PAYDAY Workforce Solutions Blog

6 Ways for Restaurants to Stop Employee Theft

On Mar 16, 2012

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Employee theft is something that most restaurant owners encounter at one time or another. No matter how well you think you know your employees there is always a possibility of theft. Employee theft in restaurants takes many forms, including giving away free food and drinks to customers without authorization, stealing customer's credit cards information ans stealing food or alcohol for themselves.  Many employees only steal because they know they can and their chances of getting caught are slim.  If employees know you have a system in place to trace theft, then most will respect that and not try to steal.

Here's How.

1. Track all sales---As a restaurant owner, it is hard to be everywhere at once, therefore, it is important to have a good tracking system for food and beverage sales.  By using a POS system, you can cut down on "freebies" that might be given away without your knowledge.  Of course, the POS system only works if the kitchen staff and bartender know not to give out orders without a ticket.

2. Track food inventory--Stealing food can be as sinmple as eating a forbidden piece of dessert while on bvreak or it can be more serious, such as taking cases of food right off the delivery truck.  Set up a system where at the end of each shift, inventory is taken and waste should always be written down.  If the kitchen staff knows they are accountable for food inventory, they will be more careful to keep track of it.

3. Keep all alcohol under lock and key--Alcohol will vnaish like magic if left unattended, so the best way to keep employees from stealing alcohol is to keep it locked up.Like food, you should keep a running inventory of alcohol and check your POS system if a certain type of alcohol is consistently running low.

4. Update your PCI for handling customer credit and debit cards--PCI stands for payment card industry data security standards.  A major liablity of using a POS system as a card processor is that transactions are via the Internet and could be hacked and your customers credit card information stolen.  It's important to update your firewalls and other safety precautions are updated.

5. Install security cameras in your restaurant--Security cameras are a blatant way of telling your staff " I don't trust you" and not an ideal way to boost staff morale.  However, if theft is an ongoing problem, they may be the quickest and easiest solution.

6. Limit access to cash drawers and the safe--The less hands that touch the cash, the less chance of it being stolen.

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