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How Your POS System Can Help with Loss Prevention


Andrea Victory

Opening a restaurant is filled with positive visions of the future: the seats full of happy customers, the kitchen sending out plate after plate of delicious food, and the service staff happy and jovial. And often, this is the case. But what you don’t see in the rose-colored fantasy is a very real threat to your business – theft. To be more specific, employee theft.

But how does one combat staff taking advantage of loopholes in systems and processes without stalking their every move? A POS system that tracks their every move, of course.

The key to this POS is for it to have settings that make skimming the cash, running a scam, or sneaking inventoryimpossible. Make sure your POS has the following features.

Staff Settings and Controls

An iPad POS makes it easier than ever to control what staff can and can’t do when punching in orders and taking payments. With the option to set up each staff member with specific permissions based on their role, you can have greater oversight and ensure your cash is going into the register and not into anyone’s pocket. These additional and customizable controls help avoid sneaky scams. For example, James the bartender opens a table, punches in 3 rounds of drinks, and prints the bill without sending the drinks to the bar. He then deletes a round of drinks before closing the bill – pocketing the cash. A POS with staff settings and controls would easily stop James and serving staff from being able to run scams like this, because manager permission would be required to print the check with unsent items.

Manager Tools

A POS that managers can turn to for insights is valuable and can stop loss prevention in it’s tracks – or prevent it from happening in the first place. Reports on how many voids and discounts were performed, how many items were deleted, how many times the cash drawer was opened, and who was responsible for each, holds staff accountable for their actions and sheds light on what employees are doing. A credit card tips report will show tips entered and nip in the bud any sneaky staff members trying to pad their pockets on the customer’s dime.

In addition, a POS with a setting that tracks changes can be helpful to spot anyone attempting to be paid for hours they didn’t work. If Frank left at 10pm on Wednesday night, and clocked out, but a shift supervisor went into his hours and changed his clock out time to 2am, a note that the shift was modified leaves a visible trace, making it easy to approach the offending parties and request an explanation.

Inventory Tracking

Most restaurateurs know that inventory tracking works best when it’s consistently and correctly tracked, and by comparing what’s been sold to what’s in and out of stock. With a POS that has customizable reporting options, you can use inventory reports and staff reports to spot theft in your restaurant. For example, if you notice that every couple of weeks on Friday night a couple of bottles of beer go missing from your physical inventory, you can compare that to your shift report and see that’s Sally’s night on bar, then question her to find out what’s happening to the disappearing bottles.

Don’t let your staff undermine your dream of running a successful business. A POS that offers control and insight into your staff’s actions is the most important tool you can have for restaurant loss prevention.

Andrea was a Content Marketing Specialist and Editor at TouchBistro where she wrote about restaurant and dining trends, restaurant management, and food culture. A self-affirmed food geek, Andrea devours cookbooks and food blogs. She also knows how to make a killer kale salad.

The right POS should help you increase sales.

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The right POS should help you increase sales.

iPad Screenshot with TouchBistro software
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