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Success Stories

Fifty/50 Restaurant Group Saves Managers 2 Hours Per Shift with Kickfin

Hospitality Group | FSR, QSR, Bar & Nightlife

About the company

Established in 2008, Fifty/50 Restaurant Group is a well-known, fast-growing hospitality group that operates  establishments across the Chicago area.

Notable sites

Fifty/50 manages the famous Second City theater, a comedy club where many SNL alums got their start. 

Number of locations


Service type

FSR, Bar & Lounge, Coffeeshops, Catering

“Tip volume is extremely high across our locations. It used to take our managers up to 3 hours to distribute tips. Since we got Kickfin, I’ve seen end-of-night notes from managers saying it only took them 20 minutes to go through the whole closing procedure. That means our managers get hours back in their shift, every shift.”

Kassie Barr

Administration & Finance Director
Fifty/50 Management Group

Key Results

  • >2 hours saved, per shift. Tips are instantly sent straight to employees’ bank accounts — where cash tips would end up anyway — saving managers and employees time (and reducing labor costs).
  • Rapid setup. Seamless, same-day implementation. No hardware, no learning curve.
  • Unprecedented visibility. Every payment is tracked to the penny. That’s a win for accounting, and it has created a culture of trust with employees.
  • Safety first. Less cash on site and on employees has greatly reduced the risk of theft.

Meet Kassie.

Kassie is the Director of Finance and Administration for Fifty/50 Restaurant Group, which owns and manages restaurants, clubs, bars and coffeeshops across the Chicago area.

That includes the famous Second City comedy club — an SNL “feeder” of sorts that has graduated the likes of Bill Murray, Chris Farley, Steve Carell,  Tina Fey and Stephen Colbert (to name a few).

Cash payouts: no laughing matter.

Tip volume is consistently high across all of Fifty/50’s sites, and for years, employees were paid out in cash. Kassie said cash tip payouts had become one of their biggest operational pain points.

“It’s not unusual for our managers to pay out $20,000 in one evening. That’s $20,000 in cash that they have to count out, bill by bill. Managers were spending four hours in the back office working on tip distributions when they could be out on the floor.”

Cash also set the team up for human error: “If you get a couple of new bills stuck together, you could accidentally pay out an additional $300 or $400 that you didn’t intend to,” Kassie said.

And then there’s the risk of having so much cash on site, night after night: Over the years, Fifty/50 has experienced theft across multiple locations.

Employees were feeling the pain, too.

It’s not just the management team that struggled with cash. Because tip distribution took so long, employees would have to stay late or make an extra trip to pick up their tips.

“We have employees that only work one or two days a week, so if they don’t have time to wait after their shift for tip-outs, then they’d either have to come back on an off day, or wait until they work again,” Kassie explained. “Some people are working paycheck to paycheck, and waiting isn’t an option.”

Safety was also a consideration; employees often left work with hundreds or even thousands of dollars in their pockets.

Going cashless with Kickfin.

“We first heard about Kickfin on LinkedIn,” Kassie said. “I remember thinking, ‘This could be a cool thing to try.’”

There were some reservations at first. Switching to cashless tips felt like a big operational and culture change. And ultimately, it was a big change — for the better.

“It can feel daunting to roll out a new system, especially one that’s so intrinsically involved with payroll, reporting — and also the fact that it would have a direct impact on our employee experience,” Kassie said.

But it didn’t take long for all 12 locations to get on board, and employees quickly became Kickfin fans.

“Our employees were actually relieved to have Kickfin. They value their time, and they like having their funds when and where they need them.”

And of course, life with Kickfin is much easier for managers.

“I’ve seen end-of-night notes from managers saying it only took them 20 minutes to go through the whole closing procedure. That means our managers get hours back in their shift, every shift.”

The bottom line

“We’ll be launching four more sites by the end of 2022, and they’ll be added to Kickfin as soon as they’re up and running.”

Kassie Barr

Administration & Finance Director
Fifty/50 Management Group

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