Restaurant and Food Service Loss Prevention

Providing Best Practices to the Food Service Industry

4 Key Loss Prevention Fundamentals to Impact Your Food Cost

Posted by LP Innovations

Jun 19, 2012 2:49:00 PM

Looking to positively impact your Food Cost? There are certain fundamentals that restaurant owners and operators with a great loss prevention program have to reduce the opportunities against loss and increase the opportunities for more profitability.  fundamentals of good food cost

Here are four key fundamentals that every operator should include in their loss prevention program along with some best practice articles on understanding why. 


Some restaurant operators look to implement a loss prevention program without the appropriate focus necessary to impact their food cost. True, everyone is responsible for preventing loss (operations, store management, field management) but having dedicated resources, focused on loss prevention, will provide better results in the long run. 

Often those who share too many resources across too many responsibilities see a diminishing return. Also, trying too many initiatives or changing initiatives too often usually results in a fragmented program without great results. 

To get the best results in your loss prevention initiative, get focused with the right resources and the right program initiatives. 

                Suggested reading: 

                                5 Steps to improving high loss locations

                                Is your loss prevention program a SPORK?



Without a doubt, those restaurant operators who are most successful reducing inventory food cost and preventing loss are those with a consistent, well structured program. Going hand-in-hand with being focused is being consistent with your program elements. Whether it be pertaining to how you investigate loss, scoring audits or conducting training with associates, make sure it is consistent. 

For a program to be consistent, it must start with some key elements; documented policies and procedures, a well-developed audit and audit schedule (for all locations) and an understanding of how the company handles theft investigations. Without a consistent program and key elements, your associates will not understand your expectations and be in a position to help prevent losses in their locations. 

                Suggested reading: 

                                5 Areas that affect your store audit implementation results

                                We the jury finds in favor of…

                                Why restaurant operators are giving employees the opportunity to steal


The 2011 Global Retail Theft Barometer reported in its latest survey results that those retailers (general term used) who reported better loss prevention results conducted a minimum of two (2) loss prevention audits for each location. 

Visibility plays a large role in preventing loss. Conducting audits, holding training meetings, stopping into locations when they don’t expect loss prevention are all things that can be done to increase LP presence. What doesn’t work? Not visiting a location or conducting a food safety or loss prevention audit in a location “because it always has good results.” 

                Suggested reading: 

                                The three employees that cause 70% of your loss

                                10 tips to unraveling a mystery shopping program

                                Focus on associate relationships this holiday season (and all the time!)

                                Prevent employee theft by creating a culture of loss prevention



Loss Prevention is all about preventing loss, which requires a program to be proactive rather than reactive. Yes, reacting to situations will happen (and happen often); however as we state in The Six Principles of Loss Prevention, all reactive situations should end with future prevention in mind. 

To truly impact food cost loss, a loss prevention program must focus on certain fundamentals with the key fundamental to be proactive. Those most successful in their food cost reduction don’t look at certain initiatives as “elements” but rather as developing a culture of loss prevention; Change behavior, create a trustworthy environment, seek out and reward positive accomplishments. 

LP Innovations partners with restaurant operators in all segments and sizes. If you are seeking ways of developing new loss prevention initiatives, looking to reduce your food cost loss or thinking about how to create a culture of loss prevention in your business, let’s have a discuss. We can help assess, develop, implement and support your goals and objectives, providing you with a means to positively impact your profitability.

Topics: improving food costs




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