Preventing Employee Theft in Your Restaurant

While it’s not always discussed, employee theft is a huge issue in restaurants today. If you’re a restaurant owner or manager, you can’t afford to allow your food services establishment become a target for your employees. Because prevention is always the best cure, here are a few steps you can take that will help deter potential thieves.

Conduct Thorough Pre-Employment Screening

This needs to include a complete background check and criminal record check. Avoid hiring people who have a history that involves theft and think long and hard before hiring anyone with a history of drug-related crimes as these are widely known to lead to theft. But be warned. Different states have different requirements relating to criminal background checks and how that information can be used. Some states do not allow private employers to use a criminal history as part of the decision making process when hiring new employees at all.

Check References of all Candidates before You Hire

Don’t hire employees until you’ve checked their references. Most people simply assume that all references will be glowing endorsements. However, if you ask the right questions you might find a few surprising and enlightening answers.

Provide Adequate Supervision

Employees who have a fair amount of supervision at all times are less likely to steal. If they know they are likely to get caught in the process then they are much less likely to do the deed. Even if you can’t stand over their shoulders all day, every day, you can invest in a surveillance system that watches over them when you can’t be there to do it.

Make it Difficult to Hide the Crime

Don’t allow more than one person to work out of a single cash drawer. If everyone is responsible for a single drawer and must account for the money in that drawer at the end of every shift, they find the prospect of stealing the money they’re responsible for much less appealing. Security systems, surveillance cameras, and unscheduled inspections can also lead to a more honest work environment—at least as far as stealing is concerned. Also conduct audits of liquor and food for bartenders and kitchen staff before and after every shift. If every item is accounted for every shift there is no room for items to go missing without being easily noticed.

Purchase Crime Insurance

No matter how hard you work to prevent employee theft, it can happen to you. That’s why it’s important to take one final proactive step to minimize the impact it can have on your business and your profit by purchasing commercial crime insurance. Crime insurance is designed to cover the losses that occur as the result of being victimized by crimes.

These simple steps can save your restaurant a lot of money over time. The sooner you incorporate them into the daily operation of your restaurant the better it will be for your bottom line.