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By Jackie Prange
Employee theft and customer theft in restaurants can become a massive problem if left unchecked. From colluding bartenders and cocktail servers to theft tactics as complex as Ponzi schemes, restaurant theft can occur in a million ways.
False orders, credit card fraud, and comping are some of the most common issues to fight against when you’re building your restaurant theft prevention strategy. Here are some of the most effective ways to prevent restaurant theft.
It’s a sad truth: 75% to 85% of all restaurant theft is committed by employees, and theft can account for up to 4% of restaurant sales. Shrinkage – liquor lost due to spill or waste – can account for about 25% of alcohol sales. Whether by accident, dissatisfaction, desperation, or just plain malicious behavior, employee theft is a real concern. Use the following strategies to fight employee theft:
While the image of a server clinging to a dine-and-dasher’s car might seem like the stuff of comic books, the heroics of dealing with dining-and-dashing should actually be left to restaurant policy. First, you should know that, in many places, it’s illegal to make an employee pay for the dine-and-dash out of their wages – and it’s also just a bad idea to make them pay for the disparity out of their tips. The dine-and-dash is a business risk you take as a restaurant. To place that risk on the shoulders of your servers would impact restaurant morale, and not in a good way. But you can mitigate risk in other ways. Ways to dissuade dine-and-dash theft include:
The swipe and sign credit model is inherently flawed. Prior to October 1, 2015, if a fraudulent purchase occurred at your business, liability fell on the shoulders of the bank to pay the fraudulent bill. But all that has changed with new EMV liability shift. Named after its original developers – Europay, Mastercard, and Visa – EMV compliance marks a significant legal shift: accountability for credit card fraud now falls on the least EMV compatible party. So if your restaurant doesn’t have chip and pin technology, you’ll need to pay for the fraudulent transaction. So how can you protect yourself? Enter chip and pin, also known as “smart card” technology. When credit and debit cards contain a chip, fraudulent behavior becomes extremely difficult to execute. While compliance is not mandatory, EMV chip technology buffers your business against credit card fraud. Cutting-edge POS solutions like TouchBistro have been on the money with EMV since the liability shift and have been operating successfully in EMV-compliant countries like Australia and Canada for years.
Restaurant theft prevention and a solid restaurant loss prevention strategy starts with establishing a culture that encourages loyalty among staff and policies that protect financial interests. Given the large impact theft can have on your sales and profit, make sure to do an audit of your operations to make sure your defenses are up.
Jackie was a Content Marketing Specialist and Social Media strategist at TouchBistro before moving into business development role. She covered the latest food, dining, and technology trends for the restaurant industry. A lover of all things coffee, Jackie’s hobbies include breakfast, lunch and dinner.
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