“That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche

There are a number of types of businesses that are particularly vulnerable to employee theft. Bars and restaurants are one type of business that experiences high rates of employee theft due to the type of business operation (cash business) and the high rate of employee turnover in the industry. Research has shown that, in general, up to 75% of the workforce has stolen from an employer or otherwise participated in activities that incurred losses for the business. When you need to know what is happening in your business, Bulldog PI can help!

How Employee Theft Occurs in Bars and Restaurants

There are three primary ways employee theft occurs in bars and restaurants: inventory theft, cash sales theft and theft during service. Let’s look at little closer at each of these methods of employee theft.

Inventory Theft

Inventory theft occurs in a number of ways. For example, inventory could be outright stolen (i.e. walking out the back door). Inventory theft can also be less obvious and include employees consuming drinks or food without accounting for it as required by the business owner or management. Bartenders over-pouring drinks is another way inventory can be lost in a bar or restaurant business.

Cash Sales Theft

Cash sales theft relates to various ways servers or bartenders might pocket cash for themselves that should be in the register. One example is employees pocketing a portion of a check paid in exact change by a patron – they ring in the exact amount but not all of the cash makes its way into the cash drawer. Another method of cash theft is failing to keep the register closed at all times, creating opportunities for cash to go missing from an open and unattended drawer. Yet another way employees can pocket cash is by bunching sales together, particularly bar tabs, instead of creating receipts for every sale. Bunching sales together from a number of different patrons into one transaction provides an opportunity to leave out a few of those sales and pocket the cash instead.

Theft During Service

Theft during service typically occurs in the form of big discounts or freebies for friends or other patrons. This type of theft could include a couple of free drinks for a girl the bartender wants to score a date with or servers discounting/leaving items off the tab when serving family and friends. If your establishment has nights with a cover charge, this could also include employees pocketing a cover charge here and there or even letting patrons in without charging them the cover fee.

Employee theft can happen in any kind of business. Bars and restaurants are particularly vulnerable due to the way they operate and the high rates of turnover. When you need to know what is happening in your business, Bulldog PI can help you get to the truth.