Restaurants have one of the highest theft rates of any industry. And it's not just employees, it's also customers doing the dine-n-dash in increasing numbers. This Loss Prevention section is crucial for restaurant owners, and for that reason, it is by far the largest section of the book. When theft starts and goes undetected, it will increase steadily until the owner notices unusual increases in food, paper and other supply costs.
Cash & Systems Schemes
There are numerous schemes used by both salaried and hourly employees to steal cash, food, and supplies. Let’s ask a question about cash: what do you think is worse; a cash shortage or a cash overage? Both of course, but you’d be very surprised to hear which one is worse and goes undetected longer. And, the sad thing is that these problems are relatively easy to catch and correct. This section alone could save you hundreds of dollars a day in losses and may correct what looks like really high food cost. We document the theft schemes and the methods to catch each one.
Food & supply theft
Kitchens in many restaurants account for a significant amount of food and supply theft and it’s not just low-level employees taking food out with the garbage and then putting it in their cars. We present many different schemes used by staff to steal food and supplies, and the methods that can be used to significantly reduce the problem.
Small restaurants often do a lot of things manually by order board, notes and other prehistoric methods.
Automated systems can help but often tie you to one supplier, limiting your ability to get the best pricing.
In addition, if a restaurant has separate people from the FOH and BOH ordering from multiple different suppliers that increases the likelihood of mistakes, over-buying or worse - personal items. Ordering requires careful oversight. This section provides a wealth of information for better control over ordering of supplies.
suppliers & deliveries
Third party access to your business creates a security challenge. For most restaurants, delivery of supplies is in the middle of the night or when the restaurant is really busy. Errors are made and some are never caught. Items can be left off an order or you get items intended for someone else. In this section, we present examples of supply channel control, access control, and procedures for ensuring accuracy with all delivered supplies.
Surveillance systems create a sense of big brother in both FOH and BOH applications. While some customers find them offensive, employees can also feel that trust is non-existent. In this section we discuss the top two priorities of video surveillance and placement of cameras in and around a business. We present the pros and cons of various types of systems with an emphasis on the limited amount of time an owner has to sit and review recorded activity.
Even with extremely careful planning, unexpected costs can destroy the best financial plans. Things like major plumbing problems, wind damage, walk-in failures and forest fires can have huge impacts on revenue and cash reserves. In this section, we present some solutions that will help with these unexpected and stressful events. We present common errors made by owners with equipment, staff, customers and suppliers when an event takes place that can cost an owner dearly.