Sunday December 21 , 2014

Restaurant Employee Theft

Restaurant Employee TheftAs the car pulled away with the $5 order of food, the drive-thru cashier well versed in how to manipulate the sale, pockets the cash, just as she has done for the past few weeks.  She knows she hid her POS theft well.  She learned several other ways to steal cash sales at the register too.  She has stolen hundreds of dollars and never came close to getting caught.  She had been taught these theft schemes by her close friend who also works the same drive-thru.  He bragged that he had been stealing by these methods for the past year.  Yes, he taught her well.  She made many times over her $8 hourly wage.  She has never been questioned about her thefts even though reports clearly show there is a serious problem with her performance as a cashier.  Her cash till was never short, only even or over.  “That’s all they care about”, he said.  If her managers knew what they were looking for, she and her mentors would be easily caught.

Absorbing Theft

Can you afford to absorb these thefts in your restaurant?  Not just the theft of cash by the person above, but by several others as well?  Can you tolerate the inventory shrinkage of food that is served to your customers that hasn’t been rung as a sale?  This example of restaurant employee theft illustrated above is one of the most common theft schemes in the fast food industry (QSR) yet routinely goes undetected.  The latest National Retail Security Survey estimates that the cost of employee theft and embezzlement accounts for the highest loss to employers - $15.5 billion - for one year!  According to an anonymous survey of fast food employees sponsored by the National Food Service Security Council, 49% of respondents answered “yes” to the question, “I can steal from my employer anytime I want.”  Dishonest managers are in an even better position to steal higher amounts of cash by manipulating sales figures and cash deposits.  Could this be true in your restaurant?  Can you identify it?  Stop it?  Prevent it?

Controlling Theft

With the proper controls the above scenario can be avoided.  Preventing employee theft in the fast food (QSR) environment can be addressed with a clear, accountable cash management program.  Restaurant loss prevention measures can be inserted in the hiring, training, auditing and accountability processes.  Clearly defined expectations stated in job descriptions, policy and procedures, and employee manuals outlining the do’s and don’ts in handling sales and cash will curb theft.  Thorough follow-up of exception reports and audits indicating poor cashier performance and non-compliance to security policies are part of a comprehensive restaurant loss prevention program.  Well trained managers and supervisors will know what theft schemes look like.

Get a thorough assessment of your cash management program.  Stop employee theft and employee embezzlement schemes that may be occurring in your restaurant and put the loss control measures in place to prevent it.  It will make a better place for your employees to work and a more profitable venture for you.

Decrease your food costs and increase your profits by making a comprehensive cash management program part of your loss prevention program.

Complete this free assessment quiz on your employee theft efforts.

Cash Management White Paper

Interested in what you can do to eliminate cash shortage problems at the POS?  Download Libby's FREE whitepaper and find out where problems can arise, and how lack of cash management controls can affect other operational areas.