Employee Theft At Bars And Restaurants
How the scam works:
Many bar and restaurant owners are robbed by their employees without noticing. We will discuss two scams here.
Scenario 1. The employees bring their own bottles of liquor to work and serve drinks from those bottles instead of serving it from the bottles of the bar. By doing this, they make sure that your inventory remains correct, so when you see the same amount of bottles of Jack Daniels in the back you won’t question the sales.
What if you see your employee received $50 from a customer, but he had only ordered one drink for $5? The bartender explains it as a very high tip. In reality, he only rang a glass of pop through the till, while that coke was used to mix the whisky he was serving the client from his own bottle.
Scenario 2. This second scam can apply more to restaurant owners. Nowadays there are so many different payment technology options available using iPads, laptops, smartphones, etc… Because of that, many can be easily be abused without noticing.
Devices such as Square can connect to your IPad and they can be used for any credit card transactions. So what actually happens is the thief employee of the restaurant brings his/her own point of sale to work. The employee asks the clients how they want to pay and whether they need a receipt. If they want to pay with credit card and don’t want a receipt, they are asked to pay using the point of sale device on the IPad. In reality, in this scenario the patrons pay on the employees account and not to the restaurant.
This scam is harder to detect than the bartender scam because the employee doesn’t have to smuggle products.
How to avoid:
The best way to prevent this is to install many cameras in the bar. It’s worth the investment. Many restaurant owners have two sets of cameras throughout the whole place: one with closed circuit, where all employees can see what’s happening in the restaurant; the other one could be seen only by you as live feed, at home. The more cameras, the better, so the multitude of angles can cover everything. Let the employees know about the second set of cameras too, so they are aware that are being watched at any point. Installing pole displays at the cash register can also help you to follow what is being charged.