Employee theft can be a problem at any restaurant. Often, people think of theft as taking money out of a cash register or walking out the back door with expensive equipment, but theft can happen in little ways such as an employee handing out free drinks or meals to friends. So what do you do when this happens? Here are some tips to help guide you.
Take Preventative Measures
Make the rules clear. If you let employees eat discounted or complimentary meals, be sure to set clear boundaries. If this isn’t allowed, make that clear as well. Don’t expect your staff to learn the rules by watching others. Additionally, you may confuse your employees if they see you handing out food to your friends. Make sure your staff is aware that they don’t have the same privileges as you—the owner or manager of the restaurant. Your policies and employee wages should also be clear and fair. If employees feel like they’re not being paid fairly, they’ll be more likely to steal from you.
To keep reading, click here: Dealing with Employee Theft: Tips and Actions to Take
4 thoughts on “Dealing with Employee Theft: Tips and Actions to Take”
My older grandson works as a retail clerk at the store of a large sportswear manufacturer located in an upscale mall. Recently, the store suspended, then fired, 6 long-term employees for violations of its loss prevention policies. Their alleged violations were availing themselves of goodies dispensed by the vending machine in the break room, without paying for them. People were putting money in the machine and not getting their paid-for items, which were jammed up in the machine. When the jam broke, all of the jammed-up items came out at once and were shared by those present, some of whom may have been the same ones who had previously paid for items they didn’t receive, due to the jam (the company didn’t even ask). One employee was suspended — with pay — for a few days, but not fired, because he had only accepted goodies from one of the other employees, without knowing the source; his co-workers believe that he was not fired because of favoritism, as he is management’s “pet.” I believe management overreacted. This has had an unsettling effect of the surviving employees. Morale is down, no one feels safe, and they are having to work longer hours — with fewer days off — because the mass suspensions and firings left them understaffed. My Grandson said, “Thank God I was out of town when all this happened. If I got something free from the vending machine, I would have considered it payback for all the times I’ve put in money and got cheated and would have eaten it too.”
Yikes! I agree. I’ve lost lots of money to vending machines over the year and occasionally have gotten two for the price of one and haven’t thought anything else of it.
Total overreaction of management. Maybe they should have fixed the vending machine in the first place.
The surviving employees are speculating that the mass firing was actually an effort to sweep out a bunch of longer-term employees, in favor of some “new blood,” and that the vending machine fiasco may have just been some type of pretext. I expect that at least some of the fired employees will file for Unemployment Compensation, and that it will be granted, since most people — like you and I — would accept the rare “freebie” from a vending machine without giving it a second thought.
Yikes! I hope they do get unemployment, and I refuse to feel guilty about an occasional vending machine freebie unless the vending machine companies start feeling guilty about all the times I’ve not received the product I’ve paid for.
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