Loss Prevention Tools for Chain Restaurants

Restaurant security and loss prevention become increasingly challenging as you add new locations and spread the oversight of daily operations over distance and multiple levels of management. Your success relies heavily on staff performance at remote locations, under the management of non-owning managers.

The National Restaurant Association estimates that US restaurants lose $2 billion each year to employee theft. That’s a lot of money out of the pockets of business owners, much of which could be avoided with effective controls in place. With studies showing that employee theft is a contributing factor in a third of restaurant closures, it’s time to take action.


Monitor and block the avenues that employees can use to steal.

Controlling access to vital areas of your business is your first line of protection. A POS system’s security settings can give each staff member unique credentials and access. Flexible security, locked down tight through fingerprint scanning, is a critical component of a POS system. Set access for each employee, department, and station, making sure staff have access only to the information they need to do their jobs. Unique logins track every employee and transaction, providing documentation to hold employees and managers accountable for their actions. That’s essential in protecting business assets.


Identify and prevent shrinkage and theft with customizable security.

If you aren’t keeping track of inventory at a detailed level, you can bet that food is going missing. Whether it’s a forbidden dessert on break or a stolen brick of cheese in your employee’s trunk, it’s theft that can make the difference between profit and loss. The first step is to protect your inventory like the cash in your registers. Lock the doors, and give access only to limited staff such as managers or senior employees.

To prevent inventory theft all together, implement controls at the POS. By following accurate recipes, measuring portions, tracking waste and conducting regular inventory counts, you make it hat much harder for staff to dip into your stock without you noticing.


Track questionable transactions.

Be open about your tracking. Employees who know you’re watching are less likely to steal. Do regular audits, and make sure your employees know you do them. SpeedLine POS, for example, tracks "notable activities"—actions that can indicate theft—and displays a list at the touch of a button. Other reports to review regularly include time clock reports and those that list employee payouts and discounts.

In a previous post, we shared the story of Wayne Rempel, a SpeedLine customer who used his POS to catch a thief. Multiply his losses across multiple locations, and the importance of inventory tracking in any multi-unit operation is obvious.

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Posted on Sat, Jun 22, 2013 @ 10:06 AM.
Updated on May 12, 2021 @ 8:48 PM PST.

Tags: Loss Prevention, POS, Restaurant Management

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