Southern Proper Hospitality Eliminates 4 Bank Runs A Week With Kickfin

Southern Proper Hospitality Food

Success Stories

Southern Proper Hospitality Eliminates 4 Bank Runs A Week With Kickfin

Hospitality Group | Full-service

About the company

Southern Proper operates 23 restaurants. Concepts range from elegant southern gastropub, to Spanish tapas restaurant, to coastal seafood.

Location

Southeastern U.S. (Gyspy Kitchen located in Washington D.C.)

Number of locations

23

Service type

Full service

“We used to go to the bank 3-4 times a week, and we’d walk out with $10,000-$15,000 in cash. Now that we’re using Kickfin, I think I’ve been to the bank once in the past month. As an operator, there’s a sense of security that we no longer need to have that much cash on site.”

Andres Sweek - Gypsy Kitchen

Andres Sweek

Managing Partner,
Southern Proper Hospitality

Key Results

  • Eliminated 3-4 bank trips a week
  • Saved managers 20-30 minutes per shift distributing tips
  • Mitigated risk by reducing volume of cash on premises
  • Strongly preferred by employees over cash/paycard tip payments

 Meet Andres.

Andres Sweek is the managing partner of Gypsy Kitchen, one of Southern Proper Hospitality’s 20+ restaurants. Andres was all too familiar with the cost of cash management and the headache of cash tip payouts: frequent bank runs, tedious tip distribution process, lack of visibility and accounting issues.

He knew cash wasn’t going to cut it — so his team signed up for Kickfin shortly after Gypsy Kitchen opened their doors in Washington D.C.

“The thing about restaurants is that a lot of the workforce is made up of younger generations. They’ve grown up with technology that provides instant experiences and a high level of convenience — it’s really all they know. Kickfin is a service that’s in-line with what they need and expect: convenience, speed, safety.”

“So, so easy.”

The SPH team doesn’t shy away from technology. They have software and systems for every aspect of their operations — from POS to invoicing to accounting to payroll.

“Kickfin stands out from the rest of the tech we’re using,’ Andres said. “This, by far, has been the easiest program to stand up and use.”

Andres said they explored other digital tip payment options, but none compared to the functionality and ease of use of Kickfin: no hardware, no integrations required, no predatory fees, and as Andres said: “You really only need two fingers to make it work.”

Employees are (big) fans.

Cash management isn’t just an issue for managers and operators. It’s a problem for employees too — because really, no one uses cash any more.

“They’re not paying with cash. They’re doing everything digitally,” Andres said. “So when we pay out tips with cash, they have to make their own bank runs, too. In the city, they have to take an Uber or walk to the bank and deposit their money before they can use it. It just makes so much more sense to put it in their account where it ultimately ends up anyway.”

The bottom line

By bringing Kickfin to Gyspy Kitchen, Andres transformed their old-school method of tip distribution into an efficient, automated process. He’s eliminated their need for an every-other-day bank run, and the amount of cash on premises (and on his people) is dramatically reduced.

And — importantly — it’s a huge value add to his employees.

“I’m always looking to make my workers’ jobs easier and more convenient,” Andres said. “I do most of the recruiting and orientation, and I’ve incorporated Kickfin into my spiel. New hires are like: Great. That’s a benefit to me.”

“I was excited to jump on Kickfin, and it’s been a great solution for us. The technology aligns with the way things are done today, especially when you think about the younger generations who make up a lot of our workforce. It’s quicker, it’s safer, it’s user friendly.”

Andres Sweek - Gypsy Kitchen

Andres Sweek

Managing Partner,
Southern Proper Hospitality

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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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