How even payment reconciliation became something to enjoy at the Kronenhalle

The Kronenhalle is a true institution in Zurich, known for its unique atmosphere as much as its sophisticated cuisine. How has the Kronenhalle turned even its payment reconciliation into a pleasure? Find out in this success story.

Content of the article

    The customer

    The Kronenhalle is a true institution in Zurich: in this restaurant and the adjoining bar, the ambience, the art collection, the food and the service have been of the highest standard for 100 years! No wonder then that the Kronenhalle was honoured by ICOMOS as Historic Restaurant of the Year 2024. Alongside the sophisticated cuisine and the good drinks, the Kronenhalle is famous for its inviting, informal and stimulating atmosphere.

    Apart from the restaurant and bar, the Kronenhalle also has its own online shop selling delicacies and spirits, as well as gifts and accessories.

    The challenge

    More than 90% of payments at the Kronenhalle are by card or are cashless. All these payments are subject to quadruple checks at the end of the day: first by the waiters, then the restaurant manager, followed by admin staff and finally a personal check by Nicola Frischknecht – the head of HR, administration and finances at the Kronenhalle. As the Kronenhalle terminals are deliberately not connected to the cash register system, one of the checks is to ensure that the waiters have entered the right amounts on the card terminal.

    «I used to spend five to six hours once a month checking and reconciling all the card payments. This work was laborious and, above all, very time-consuming», says Nicola Frischknecht, summarising the situation he found himself in.

    «We had automated the entries, but the actual payment reconciliation was still being done manually. I had an Excel list: the bank payments we received on one side and the acquirer transaction data on the other side. I then checked these lists against each other by hand to identify where an incoming payment had been received – and which amounts were still outstanding. If transactions had not been saved because the terminals were temporarily down, I even had to go through all the receipts individually to complete the reconciliation.»

    In addition, it was not really possible to limit the payments to a specific day: «to do the annual accounts, for example, I had to estimate what was still to be paid out by the target date. This sometimes produced five-figure discrepancies. Something like that is obviously not the best feeling when it comes to accounting», explains Nicola Frischknecht.

    With that in mind, he was looking for a solution to make payment reconciliation more reliable, more precise, more transparent and, above all, more efficient.

    The solution

    From a geographic standpoint, Nicola Frischknecht didn’t have to look far: for the Matchbox reconciliation and payment analytics software comes from the software company treibauf – with head office in nearby Zurich Oerlikon.

    This software first imports the data from the local Hypersoft cash registers, the data from the webshop cash register, the acquirer transaction data and the incoming payment data from the bank and then automatically reconciles everything. Next the system uses this data to create the appropriate accounting records and exports them directly to Abacus – the Kronenhalle ERP.

    The few payments that the system cannot match and post automatically are displayed directly in the software’s intuitive UI – and can then be processed systematically. In the case of the Kronenhalle, however, these only account for around 5% of all transactions on average – even though the terminals are not directly connected to the cash registers. Thus, for approx. 95% of transactions there is no more manual reconciliation or accounting work.

    The result

    «Before we had Matchbox, I was only able to check and reconcile the transaction and payment data once a month. There simply wasn’t time for more. Now our clerk performs the reconciliation in Matchbox every day, and I always have access to the complete overview showing the status of all transactions for the day. So I can immediately see if something isn’t right somewhere. You cannot underestimate the security that comes from this alone», explains Nicola Frischknecht.

    Then there’s the fact that payment reconciliation is now far more efficient – and ties up far fewer resources at a time when there’s a shortage of skilled staff. «With a fully automated matching rate of 94.7%, it only takes us 5–10 minutes a day now – and then everything is reconciled and posted for the day with transaction accuracy», reports Nicola Frischknecht with satisfaction.

    Besides the efficiency, he sees another benefit in the greater transparency Matchbox creates. «We had one account before for all credit card revenue. Now we always assign the transactions to a specific card type. This means we always have perfect control over whether the agreed commission rates are being applied. The Payment Analytics Center also enables us to see how much revenue we’re making with the individual cards – and what we’re paying for them in fees. This of course is the optimal basis for our next round of negotiations with the acquirers.»

    «With a fully automated matching rate of 94.7 %, it only takes us 5–10 minutes a day now – and then everything is reconciled and posted for the day!»

    Nicola Frischknecht
    head of HR, administration & finances, Restaurant Kronenhalle AG

    Why treibauf?

    «At the Kronenhalle, trust and a collaborative partnership are vital for us in any business relationship. That just has to be right! In contrast to other providers, we could instantly sense this partnership quality from treibauf: the team are open and honest, communication is clear, and you feel you’re in good hands from the start. This was also confirmed as the project progressed. There was a regular exchange between our project team and treibauf during the project, so we were always totally in the loop», remembers Nicola Frischknecht.

    The integration of the software, connection to the different interfaces and function testing, e.g. handling vouchers or cancelled bookings, went just as smoothly.

    «With the help of treibauf, payment reconciliation has also become a real pleasure now at the Kronenhalle!» says Nicola Frischknecht, summarising the sentiment of his finance team.

    «Restaurant Kronenhalle AG»
    The Kronenhalle restaurant in Zurich is a historic and renowned restaurant known for its traditional cuisine and impressive art collection.

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