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Stolen Assets

Stolen Assets  From QSRmagazine.com
Employee theft robs you of more than money. Teamwork suffers when crew members can’t be trusted.

Preventing restaurant employee theft.

Competition remains fierce in the quick-serve restaurant industry, and the state of today’s economy only adds to the challenge of making a business a success.

However, there is another real threat to the bottom line: internal employee theft.

Revenue lost to employee theft also can affect employee raises, bonuses, 401(k) matches, and benefits, and it might spur good employees to go elsewhere for it.

Free food items passed along to friends and family, cash pocketed at the drive-thru window, items tossed out with the trash—ask any quick-serve operator and almost every one will have a tale of a different tactic taken by an employee regarding theft. As a result, it takes due diligence to detect it.

Brandon Ansel, who operates a Roly Poly Rolled Sandwiches in Jackson, Michigan, noticed something astray on his bank statements. “We had an employee who was ‘floating cash’—sending us reports that he had deposited the day’s sales, but he actually was taking the money and paying it back later with sales from future sales,” Ansel says. “A careful analysis of our banking records found out this scam.”

In an effort to reduce or eliminate such situations, restaurant owners and operators need to take a proactive stance against employee theft of any kind. First and foremost, make sure every employee knows how the company defines employee theft and the repercussions if someone is caught stealing.

“The employee manual should spell out terms and have employees sign for it,” says Barbara Poole, CEO of Employaid in Ridgefield, Connecticut.

Also, remind employees that theft is unacceptable. This doesn’t mean you have to repeatedly tell them that theft is wrong and they will get caught. Instead, Luis Ramos, CEO of The Network in Norcross, Georgia, recommends creating awareness communications such as wall displays outlining what theft is, the individual consequences of stealing, and the effects such theft has on the company and fellow employees.

Another preventive measure involves having employees take ownership in the activities of the business. “Inspire a collective vision,” says Anthony Silard, president of the Executive Leadership Institute in Washington, D.C. “Use ‘we’ and a team mentality.”

For Ansel, this approach works with his employees. “I try to become a real person with these employees,” he says. “It’s easier to steal from someone you don’t know.”

Of course, technology also provides ways to monitor your business and employees to prevent theft. One of the most common ways to combat employee theft is with the use video surveillance systems.

“Remind employees that a DVR is in use by regularly using examples of activity you reviewed during the employees’ shift,” says Brandon M. Ring, national sales manager for Image Vault in New Albany, Indiana. “This can be positive reinforcement as well as pointing out procedural deficiencies.”

To .”

To monitor food consumption, use kitchen management systems, which track where food is going (cooked, sold, scrapped, etc.). By reviewing the system’s log, you can identify where the theft takes place, says Christian D. Koether, vice president of SCK Direct Inc. in Stratford, Connecticut.

I try to become a real person with these employees. It’s easier to steal from someone you don’t know.”

Another effective device is cash-handling equipment such as Loomis’ SafePoint Electronic Safe that can reduce the number of employees dealing with cash, therefore cutting the risk of theft. When implementing such measures, pay attention to those who balk at using these new tools. “Dishonest employees will raise a fuss about the technology, saying it adds time to the process,” says John F. Angove, senior vice president of sales for FireKing Security Products in New Albany, Indiana.

John Rhoads, vice president of business and product development for Loomis, warns operators to keep an eye on employee behavior patterns. “For instance, if they are late for work or have interest in operations that don’t involve or affect them,” he says.

Other clues might be employees voiding a large number of transactions, avoiding eye contact, making only minimal conversation, and personal problems at home.

“Don’t be paranoid, just be mindful,” says Roberta Chinsky Matuson, president of Human Resource Solutions in Northampton, Massachusetts.

When the time comes to confront an employee, make sure you have adequate proof. This might be transaction records from your point-of-sale system, video surveillance, or banking receipts and statements. If you believe someone has money, food, or other items stolen from the business in his or her possession, ask the employee for permission to search his or her locker.

“You have to provide notice of what you are planning to do or are doing,” says Rod Sorensen, a partner with Payne & Fears LLP in San Francisco, California. If the employee gives consent, the search is valid. Sorensen also recommends reserving the right to inspect lockers and break room areas in the employee manual, which employees should sign off on upon receipt.

If and when employee theft occurs at your restaurant, use the opportunity to create a positive effect on your remaining staff. “Bring the staff together to discuss the situation,” says Robert Snelson, vice president of operations for Wings N More in Houston. “Use it as a teaching tool. Go back through procedures and policies.”

Sal Lifrieri, president of Protective Countermeasures in New Rochelle, New York, suggests getting employees involved in theft prevention. Ask them where the weak points are in the business and how they would stop possible theft. “Engage the employees, and ask for their opinions,” Lifrieri says. “They will adhere to it because it was their idea. It will build stronger relationships with them so they are more open to come to you with a problem.”

