I’m a server at an upscale restaurant chain. Our policy for making change on cash payments has always been to round to the nearest dollar. Recently, I was told we would now be expected to give customers exact change—down to the penny—to those paying with cash. I feel this is unnecessary and find it annoying. To my knowledge no one ever complained about the old policy. – Name withheld
I know a few people who work in restaurants, so I decided to outsource my response to your question.
Here’s some of the feedback I got:
Here’s what happened: Out of the many thousands of people your restaurant chain serves every day, one cheapskate complained once about not getting exact change back. And so management, instead of ignoring it—like they should have—came up with this stupid policy.
Some corporate lawyer—who’s never worked in a restaurant—figured out the practice of rounding is illegal.
Some management consultant—who’s never worked in a restaurant—mistook your establishment for a diner, where losing a nickel or two here and there actually amounts to a hill of beans.
Some corporate accountant—who’s never worked in a restaurant—figured out that rounding to the nearest dollar is costing the company precisely 63 cents per year. That’s two quarters, a dime, and three pennies.
Your company has a new executive director—who’s never worked in a restaurant—and he thinks this bold, forward-thinking policy will impress his boss. I say ‘he’ because a woman would never be this stupid.
Wait. Don’t they know about Venmo..?
I have nothing to add.