Theft from your business can be a devastating issue, and can have a huge impact on you even when we leave the workplace to go home.
Sleepless nights, anger, stress, feelings of being let down, it’s a heavily emotive issue and one which if left to fester can quickly destroy a business and damage your well being – even your health.
From the bartenders giving drinks away to their mates, to management stealing thousands of dollars in cash from their business partners – I’ve seen it all, and they all share one thing in common – Theft, if left unchecked and unchallenged, can spread rapidly as the thief or thieves get bolder and more confident with their pilfering.
The shock of discovering theft and the anger and upset that follows can be immensely destructive, especially when you have no idea who the culprit is.
Businesses can tear themselves apart as owners and managers spend hours poring through cash ups, banking records and till receipts or watching hours of sped up CCTV trying to catch someone in the act. Meanwhile tempers get frayed and trying to keep any sort of discretion on the whole situation is nearly impossible.
Service suffers as staff spend more time talking about ‘what they’ve heard from the boss’ – or coming up with their own theories on who might be responsible – I’ve even seen customers getting involved as indiscreet staff blab to regular clients with the whole thing becoming a hideous circus, while all the time inadvertently alerting the thieves to back off and lay low for a while until the heat dies down.
I know from personal experience how, within weeks, a bottle here or there can turn into boxes of stock being swiped every week and heard similar stories from clients who told us of the thousands of dollars they had to SPEND on getting legal advice on how to sack a staff member they suspected of theft but found almost impossible to prove.
When investigating how Floodlight could help in regard to theft, we realised that many people could not search, or even access their data for key indicators of theft as they were unable to access their own information to help them track down and stop theft in its tracks
To solve this we built thief tracker and deal with an issue that no one else could
Thief tracker (available in all Floodlight Focus subscriptions) allows you to print a variety of reports detailing Deleted items, Refunds and Discounts from orders and which staff member was responsible.
The big advance we’ve been able to make is that we can also display items that have been Deleted after items have been sent for dispense, but before they are cashed off.
For example, if a staff member creates an order and posts food to the kitchen or drink to a dispense bar – and takes cash payment for that order, but then goes back to the order and deletes it.
- The kitchen or bar makes the food or drinks
- The customer pays for their items
- Part of the order, or the whole order is deleted from the system
- The thief pockets the cash
- There is no transaction record to show on the back-office report, and trying to search for individual items on kitchen dockets and match them to transactions is almost impossible
This result is loss of food and beverage stock AND money.
Thief proof your business
Thief Tracker is designed to fit into your business as part of a rigorous plan of cash and stock management – to prevent Theft in the first place and stop it quickly if it happens.
A few other practical solutions to incorporate are:
- Establish a rigid framework for stock delivery. Make sure delivery notes are checked and that what you ordered is correct. If you use an intelligent stock control system make sure staff are trained how to use it
- Check and weigh food deliveries when practical – especially meat and fish. Yes, it’s a good idea to weigh beer kegs.
- Have lockers provided for staff away from kitchens, bars and storage areas if possible – and secure stock in locked cages or storage areas
- Maintain accurate stock takes – if maintaining complete stock takes takes up too much time, pick 10 of your best-selling items and 10 random items and check them against what your stock on hand should be.
- Conduct random till drops. Print off an ‘X’ report for the till so you know how much cash there should be in there, swap it for a new till and check the cash level – it should balance with the X receipt.
- Make sure you have a good quality CCTV covering cash, till draws and stock areas
- Use Floodlight Thief tracker periodically to track Refunds, Discounts and Deleted items.
To access Thief Tracker simply log into your dashboard, navigate to Floodlight Focus and then click on the Thief Tracker tab. If don’t currently have access to Focus and would like to upgrade your plan please get in touch, we’d be more than happy to arrange the upgrade to unlock this valuable feature.