Take out the bills and leave the cash drawer open at night. (And raise the bill retainers as a visible sign that the drawer is empty) Why? A closed cash drawer is like an advertising sign screaming “Here’s a treasure chest full of cash!” While there may not be a significant amount of money in the drawer (or there may not be ANY money in the drawer), a potential thief doesn’t know that if it’s closed.

Your business has closed for the day. The doors are locked. Everyone has gone home. So what does the thief need to do to determine how much cash, if any, is in a closed drawer? First he must get inside your business. Second, he must find a way to access the contents of the drawer.

How does the thief get inside your business? Typically by breaking a door or window. (Burglar bars and alarm systems are only a minor deterrent.) The damage incurred by the thief’s destructive entry method can be extensive and costly to repair. (The cost to repair the damage is of no concern to the thief.)

So now the thief is inside your business and heads for the big sign that reads “Here’s a treasure chest full of cash!” He will normally try to open the drawer and retrieve his “treasure” however he won’t spend much time trying to pry it open; if it appears to be more than a simple operation, he’ll more-than-likely pick up the drawer (or cash register) and take it with him. To a smart thief, time is of the essence.

The treasure hunt is over in minutes. (It really wasn’t much of a hunt since the “treasure chest” is in plain view.) At minimum, your door or window is broken, and your cash drawer or cash register is damaged or missing. You can look forward to hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars of repair and replacement costs.

Remember “Rule of Retail” #1: Leave the cash drawer open at night. Remove the bills from the drawer at the close of business. Open the drawer and raise all the bill retainers. It also helps if the open drawer is visible from outside the business when the business is closed; it reduces temptation.

The detailed Rules of Retail is available by clicking here.