Could a dating couple bankrupt your business?

3710341_Register with Paper_07HIt’s bad enough when you have a thieving staff member or a manager that thinks it’s their right to fiddle the accounts while they line their pockets, but it’s double the trouble when the staff member and manager collude to defraud you and your business.

It’s more common than you think and a recent conversation with an industry consultant reminded me that you can never underestimate the potential for fraud in the bar.

Here are a few methods of collusion that you should be aware of:

Boyfriend & Girlfriend

The classic “couple on a mission” who can cover for one another, aid each other and double the chances of you losing money and liquid assets in a short space of time. Some bars and restaurants do not allow staff members to date and don’t emply married couples. A difficult thing to enforce, but if you can’t legislate against itm think about having htem work different shifts.

Staff Member & Manager

A manager confides in a staff member that certain “opportunities” exist if they work together. This can be a difficult thing to spot unless controls are in place to audit the management team as well as just the staff members.

Staff Member & Customer/Friend

A staff member utilizes the assistance of a friend or patron outside the bar counter who may distract other customers while theft is taking place or might help open rear gates/doors to aid the theft. A customer might order drinks all night yet never pay full price. Some bars don’t allow friends of staff members or off duty staff members on the premises to avoid the chances of fraud.

Just a few possible situations to bear in mind in your business. Got your suspicions? Take action today!

Expose yourself. Just make sure it's clean

Something tells me that the title of this post is going to pique a lot of interest in what I could be talking about here. For those of you who have arrived here in the hope of catching a glimpse of something risque, you may be disappointed, but that will depend on your interpretation of risque!

This blog post is aimed at bars and restaurants that expose their kitchens and preparation workspaces for the public to see. Maybe I’m a little bit paranoid when I say that I don’t like when my food and drinks are prepared FAR from my inquisitive eyes and so I love to see an exposed kitchen or preparation area because it means I can run very fast if I see something I don’t like.

Conversely, when I see a clean exposed kitchen, I’m thrilled! It’s a bit like a dirty toilet in a bar. If management are willing to allow public areas remain dirty, then what’s happening behind the scenes? Continue reading

Catching an employee with their hands in the drawer

burglerYou know the scenario. The cash hasn’t been balancing at the end of the night and you have your suspicions as to who is responsible but you haven’t caught anyone in the act and don’t want to risk accusing the wrong employees. Some nights you have too much cash, and some nights too little.

If cash is going missing, then its going missing from one place and one place only – the cash register. The process should be simple, a customer orders a meal or a drink, its entered into the cash register, the customer profers payment and the transaction is closed and change given. However, clever and dishonest employees can work the system so that they dont enter the full value of the meal or hit a button relating to a lower priced item and pocket the difference.

With most cash register scams that I have come across, the defrauded cash normally stays in the drawer until the bartender has an opportune moment to remove it. This will normally be when there are no customers or staff around. To get around this, vary the times at which you remove the cash drawer and do a register reading. If nobody knows when management are going to remove the drawer, they run the risk of being caught in the act.

With this procedure, it is essential that only one staff member is allowed access to one cash register during their shift. Otherwise, blame is easily put on other employees who used it. Also ensure that the employee counted their cash in the drawer when they came on duty so that they cannot use the excuse of the opening float being incorrect.

I’m already hearing the objections now:

“But we always have ten staff on a cash register at a time”

“Its too hard to control staff members on a cash register”

Ok, whose business is it? If it’s important enough for you to control your cash and stop your employees making more money than you, you’ll find a way to make it happen. Remember, fear of change could be killing your business.

Maintain this procedure, even after the offending employees have been caught and fired so that future employees will see the controls that are in place before they attempt something similar.

Business is hard enough without having to worry about dishonest emplyees, so let them go as soon as they are caught stealing.

Ways to Keep Your Bar Staff Happy

Let’s face it, staff are one of the most important aspects of running a successful hospitality business. While recruiting the right staff is essential (and sometimes difficult), retaining staff can be even harder. This is particularly true in the hospitality industry where staff turnover can tend to be high.

Keeping your staff happy will not only make them likely to stick around for longer, but you will find that happy staff are more productive which has a positive effect on your profits.

Don’t panic! Keeping your staff happy isn’t necessarily about being the most lenient employer with the highest wages. Continue reading