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Success Stories

LuLu’s Streamlines Cash Management with Kickfin

Multi-location | FSR


LuLu’s is a coastal restaurant chain owned by Lucy Buffett, the sister of famed singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett.


Alabama and Florida

Restaurant type

Casual dining

Service type


“[Kickfin] has worked perfectly…Our employees get a notification that they’ve been paid before they even leave the restaurant, whether it’s 10 at night or Labor Day.”

Gerald Tipton

President and Partner

Meet Gerald.

Gerald Tipton is the president and partner of LuLu’s, a three-unit restaurant chain featuring coastal cuisine. Located around the Florida Panhandle, LuLu’s is a favorite for beach-going families.

Gerald said that like many full-service restaurants, LuLu’s team struggled with the frustrations and headaches that come with cash management. At the end of every shift, managers had to manually calculate and distribute cash tips — which added up to hours of their time on a weekly basis.

In addition to time costs, LuLu’s frequently had to pay for cash deliveries to ensure there was enough cash on hand to pay out tips, as more and more guests were paying with credit cards.

The situation wasn’t ideal for employees, either: “We’d give servers whatever cash we owed them and then kept the rest for a deposit, but that wasn’t safe, because servers had to walk out into the parking lot with cash on them,” Tipton said.

Employees then had to make trips to the bank on their own time to deposit cash into their accounts.

The process was becoming so burdensome that LuLu’s was considering rolling tips into the paycheck cycle — which would simplify the process but force employees to wait days or weeks to access their earnings when they were used to getting paid daily.

Kickfin changes everything

Just before they resorted to payroll tips, LuLu’s discovered Kickfin.

By using an instant employee payment platform like Kickfin, LuLu’s managers could send tips digitally to their servers’ bank accounts at the end of every shift. That meant:

  • No more bank runs: It doesn’t matter if there isn’t enough cash on hand to pay out tips because the process is completely digitized.
  • Instant tips, any time: Tipton said that before trying Kickfin, he was worried that employees wouldn’t be able to access their tips outside of bank hours — or on weekends and holidays. But with Kickfin, the money is in his employees’ accounts before they walk out the door.
  • Safer employees: LuLu’s management cares deeply about their employees; now, they don’t have to choose between giving them instant access to their earnings and keeping them safe from theft. With Kickfin, LuLu’s can do both.

“Our managers used to spend 15–30 minutes per shift counting out drawers and paying out tips,” Tipton says. “And now, our cash and our employees are safe, and that’s the most important thing.”

Gerald Tipton

President and Partner

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