfin and stood it up across multiple locations.

“There was very little hesitation from our employees,” Ken said. “They were actually more excited than anything else. It’s become the standard.”

Ken and Shane said Kickfin has helped their team:

  • Solve the “cash problem:” All of the hassle and risk that come with cash tips are eliminated with Kickfin. Cash management is streamlined — no more bank runs or tedious tip distribution, and reporting and tracking are simple. Plus: there’s less cash handling, less cash on the premises, and less cash on their people.
  • Keep managers on the floor: Managers want (and need) to be on the floor engaging with guests and overseeing operations — not stuck in the office working on admin tasks, or making trips to the bank. Kickfin allows managers to do the job they were intended to do.
  • Cut labor costs: With fewer admin tasks and more efficient tip payment processes, FVH has realized a cost savings with their hourly workers.
  • Stay competitive with other employers: FVH employees are happy to get instant tips right where they need them — in their bank accounts. 

“Kickfin has become the standard for hospitality tip payments.”

Ken McGarrie

Fabio Viviani Hospitality

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