Rasmussen adds that most waitstaff will be accessing
front-of-house portions of the POS system (allowing
them to change tickets), but often only managers are
allowed to access back-of-house details and make administrative changes. “Once an entry is made, you should
have access restricted so only a manager can override or
make changes,” he says.
4 Monitor cash-handling procedures. Rasmussen recommends segregation of duties: Have someone
count the cash, another person make a deposit, and another
(like an outside accountant) reconcile with the bank statement. “Restaurants must have strict cash-handling policies
in order to prevent cash theft,” Bradley agrees. “It’s a good
practice to require each employee to have his own sign-in
password or swipe card that tracks all of his activity when
operating a register, and to require two people to be present
when counting the day’s register sales.”
5 Raise employee awareness. Bradley believes that making all employees aware of the controls in place
is the most effective way to prevent losses. She offers the
D Reviewing CCTV, then complimenting good
behavior witnessed on video. This boosts employee
morale and lets everyone know that videos are being
D Let employees see that inventory is taken regularly;
they’ll be far less likely to steal for fear of detection.
D Let employees know that mystery shoppers are hired
to occasionally dine in and monitor service. This
helps prevent various theft scams, such as giving the
customer a free drink in hopes of getting a better tip.
6 Set an example. Instill an honesty-driven culture in your business and create incentives for staff to
hit goals. Rasmussen blames a “monkey see, monkey do”
attitude among staff when owners themselves take product from the restaurant or eat free meals on the clock.
“That sets the pattern for everyone else—if you do it,
why can’t I?” Rasmussen says. “If you do eat at work,
take cash out of your pocket and put it in the register.
There’s no silver bullet, but sometimes you just have to
think like a crook!”
Tracy Morin is PMQ’s senior copy editor.