The Noble Grape: Musings About Wine, Food And Cooking

« Back to Home

How to Deter Employee Theft

Posted on

Employee theft is a problem that restaurant owners come across every now and then. Regardless of the good thoughts you have about your employees, there's always a likelihood of theft. Employee pilfering in restaurants takes various forms, such as employees' giving away free food and beverages to family and friends without permission or stealing alcohol and food for themselves. The majority of employees who steal do so because they believe they are highly unlikely to get caught. To minimize such theft, restaurant owners should focus on increasing their point-of-sale equipment security.

Track every sale and inventory

Since you cannot be everywhere simultaneously, you need good tracking for all your food and drink sales. By tracking food and beverage orders through point-of-sale equipment, you can bring an end to the number of freebies that your employees may give out without your approval. If orders are place and immediately forwarded to the kitchen, you can make it so the ticket cannot be reversed without the manager's password. Stealing food may be as simple as gobbling down a prohibited piece of dessert while on recess, or it may be more serious, such as in the case of taking food from the delivery truck. Install a point-of-sale system where at the close of each work shift, inventory is noted. When your kitchen staff understands their responsibility for the food inventory, they are more likely to carefully maintain close tracking.

Keep alcoholic beverages locked up  

If alcoholic beverages are left unattended, they will disappear like magic. Therefore, you should keep them under lock and key. Only the bartender, restaurant owner and manager should have access to the alcohol supply. Similar to with food, restaurant managers should maintain a running inventory of alcohol and look up your point-of-sale system to see whether a specific type of drink is constantly running low. If the alcohol use cannot be accounted for in terms of sales, you can certainly assume that your staff is behind the theft.

Integrate your point-of-sale equipment with video-surveillance cameras

Incorporating video-surveillance cameras as part of your restaurant point-of-sale system allows all point-of-sale transactions to be synchronized with surveillance-video footage. Basically, the surveillance video is bookmarked each time a transaction or an activity occurs. Suspicious transactions and activities can then be examined and verified.

No restaurant owner wants an employee fond of stealing. Integrated point-of-sale equipment can go a long way in deterring any possible theft by your staff.