Preventing Employee Theft in Your Restaurant

Employee theft can be a major problem for restaurant owners. In fact, one study that was conducted by the National Restaurant Association even reveals that on average, employee theft contributes to 4 % of restaurants’ total food costs.

This is an incredibly significant amount of money, and it means that individual restaurants could be losing thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars annually due to employee theft. Restaurants already can face enough challenges trying to make a profit without theft. If employees are stealing from restaurants, or are giving out free food or drinks, this can make running a successful restaurant much more difficult.

Here are some of the top ways to prevent employee theft in your restaurant.

1. Install surveillance cameras in your restaurant

Employees will be much less likely to attempt theft, or to give free food and beverages away if they know that they are being watched. Also, if you notice that a certain amount of money, food, or beverages has gone missing, you can watch the surveillance tapes to try to find the culprit.

You will be much more likely to be able to figure out who is responsible for the theft if you have video evidence from effective employee monitoring. Once you figure out who did it, then you can fire the person. This will not only help you get rid of a dishonest employee, but it can also help you send a message to your other staff members.

2. Use a POS system

Without a POS system, it can be extremely difficult to track all sales and inventory changes. However, POS systems allow managers to easily watch over these things. Managers can simply monitor sales and inventory through the software, and if they notice any major discrepancies between the two, they will know that someone is stealing, or giving away free things.

The manager can use this information, combined with video surveillance to try to figure out who the thief is. Again, the thief can be fired once discovered. Also, employees will be less likely to steal if they know that inventories are being closely monitored, and there is an increased chance that they will be caught if they attempt theft. POS systems are just another way to effectively monitor employees.

3. Protect the cash and the alcohol reserves

Access to the restaurant’s safe should be limited only to senior level employees such as managers. Also, strict procedures should be put in place for cashing out, or otherwise handling high levels of cash. Oversight should be maximized for these procedures.

Also, bottles of alcohol should be kept in a locked, safe area where access again is limited to only high level employees. Bottles of wine and other types of alcohol can be very expensive, and the restaurant can lose a lot of money if they disappear on a regular basis. So, they should be protected and not neglected in order to prevent theft by employees.

Karin Jakovljevic

About the author

Karin Jakovljevic

Karin Jakovljevic is the head of marketing at Ximble, a powerful, cloud-based workforce management system, simplifying employee scheduling and time tracking for retailers, restaurants and small businesses.

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