We have a local chain of fast-casual restaurants here in Lincoln. They are quite good and I hit them up about once a month since I moved to town.
I've noticed that when I buy and pay cash.. it's almost never rung into the register. The employee does a register open, inserts the money, makes my change but there's no receipt. When I pay with credit card I get a receipt. These are casual observations. I may be totally wrong and everything is being rung in- it just doesn't look that way to my untrained eye.
At first I thought it was employees stealing from the owner but it's so pervasive I'm wondering if it's not actually franchisee's doing the no-ring and therefore avoiding sales taxes?
If my suspicions are correct I wonder why this isn't a more widespread practice by small businesses? Top line revenue but reduced expenses? What's the check and balance? Obviously if you report very little income on your taxes but tons of expenses you'll raise some eyebrows but what if it's just a few hundred here/there to keep a little more in the owner's pocket and a little less in the hands of the always-hungry-for-more government?