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Sonitrol Commercial Security Blog ... by Joe Wilson



How to Prevent Internal Theft at Your Bar or Restaurant

Posted by Joe Wilson

Jul 14, 2020 6:05:00 AM

Most restaurateurs and bar owners in western Canada know that theft is a huge problem within the hospitality industry. However, when they think of theft they often picture the classic stereotype of a burglar breaking through their window and making off with their expensive bar inventory.

This isn’t the only threat of theft to your bar or restaurant. In fact, it’s likely that theft is occurring within your own establishment.

Findings published by the US National Restaurant Association found that approximately 4 percent of all revenue is lost to in-house theft. Meanwhile, the average profit margin among Canadian restaurants, according to Statistics Canada, is 4.3 percent of operating revenue.

That means your restaurant or bar is losing a huge portion of its profits to internal crime. 

Not only that, but internal employee theft is responsible for 75 percent of inventory shortages (National Restaurant Association) and 75 percent of employees steal from the workplace at least once (US Chamber of Commerce). 

There’s a clear problem with internal theft in the restaurant and bar industry, and it can seriously impact how successful your business is. While some disgruntled employees will be acting maliciously, however, many simply do not realize their actions or don’t consider it to be stealing. They might be over-pouring or giving away free drinks, without realizing the impact this has on your finances. 

Thankfully, there are measures you can take to minimize internal theft at your restaurant or bar. Sonitrol Western Canada has listed a few tips here:

Hire the right employees

It may seem obvious, but hiring the right employees is not only essential when it comes to preventing internal theft - it’s crucial for the success of your team as well. Workers who are experienced, trustworthy and have excellent references are far more likely to understand how their actions affect your overall business.

When hiring employees, make sure you do some thorough checks before committing to a job offer. Use reference checks to make sure candidates will fit seamlessly into your team, and use background checks to ensure they don’t have a history of theft or misconduct. 

Lock up surplus inventory

If you have extra supply and stock saved up for the future, think bottles of wine or food with a long shelf life, there’s no need to keep it accessible to the public. Make sure you lock up these storage rooms and limit access to your managers.

For an additional layer of security, consider using controlled access (keyless entry) to lock your extra stock away. This will limit the access to your storage rooms to certain employees and will give your business reporting features so you can see exactly who was in what room at any given time.

Create a fulfilling company culture

A positive work environment has been proven to deter employee fraud and theft. Staff members who enjoy their job, feel like a valuable member of the team, respect your business and have a positive relationship with you will be far less likely to steal from your restaurant or bar.

That’s why it’s important to build a company culture where employees feel appreciated and valued. You can do this through employee recognition, encouraging team feedback, having open conversations with your staff and emphasizing the importance of professional development. 

Create cash handling procedures 

Your restaurant or bar will have large amounts of cash stored in cash registers at the end of the night. Not having clear cash handling procedures will make it easier for disgruntled employees to steal cash without you noticing.

Things to consider when creating a cash handling procedure include:

  • Counting the drawers after each shift to reconcile them with your point-of-sale (POS) system.
  • Only allowing managers access to cash registers at the end of shifts.
  • Taking the cash out of the registers at the end of each shift and moving it to a secure safe.
  • Placing security cameras near your cash registers.

Install verified security surveillance

A verified security solution is the best way to protect your restaurant or bar from all types of criminal activity, including internal theft, break-and-enters, vandalism and any other crimes that can damage the success of your business.

Verified audio and video surveillance records both the interior and exterior of your company’s premises, alerting a security expert in a central monitoring station when there is unauthorized activity found. This expert is able to verify the alarm and immediately alert the police with real-time updates.

Employees are much less likely to steal from your business when they know the interior of your restaurant or bar is being monitored - and if they do then you will have a clear record of what happened. 

Want to learn more about securing your restaurant or bar with verified video or audio surveillance? Contact Sonitrol Western Canada today. Sonitrol’s innovative security solutions have helped law enforcement apprehend more than 175,000 criminals to date. 

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Topics: Restaurant Security

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Joe Wilson, Owner of Sonitrol Western Canada

We provide our customers with the best commercial security solutions and quality service backed by our unique Guarantee and Commitment to Service. It's something unverified conventional alarm companies simply cannot guarantee!

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