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Case Study: Virtual Vault


Even in a world where digital transactions are the rule, many retail businesses – especially restaurants – still deal with a significant volume of cash. From a business perspective, cash takes time to count, takes employees away from serving customers and can even put them at risk.

The solution? Virtual Vaults from Bremer Bank, an on-site smart safe that’s easy to use, improves operational efficiency, reduces risks to employees and even gives you faster access to deposits. As Business Banker Laura Helmueller puts it, “Virtual Vault is a great product for companies that are dealing with a lot of cash. It is an amazing time saver and ultimately a cost saver because it enables a company to be their own bank.”

Helmueller has a long-timer working relationship with the owners of several Culver’s restaurants, a quick-serve chain with more than 700 units in 25 states. Ownership partner Don Fong operations on of the busiest operations in the chain in Bloomington, Minnesota. When Helmueller first learned about Virtual Vault, she immediately though of his restaurant.

“There’s lots of activity there; there’s a lot of currency coming in,” says Helmueller. “They have to pull somebody off the line to get together a deposit, take all that cash and go to the bank. So that’s time the employee spends away from serving customers, plus the security issue of someone driving around with all that cash. It’s really the perfect fit for Virtual Vault.”

Fong saw the value immediately. “If you have to disengage your staff for just half an hour of 45 minutes, that’s a lot of time,” he says, noting how long it would take his employees to complete a trip to the bank to deposit cash and return. When you’re able to keep you r key staff on task the whole time, your staff notices that and your guests see that they’re totally engaged.”

Helmueller points out another advantage Virtual Vault has over a traditional safe vault: “This is a safe vault, but it’s also connected to your bank account at Bremer. You feed in the currency and it figures the deposit for you so get immediate credit.” Cash is picked up by security personnel in an armored car that also delivers change orders to the restaurant, saving another trip to the bank.

Fong appreciates that the system is user-friendly and requires little training, and his employees agree. “Everyone loves it. It’s straightforward, all the controls are easy to read and it’s easy to teach someone how to use it,” he says, adding, “I’d recommend Virtual Vault because it’s easy to use and it’s safe.”

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Everyone loves it. It’s straight-forward, all the controls are easy to read and it’s easy to teach someone how to use it.

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