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Success Stories

Pork Barrel Wakes Up from a “Cash Management Nightmare” with Kickfin

Fast-casual, counter service, bar

About the company

Opened in 2011, Pork Barrel prides itself on being a neighborhood spot for the Del Rey community.


Three-in-One: This location houses three different concepts under one roof. You can get high quality barbecue, a burger to-go, or a specialty cocktail all within a few steps. 

Number of locations


Service type

Fast-casual, counter service, bar

“It’s problematic to continue paying out servers and bartenders the old way, with cash at the end of every shift. But it’s a mainstay of the industry to expect to walk away with your tips every night.”

Bill Blackburn

Co-Owner Homegrown
Restaurant Group

Key Results

  • Accountability: Tip payouts are tracked and recorded through Kickfin leading to fewer tip disputes
  • Money in their pockets: Employees get to leave their shift with money in their accounts, much like they had with cash
  • Time saved: 12 hours of managers’ time saved per week by not counting cash 

Meet Bill. 

Bill Blackburn is a veteran of the restaurant industry and co-owner of the Homegrown Restaurant Group based out of Alexandria, Virginia. At one of their locations, they’re operating three different concepts out of the same BOH. Under the same liquor license and one set of books, you can find Pork Barrel Barbecue, Holy Cow (a fast casual burger joint), and rotating pop up cocktail bars. With three sets of employees and three types of service falling under one financial umbrella, streamlining operations and accounting isn’t easy — and cash was adding to the complexity.

“It was just a cash management nightmare.”

Cash hasn’t always been this much of a hassle. But with very few customers paying in cash these days, Bill noticed that most nights, they owed way more cash to their servers than they had on hand 

“It’s problematic to continue paying out servers and bartenders the old way, with cash at the end of every shift. But it’s a mainstay of the industry to expect to walk away with your tips every night.”

In recent years, managers had begun spending an inordinate amount of time counting piles of cash, counting down safes, or ensuring tips were delivered to servers. And with no record of the cash being paid out, Homegrown Restaurant Group had little recourse to deal with tip discrepancies and disputes.  


Bill and his team knew they were ready to move past cash tips at the Pork Barrel concepts, but they weren’t sure what that would look like. At one of their other restaurants, their servers were receiving all of their tips on payroll bi-weekly. But they also recognized that one of the big benefits of working at Pork Barrel is leaving with cash in your pocket every night. 

“We started looking for what we were calling a ‘Venmo for restaurants’.”

Bill and his team asked their industry partners if they had any leads on a solid digital tipping solution that would have the same benefits as cash without all of the risk. Their U.S Foods rep was familiar with Kickfin and recommended that they give it a try — and Bill felt it was an immediate fit. 

One feature that Bill loved about Kickfin was the immediate payouts: As a former bartender himself, he remembers how great it felt to walk home with money in his pocket. Kickfin takes it one step further by putting the money directly in his employees’ bank accounts, where it’s instantly available and ready to use, 24/7, 365.

Kickfin for employees 

Getting buy-in from your team is one of the most important steps to implementing a new process. Bill presented Kickfin’s cashless tipping system to his employees and gave them the option of using Kickfin or putting their tips on payroll. 

The team embraced Kickfin — and now, servers and managers alike feel confident in their tip outs thanks to Kickfin’s robust, easy-to-use payment tracking. Now, if questions or disputes pop up, managers can reference Kickfin’s digital paper trail to see that the correct amount was paid out and when it was sent. 

Payroll benefits 

Bill’s team especially appreciates Kickfin when it’s time to run payroll. Rather than relying on a spreadsheet to track tips for the pay period (where it’s very easy to make a mistake), managers can run their Kickfin report to see how much each server earned and easily navigate between gross tips, net tips and other views to assist in reporting. 

“Kickfin is easy to implement and easy to use. If you’re thinking about trying it, you’ll be glad you did.”

Bill Blackburn

Co-Owner Homegrown
Restaurant Group

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