Employee theft often escapes detection because business owners trust their employees and don’t monitor their actions. But approximately 75% of employees steal from their employer at least once – and if no one catches them, they’re likely to do it again.
The actions of just one dishonest employee can significantly cut into your profit margin. So even if you trust your team, you should be monitoring their transactions.
What to Look For
Employee theft most often occurs at the register. Regularly analyzing point-of-sale data can alert you to questionable exceptions or patterns, as can security camera footage. Cameras should also be installed near other areas where theft could occur: outside supply rooms, near high-value merchandise, and by the dumpster (which is where employees might stow stolen merchandise).
In the QSR sector, stealing often occurs in the form of “freebies” – for example, ringing up a burger, but not charging a friend for the accompanying jumbo serving of fries. Because the fries aren’t actual money, an employee might not even think of this action as theft. That’s why QSR owners need to have clear policies about what constitutes theft and what its repercussions are.
If you catch an employee stealing, you need to gather evidence and document the theft before confronting the employee.
Instead of directly and publicly accusing an employee of theft, ask them to review the evidence with you so they can explain their behavior. Don’t terminate the employee immediately. Ask them to leave so you can investigate the possible violation. Then follow the policy you’ve developed, including filing a police report if necessary.
Improve Your Processes
Store managers may not have time to review exception reports every day, and usually, finding the video footage that corresponds with a transaction is a painstaking process. With DIGIOP CARBON, you can analyze all notable exceptions from the previous day – with accompanying video – in less than 20 minutes.