5 Ways Your Restaurant Employees are Stealing from You

By Crystal Newton on Apr 14th, 2014 11:00 AM

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As a business owner or manager, you work hard every day to balance profit with performance, and happy customers with pleasant bottom lines. At the end of the day, you might be surprised to learn that your restaurant employees can have creative ways to steal from you. Video surveillance can help you curb your employees' cravings to steal. While we know that you should be able to trust your staff, as most people are inherently good, there are some time when it does not happen so perfectly.

Here are some of the ways that money may be finding its way out of your restaurants doors without you knowing:

  • A walk-out that was not real. We would all like to think that people would never just walk out on their checks, but the fact of the matter is that it does, unfortunately, happen. While walk-outs are a legitimate fact of the restaurant business, they are not always really as they appear. Servers and bartenders can easily steal from you with a false walk-out.
  • Free drinks. Your establishment might permit a certain amount of drinks to be given out to regulars or for special occasions, or perhaps your restaurant does not have any leniency in the drink policy. In either case, giving drinks away is a super common way for employees to steal from the restaurants for which they work. Not only does the cash for the drinks not make it into the register, but the employees often get a larger tip for the gratis drinks.
  • Inflating Inventory. Staff members that have the ability to pour an extra shot or ten, and at the end of the night, can easily fill up liquor bottles with water to make them heavy and look full. Inflating inventory can be an easy way for money to find its way out of your pockets. Not only is the liquor being given away for free (or at little cost), but the reviews that can result from subsequent customers getting your watered-down beverages can be even more harmful than the few lost shots. Video surveillance can help you find these tricks and put a stop to the loss of money.
  • Mixing up top shelf and well liquors. When this happens, it's rarely an accidental mix-up. In fact, bartenders and servers know very well that the top shelf alcohols cost much more than the well liquors. When they become confused in a glass, normally the restaurant staff is ringing in the well liquor, charging the customer top shelf prices, and pocketing the difference.
  • Blatant thievery. Sometimes, this means using the "no sale" button on your POS and grabbing a little extra cash off the top. Other times, this may mean that wine bottles or food stuffs find their way out the back door or in the backpacks on employees. If your staff does not feel the threat of video surveillance, they are not likely to take care to be as cautious and protective of your business as you would and should be. From canned vegetables to homemade pies, things can sneak out of the front door with brazen and blatant thievery.

You can still trust your staff when you have video surveillance measures in place. It often takes a little extra security to make you feel comfortable as a business owner. If you have concerns about theft in your restaurant, contact the team at Bates Security! Video surveillance can be an amazing way to keep tabs on your cash, and we are here to provide you with insight and expertise, and we are always happy to help!

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