Read More …  http://www2.qsrmagazine.com/articles/operations/127/employee_theft-1.phtml



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From Restaurant News – Eat ‘n Park breaks down video surveillance strategy

From Restaurant News – Eat ‘n Park breaks down video surveillance strategy

Eat ‘n Park breaks down video surveillance strategy

Mon, 2012-11-26 17:35

Alan J. Liddle

The use of video surveillance as a service, or VSaaS, is a growing strategy within the restaurant industry used to improve security, manage costs and improve the customer experience at the restaurant level.

Restaurant chains like Eat’n Park and Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen serve as two recent examples of increased usage: Popeyes confirmed last week that it had concluded a near-three-year test of a digital video surveillance system at all 40 company-operated restaurants; and Eat ‘n Park made it a priority this year to update its video surveillance system to one hosted by a services provider offering increased access and direct ties to the point-of-sale system.

Video surveillance services providers work with restaurateurs, retailers, schools and government operations, among other businesses, that want to keep virtual eyes on facilities and their guests and employees. Their services can range from providing software for remotely accessing and analyzing video stored in older free-standing surveillance systems at multiple sites, to providing full, turnkey packages of the latest tools. Such packages may include video camera hardware; off-site storage of video data aggregated from multiple locations; and software for the centralized management and analysis of video data by chain operators.

IMS Research, an electronics market research and consulting firm, estimates that the fees paid to video surveillance services firms by small-to-medium-sized businesses in the Americas is expected to increase by 50 percent in 2012 to $75 million. IMS defines a small-to-medium-sized business as a non-residential property of 5,000 square feet or less, which can mean restaurants and cafes, gas stations, retail outlets or small offices. IMS Research’s Sam Grinter said his firm’s forecast of rapid growth in the use of VSaaS firms was based in part on the growing use by franchisees in the restaurant industry and other sectors.

Nation’s Restaurant News spoke with Eat ‘n Park director of safety and security Bill Moore to detail the Homestead, Pa.-based Eat’n Park Hospitality Group’s new VSaaS decisions. Eat ‘n Park operates 75 family-dining restaurants.

“My main reason for moving to a digital surveillance system is to help protect us from liability issues,” Moore explained.

“In today’s world, you need a strong defense,” he said. Threats or potential liabilities can range from employee or patron slip-and-fall-injury claims, incidences of alleged food adulteration, back-of-house supply thefts, cases of larcenous cashiers, and even sophisticated short-change artists who can confuse and cheat honest employees.

“Our security cameras provide that defense,” Moore said, “but we are finding out that they also provide a great offense, [as] we are able to see problems moments after they happen and we can adjust companywide in that moment.”

At Eat ‘n Park, not all units get a full contingent of the video surveillance devices, Moore explained. Those . Those that do have video cameras in a number of places, including dining rooms, managers’ offices, back-of-house areas, coolers, hallways outside bathroom, lobbies, front sidewalks and back doorways. He reported that “some sites have five, some have 16.”

“We experienced a 15-percent reduction in ‘walk-outs,’” or situations in which guests are reported to have left without paying, “and an 18-percent reduction in cash shortages,” Moore said. “In restaurants which have cameras in the back of the house, we have also seen improved food costs.”

The new capabilities of the surveillance system included a camera-to-POS connection that lets Eat ‘n Park link video of register activity to transactions that raise red flags in exception reports, such as excessive voids or discounts. The link also helps with Payment Card Industry [data-security standards] compliance “because you have cameras on registers and you are videotaping card swipes,” Moore added.

The system upgrades recently helped Eat’n Park identify two alleged short-change artists who were working a number of the chain’s locations, collect visual evidence of their activities and alert employees to their appearances. Once notified, those store-level employees collected additional information about the suspected criminals, including the license number of their car, which, in turn, helped police make an arrest, Moore said.

And on several other occasions, he said, patrons who initially allege damages from incidences they said occurred in an Eat’n Park restaurant have backed off when informed of the existence of video records.

Moore said his chain’s video surveillance system is used by multiple departments.

“Our marketing and operations teams do use it to observe wait times and traffic flow [and] our facilities department uses it to make sure our parking lots are getting snow plowed to their expectations,” Moore said. “During Hurricane Sandy, it was great to be able to see what was going on at our locations and who did and didn’t have power even while we were closed.”

Moore characterized his company’s spend for video surveillance technology and services as “a great investment,” but he would not reveal the budget or costs. He added that the return on investment “is not a hard number, it’s about avoidance” of fraud, theft and potential liability lawsuits.

“We know we’ve won lawsuits because of it, but how much those lawsuits would have cost us [if lost], we’ll never really know,” Moore said.


Bistroview Surveillance Systems specializes in multi unit operations – Digital Video Recorders (DVR) at each unit may be centrally monitored and controlled, also provide for off site recording.  If you have a valet, it is imperative that you have video surveillance covering your parking lot.  Let us pay you a visit and see how we can help you !  Never a charge !  All Bistroview equipment comes with a 2 year, onsite warranty.

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What are your Customers saying about YOU ?

What are your customers saying about YOU?A new app called Review Alert (http://ReviewAlert.com) monitors 15 industry specific websites like Zagat and Urbanspoon and 20 general review websites such as Yelp and CitySearch.

