Fast Growing BLD Brands Counts on Cash Management


In the competitive restaurant operations business, consistency and efficiency are constant challenges…especially when operating a large number of stores across a broad geographic area.

It was that challenge that led Newport Beach, CA based BLD Brands to embrace cash management, and the AMSEC Cash Wizard smart safe, as a key growth strategy.

“When you are so spread out there are challenges with consistency, and cash handling is one of the biggest challenges,” said Jordan Prell, Finance Manager for BLD.  “How can you securely handle the cash?  That is the number one challenge.”

Founded in 2005, BLD has grown quickly over the past 12 years.  It now operates 132 restaurants across 10 states under the Hardee’s, Papa John’s and Spaghetti Warehouse banners, with plans to continue its rapid expansion.

With first generation smart safes in its 51 Hardee’s restaurants, BLD was familiar with the category, but the aggressive restaurant investment and operations company wanted an upgrade to help fuel its continued growth.

After researching the market, BLD made the decision this Fall to implement the AMSEC Cash Wizard smart safe in all Hardee’s stores and followed that by adding the CashWizard in 20 of its 73 Papa John’s restaurants.

“We were familiar with the smart safe category and knew its benefits, but AMSEC is leaps and bounds ahead,” Prell said.  “The end goal is to have the CashWizard in all 132 restaurants.  It is a decision driven from the top of our organization.  Our company’s position is to grow and this decision will help us grow.

“The biggest benefit is the access in the cloud to all the CashWizard safes,” Prell added.  “We can program every setting – from who can access the safe to what they can access in terms of the level of security.  It is all about risk management and security.  All of this can be done from the corporate office in Newport Beach.   The CashWizard provides financial and operational visibility.”

Once the decision was made to grow with the CashWizard, Prell and the BLD team faced another challenge.  They had to develop an execution plan to roll-out the smart safes in a large number of stores quickly, while also integrating courier and bank partners.  BLD found AMSEC to be a reliable partner in helping to guide the complex launch effort.

“The biggest thing is AMSEC’s responsiveness,” Prell said.  “They answered every question and exceeded our expectations, right down to the nitty gritty details.  It is nice to have AMSEC on our side in the planning process.  They have been very good with their communication between GARDA (courier service) and BLD in keeping everything on track.”

BLD has a vision to grow a purpose-driven business, one that “Builds Lives & Dreams.”  And after a successful initial launch of the CashWizard, they view AMSEC as a key strategic growth partner moving forward.

“AMSEC smart safes are at the top of the list to talk about as we continue to grow,” Prell said.  “It allows us to grow efficiently and ensure cash handling is secure.

“In the past you could be blind to things that were happening in the stores from a cash perspective.  With the AMSEC cloud you can find out instantly,” Prell added.  “We spend less time chasing cash and can focus on other activities.  The CashWizard reports are syncing every 15 minutes.  The reports are set-up to identify if a store is off-line.  It provides speed and efficiency.  We use the reports every day and we appreciate AMSEC constantly improving the tools available to us.”