Protecting Your Restaurant from Employee Theft

Protecting Your Restaurant from Employee TheftProtecting Your Restaurant from Employee Theft

Internal theft isn’t as uncommon as business owners might hope. We’ve uncovered some scary statistics about employee theft from SheerID that really gave us pause. For instance, did you know $50 billion is stolen from U.S. businesses every year by employees? Or that 7% of a business’s revenue is lost to this type of stealing? Additionally, 75% of employees have admitted to stealing from their employers. That’s why in this post, we’ll talk through some simple ways you can be proactive in preventing theft. And if you’re already in the throes of this unfortunate situation, these tips can help solve the problem at hand.

Have an Employee Handbook

This one is critical if you want to have a leg to stand on when confronting an employee you suspect of stealing. Outline specifically your policies around stealing, such as what actions need manager approval (comps and voids, possibly), whether or not staff can eat rejected food, etc. And once this is in print, make sure to have regular training sessions with your staff and quiz their knowledge around stealing at the workplace. They need to know you take this behavior very seriously and that there will be repercussions should these rules be broken.

Careful with Cash Access

If your business has a safe on-site or a cash drawer, it’s important that not everyone on staff have access to it. How would you be able to narrow down the perpetrator if 100% of your employees are potential suspects? Ideally, access to safes and cash drawers would be limited to the owner, manager, or lead server.

Lock Away the Alcohol

A huge item that’s often stolen by employees is alcohol—be it entire bottles or single drinks. Sometimes employees will come to your bar on a day off and have rounds of drinks on the house simply because their coworker is willing to do so. This is theft, like it or not. How do you prevent this? First, lock the booze away and only grant access to a select few who actually need it. You should also be keeping inventory on your supply. Make sure your bartenders are trained properly on your register as well, and ensure they are charging appropriately for well drinks versus top shelf items. If a particular alcohol consistently runs low, check your point-of-sale (POS) systems to verify sales match up. If they don’t, it’s possible your employees are stealing.

Security Cameras

Face it—you’re not going to win any friends by installing security cameras throughout your restaurant, but it is a good way to keep your staff on their best behavior. We’d recommend this solution only be implemented if your situation is particularly dire, however. The best way to ensure you have a committed staff is to maintain their trust, and security cameras are not necessarily synonymous with that. Our advice: proceed with caution, and be certain your surveillance is in compliance with state laws.

Experiencing internal theft is frustrating and disheartening, to say the least. But if you’re forward thinking and try to implement some new processes, you just may be able to curb this behavior. Should your situation be extreme, and you are in financial trouble, the loan consultants at ARF Financial are ready to help you bridge these troubled times. They have decades of experience lending to restaurants, focusing on offering short-term, unsecured business loans and lines of credit for small business owners like you. Want a free quote? Head over to ARF Financial today. We don’t require collateral, paperwork is limited, and you can get your funds in as little as three business days. Learn more!