Controlling Employee Theft of Cash
It’s been said that 25% of restaurant employees are honest all the time, 50% are honest most of the time and remaining 25% are dishonest to the core and will steal from the house any time they have the opportunity.
Whether these ratios are accurate, common experience tells us that employee theft is a problem for all small businesses, particularly restaurants. In a business with highly desirable products like food and liquor and the most sought-after commodity of all – cash – you’ve got to have control in place to protect your assets and your business. Let us discuss cash theft.
Here are a few of the most basic, fundamental controls of cash handling that many restaurants are either unaware of or choose to ignore. Intentional or not weaknesses in this area are very expensive and have led to the downfall of more than just a few restaurants.
Servers, cashiers and bartenders – anyone who receives cash – should never be able to take a register reading. When an employee can figure out what they “owe the house” it makes it that much easier for them to skim off the excess cash (from unrecorded sales) and walk out with money you made but never knew you had.
Only after the checkout sheet is completed and the “deposit” amount is determined should the manager tell the employee how much cash the employee owes the restaurant or vice versa. Managers then can become aware of cash overage or shortage immediately, making it harder for an employee to attempt a cover-up or adjustment.
While cash shortages are not great news, your worst nightmare is cash overages. They indicate either unrecorded sales or that customer is being shortchanged. In our experience, cashiers, servers and bartenders should consistently be within $1 over or short. Anything over $1, it is a sign that an employee needs training, can’t handle the job or is trying to steal.
With Improving Restaurants’ AlertService, we actively monitor all of the POS transactions and alert you of any suspicious activity. When our system detects a fraud/scam transactions due to many Alerts, we email the designated person(s) with the ticket details, server, and why the ticket was flagged. Instead of monitoring ALL of your transactions on a daily basis, our system allows you to focus on a fraction of tickets daily, making you more efficient and focusing your attention to where your attention is needed. For more information, call Improving Restaurants at 214-272-2277 or email at email@example.com