Restaurant and Food Service Loss Prevention

Providing Best Practices to the Food Service Industry

Reduce restaurant theft with good employee relationships

Posted by LP Innovations

Feb 8, 2012 11:40:00 AM

Think about how much you rely on your employees to operate your restaurant. They are responsible for preparing your delicious food, ensuring your customers are happy and bringing revenue into your restaurant. What if they felt mis-treated? How would they react?

A single disgruntled employee can do much harm to a restaurant establishment. A server, a cook or even a cashier, who is not happy with their job can create poor morale with other employees, be rude to a customer, prepare poor meals and even steal from your business. 

No amount of operational controls, auditing or inventory will matter is an employee feels alienated or disgruntled. It is not always possible to prevent a disgruntled employee, however the better the relationship you as a manager or owner have with your employees, the better chance you will hear about any issues before they become too great. If employees respect their owner and managers--they also respect the restaurant and realize their jobs are intertwined with its success! 

Here are some tips to remember when building relationships with your employees.

  • Know your people.
    • If you don't know your staff, then they don't know you--it's far easier to steal from a faceless entity than a person.
  • Don't create an atmosphere of distrust.
    • Treat people like people. Don’t talk below individuals regardless of their position with your business. Being friendly will go a long way in building good staff relationships.
  • Reward employees as the restaurant grows.
    • Small raises or bonuses as an explained reward of the restaurant's growth make employees feel a part of the process. If the restaurant grows and employees see no personal benefit, they're more willing to take what they believe is owed to them--and then some!
  • Don't belittle them with the costs of mistakes!
    • Constantly harassing staff about the costs behind mistakes creates stress, and more mistakes are made. More importantly--employees might do whatever it takes to hide mistakes if constantly dreading the consequences--the food cost clarity suffers.
    • Scolding mistake-ridden employees during a busy shift feeds irrational bitterness towards criticism. Try taking them aside afterwards instead. If it continues to be a problem, let them know their job will be in jeopardy.
    • Use mistakes as a learning tool and an opportunity to inject additional training and re-assurance with policies and procedures.

iStock 000005253531MediumEvery business owner, who has been in business long enough, will have to deal with employee theft at one time or another. How you handle the topic of employee theft with your staff does in fact make a difference. 

How do you talk about employee theft with your employees? 

Talk to your employees openly about theft and its consequences to the business, to their job and to the livelihood of those who decide to steal. We are often asked; does talking about employee theft actually increase employee theft. The short answer is no, but you can read about it in more detail on one of our blog articles titled, “Will talking to your employees about theft cause more employee theft?”

Not everybody will be a positive and motivated employee. However, most employees want to earn an honest day’s pay, be respected and treated fairly. For those people, getting to know them is a way to get them more involved in your restaurant’s well-being. 

How do you involve your staff on how to prevent losses in your environment?

Topics: preventing theft, improving food costs




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