Top 7 Ways to Curb Employee Theft

We hope that employee theft is something you will never have to deal with. It is, however, a real concern in the hospitality industry:  According to the National Federation of Independent Business, about 30% of the average company’s employees steal, and another 60% will steal if given a motive or opportunity. QSR Magazine adds that quick-service employees with the greatest access to cash are the most likely to steal or treat cash handling carelessly. For U.S. restaurant owners, this translates to a $2 billion problem each year. Here’s how to prevent employee theft from thinning out your cash logs.

  1. Screen Your Candidates. It’s only right to hire qualified candidates you trust. Use the tools at your disposal to make sure fraudulent behavior isn’t a part of a candidate’s history. Check references and contact previous employers. Some states also allow criminal checks on prospective hires.

  2. Set the Tone. Employees should be aware that management is supportive, but serious. Review your Code of Conduct periodically with staff, and hold one-on-one meetings to check in individually. This will help you identify problem employees and reward those who do consistently well.

  3. Audit Regularly. According to QSR Magazine, the biggest opportunities for theft occur at the POS terminal. The most common methods consist of employees voiding a transaction or discount and pocketing a customer’s cash. That said, monitor your records regularly and conduct unscheduled inspections. Revel’s Intelligent Reporting can help alert you when something’s off with an order.

  4. Double Up and Rotate. For substantial roles like bookkeeping, opening, and closing, rotate key staff so that no one person holds too much responsibility. Criminal activity is also less likely when two or more people are scheduled together.

  5. Monitor Access. Passwords, like keys, should not be offered lightly. Stay vigilant about which employees have passwords and keep an eye out for suspicious log-in activity. In addition to preventing unauthorized user access, Revel’s User Access feature makes it easier to know who’s logged in and when, as well as what they do when they’re in the system.

  6. Track Wages. Payroll fraud accounts for another huge loss for entrepreneurs. Manually processing timesheets can lead to both accidental and intentional mistakes. More and more companies have switched to smart POS systems that calculate tips and overtime pay, as well as generate vacation and sick day reports. Revel’s Payroll Management system even sets up different wages for the different jobs an employee may perform.

  7. Protect Customer Data. Some internal thieves put private customer information at risk, in addition to an employer’s resources and reputation. Entrepreneur recommends cloud-based security as well as data encryption services.