Skip navigation
Preventing employee theft safeguards bottom line, ensures a stronger staff

Preventing employee theft safeguards bottom line, ensures a stronger staff

Sometimes in the hurly-burly of covering all the restaurant news, a press release passes across our paper-strewn desks that contains valuable information that doesn’t quite fit anywhere else.

Such was one news-you-can-use parcel from an astute public-relations operative in New Orleans, who noted that business losses each year from employee theft and shoplifting could total $40 billion, and that in these tough times any help for the bottom line is welcome.

“Most businesses experience some type of employee theft, and ultimately consumers bear the cost of these losses by paying more for goods and services,” says Natt Reifler, partner attorney with Palmer, Reifler & Associates of Orlando, Fla.

The firm has developed an online service to help businesses recover losses from employee theft.

Restaurateurs can help prevent theft with these no-cost or low-cost suggestions:

Encourage employees to report questionable activities. Implement ongoing communications with staff that promote honesty and show that honesty is expected in the workplace and necessary for the team’s safety and success.

Perform employee background checks. This simple step can help weed out employees who might be likely to cause problems. Also remember to check references.

Avoid favoring certain employees. Favoritism can destroy team camaraderie. Treat employees equally. This includes not overlooking the highest-paid employees when investigating suspicious activity because they make more money.

Remove opportunities to steal. Limit the amount of petty cash kept on hand. Account regularly for all inventory. Avoid letting employees work alone or schedule employees to work opposite someone who is not their close friend. Evaluate the business regularly to identify weak or unguarded points and determine how to remove or secure merchandise to avoid tempting thieves.

Create a nonthreatening environment. Help establish a sense of ownership among employees. Always take their feedback into consideration so that they feel empowered. Use a bonus program that encourages and rewards good behavior and punishes thievery.

Encourage employees to be watchdogs over one another. Have employees discourage theft among themselves. Use peer pressure to the benefit of the restaurant.

Use civil recovery statutes to recover losses. Take advantage of civil recovery statutes that enable recovery at little to no cost. Online civil recovery services only cost an annual membership fee, usually of $50 or less, and a percentage of any recovered claim dollars. Civil recovery not only provides a way to recover losses from thefts after they have occurred, but when employees become aware of it, the action plays a vital role in preventing and deterring future theft.

TAGS: Archive
Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.