As a restaurant owner, theft is one of the least favourable things you need to deal with. Unfortunately, the larger proportion of theft suffered is perpetrated by employees, given that they spend the most time on your premises.

Examples of employee theft:

  • False orders
  • Credit card fraud
  • Comping (voiding or deleting menu items)
  • Stashing liquor in the bin
  1. Manage your inventory closely

If you know exactly what’s coming in and what’s going out, it will make it much more difficult to steal. With accurate records you will pick up any discrepancies easily and you will be able to deal with the situation quickly before the loss is greater.

In terms of your bar service, you could use pour control caps and do regular fridge counts to support your anti-theft efforts.

  1. Control or limit comping

Comping refers to giving out complimentary menu items. You could allocate a budget for comps or make management sign-off a requirement.

  1. Use your POS system

Your point of sale (POS) system should be able to track inventory, cash flow, sales and tips. You could make it a requirement that servers must get permission from a manager before altering a bill. Permissions can be set in your POS to only allow certain people to comp items.

  1. Process payments at table or counter

When customers are paying by card, have them do so at their table or tell them to go to the counter to pay. The customers’ cards should never leave their sight.

Dine-and-dash refers to a customer leaving without paying their bill.

  1. Install video cameras

Ensure that the cameras film and save footage of your entrances, exits, parking areas, and rubbish areas with no blind spots. Even if you don’t install cameras, a sign with a dummy camera will give people the desired impression.

  1. Post a host at the door

If you have a host keeping watch they can pick up any suspect activity. It will be more difficult for a customer to slip out if there is always someone standing at the door. It’s also good customer service to have someone greeting customers as they enter your restaurant.

  1. Keep it to a single entrance and exit

If you only have one entry and exit point, it’s more challenging for customers to sneak past without being noticed.

  1. Request a credit card

If you are going to allow a customer to run a tab at your bar, ensure that the bartender requests a credit card at the outset. You don’t want to risk being left with a large unpaid bill.

We have just covered a few of the things you could do to minimise or prevent theft in your restaurant. Make sure your staff are happy and paid fairly so they won’t have any reason to steal from you.

You invest so much time, money and effort in your business, so we want to make sure your restaurant is protected against theft. Ryno Hospitality will work with you to customise insurance cover for your one-of-a-kind restaurant.

P: 1300 650 670

Important Note: All insurance policies have exclusions. Please refer to the Product Disclosure Statement or Policy Wording to decide whether an insurance policy meets your needs.

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Ryno Insurance is a specialist division of East West Insurance Brokers Pty Ltd ABN 83 010 630 092, 
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