Get an email alert when someone writes a review about your restaurant online.

Users of Review Alert have the ) monitors 15 industry specific websites like Zagat and Urbanspoon and 20 general review websites such as Yelp and CitySearch.

Get an ) monitors 15 industry specific websites like Zagat and Urbanspoon and 20 general review websites such as Yelp and CitySearch.

Get an email alert when someone writes a review about your restaurant online.

Users of Review Alert have the ) monitors 15 industry specific websites like Zagat and Urbanspoon and 20 general review websites such as Yelp and CitySearch.

Get an email alert when someone writes a review about your restaurant online.

Users of Review Alert have the ability to add up to 10 email accounts which receive daily emails containing all reviews, negative and positive from review websites. This gives awareness to every significant member of the organization such as the owner, regional manager, general manager, assistant manager, chef or even the social media correspondent


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50 Ways Bartenders Steal from You …

1. Short Ring – Under-ring the correct price of item and pocket the difference.
2. Phantom Register – Extra register put in bar and items not rung in on main register.
3. Serve and collect while register is reading between shift changes.
4. Claim a phoney walk-out. Keep money received from customer.
5. Phantom Bottle – Bartender brings in his own bottle and pockets cash from the sale.
6. Short Pour – Pour less than shot to cover “give away” liquor costs.
7. Collusion between cocktail server and bartender.
8. Using one shot on two glasses.
9. Claim a returned drink – Extra drink is sold and cash is pocketed.
10. Returned bottle of wine – Wine is credited on inventory, bartender sells wine by the glass, pockets cash.
11. Undercharge customers or free liquor in hope of large tip.
12. Re-Using register drink receipts.
13. Bartender exchanges drinks to cooks for dinners.
14. Adding water (diluting) liquor to get more shots out of it. Pocketing the cash.
15. Using lower priced liquor and charging for call brands.
16. Receiving kickbacks from liquor distributors.
17. Charging customer regular prices, ringing happy hour prices.
18. Complimentary cocktail or wine coupons from hotel rooms sold by maids to bartender which can use in place of cash.
19. Short-Changing Customers.
20. Ringing food items on liquor key in order to cover high liquor cost percentage.
21. Giving free drinks to employees in exchange for higher tips.
22. Not pouring liquor into blended drinks to cover high pour costs.
23. Duplicate imprinting of customers credit card charge slip.
24. Claiming opening bank till was short.
25. Z-ing out register tape early. Under-reporting of sales.
26. Recording incorrect overrings and voids.
27. Change a credit card amount after a customer leaves.
28. Hitting “no sale” key to open register. Pulling money out later.
29. Keep income from vending machines.
30. Ringing items on another bartender or manager key.
31. Bringing in a pair of work shoes, wearing boots. Put liquor bottle in boots and walk out with it.
32. Claiming fictitious Paid-Outs to customers for broken malfunctioning vending machine. Keeping Cash.
33. Re-using empty bottles to get new inventory out of storeroom without suspicion.
34. Pouring wine by the glass and ringing in a bottle sale. (the sum of the glasses is more than the bottle price).
35. Not ringing in cocktail server sales and splitting the money.
37. Turning in only the amount of sales on Z-Report and keeping any overages.
38. Under pouring drinks by a sixth, keeping track, and pocketing the cash for one drink every sixth drink.
39. Using jiggers brought in from home that all smaller than standard pour, with the same objective as above.
40. Substituting a house brand for a premium brand (that usally sells at a higher price), charging for the premium brand, and pocketing the difference.
41. Overcharging the number of drinks served to a group of customers who are running up a tab to be paid later.
42. Claiming a fictitious robbery.
43. Re-pouring customer wine leftover in bottles (e.g., banquet wine) to other customers by the glass.
44. Claiming a fictitious walk-out.
45. Free drinks to local merchants in exchange for merchandise.
46. Making juice or coffee drinks with little or no liquor.
47. Picking up excess customer change on bar.
48. Carrying full bottles of liquor and beer to the dumpster with the empties.
49. Free drinks to the cooks in exchange for food that is sold and cash pocketed without ringing in.
50. Inflate ending inventory values by filling empty liquor bottles with water and counting as full.

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Excellent Article about increasing profits at your bar ..

Our surveillance systems coupled with POS transaction overlay on the feed works wonders .. You can see what was rung up and what was poured. Let’s say you were going through a lot of premium tequila one night but the recipts didn’t show it .. you can scan the database for those transactions and see exactly what went on ..


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Exciting New Technology !

Exciting New Technology !

We now offer 700TVL analog cameras ! These cameras coupled with a full resolution DVR deliver incredible clarity ! These ! These cameras are perfect for low light like what is typical in a bar or nightclub.

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NEVER, EVER use covert cameras in your business !

Covert (hidden) cameras and audio recording can get you in trouble in California. Cameras should be visible or youlose the deterrent effect. You want to STOP the behavior rather than catch it. This is why you need a professional like BistroView to design and install your system. Don’t get in trouble like this poor bar owner http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011/mar/28/bar-owner-charged-for-hidden-camera-in-bathroom/

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