The National Restaurant Association estimates(1) that internal employee theft is responsible for 75% of inventory shortages-about four percent of total restaurant sales. Three quarters of employees steal from the workplace at least once-and half steal repeatedly. Why? Because no one catches them!
Many owners and managers ignore the signs because they want to believe all their employees are honest. But the longer you let dishonest employees get away with it, the more widespread employee theft will become. Here are six signs to look for:
- Have Food & Beverage Costs suddenly gone up?
These can be determined by comparing how much Restuarant is purchasing with how much it is selling. If costs suddenly go up, detailed records may point to a specific event-such as a new bartender, kitchen worker or server's arrival. (If they go down, check to see who might be on vacation!) . Best way to prevent this is to log details of every transactions. How to get the reports
- Is the cash register over or under on a regular basis?
If Restaurant owner regularly checks Cash drawer there must be exact or slightly different amount in cash drawer. If not, this is a sign that an employee has put money in the till without ringing up the order and has forgotten or miscalculated exactly what to skim from the register at the end of the shift. See Drawer pull
- Do employee tips add up?
Many food servers offers extra food or intentionally Void foods to get more Tips. Tracking Void orders are one simple way to catch such stealing. Often there are courtesy drinks allocated for guests but food servers steal them and invite own friends to enjoy that.
- Do regular customers complain that prices are too expensive or inconsistent
Employees may overcharge customers and pocket the difference. Cash drawer may look fine but customers should see an increase in prices. Whenever such complains come, owner should take it seriously. See Ticket
- Customers or employees are telling you someone is stealing
Customers or employees may notice things restaurant owner can't. A thorough investigation often reveal regular stealing in restaurants.
- Something about an employee that just doesn't feel right
Maybe it's a lifestyle that seems well beyond their means. Maybe they are just too eager to work the shifts that no one else wants to take. Whatever it is, restaurant owner should trust his instincts.