A restaurant POS system is crucial to a restaurant’s financial success; it processes hundreds (sometimes thousands) of transactions daily. Unfortunately, among all those transactions it becomes too easy for employees to become thieves and steal from restaurant operators.
Here are nine ways you should be using your restaurant POS system to prevent theft:
1. Use conversational ordering. Conversational ordering allows orders to be easily modified without a void from a manager which improves accuracy and ensures that actual inventory and food costs always match reports. With such an exact calculation, theft is easily detected, and the majority of POS systems use conversational ordering today.
2. Track void types. The tracking of voids can be very important in identifying potential theft or training opportunities. For example, within the WAND point of sale systems, voids are broken down into 11 different classifications depending on the way in which the item was removed from the order or the time it was removed from the order, i.e. after tender or after send to queue. The operator then has the ability to configure which types of voids appear on selected reports which, in turns, helps them determine possible theft incidences.
3. Configure void reports. You should be able to configure your void reports in your restaurant POS system to be able to show possible theft instances. The reports most easily configured for this in most systems are the Accounting Report, Void Report, Inline Void Report, Cashier Summary Report, and the Manager Void Report. Use these reports to look for thievery.
4. Use keypress tracking. The tracking of cashier keypresses is very important for further investigation of void activities. Every keypress that a cashier performs is recorded in the POS which can be reviewed for training purposes or to identify potential theft.
5. Use cashier log in/out. Make sure cashiers are required to log into a register before order taking can begin. This ensures that all register activity is tracked to a specific employee.
6. Include biometric cashier log in/out. Integrated biometric fingerprint scanners may be used to ensure employee ID’s and passcodes are not shared or stolen and used to log on to registers. Employees must present their finger to the scanner each time they are logging or clocking into the system.
7. Implement EMV and payment encryption. Use EMV terminals with encryption to ensure data is not stored in the restaurant POS. In addition, make sure your EMV terminals include Near Field Communication (NFC) technology so you can accept contactless payments. These two things will help you make a “payment unaware” POS system.
8. Track pull drawers. Use your POS to ensure the entire “pull drawer” process is managed and tracked automatically by the system. When a “pull drawer” is initiated by a manager, the cashier is automatically logged out, and the cash drawer is open for the manager to replace. All drawer declarations are then entered and tracked in the system to ensure cash control throughout the entire process.
9. Review paid ins/outs. Paid ins and paid outs are used to track non-sales transactions when cash enters or leaves the cash drawer. Paid Outs can be done directly from the cash register, or from the back office safe, whichever is preferred or allowed by policy. All paid out activity is tracked to a specific “Chart of Accounts” for easy reporting and reconciliation.
If you’re having a problem with theft in your restaurants, the bottom line is it is most likely employees. Be sure you’re using your POS properly and looking at back office reports regularly to prevent future occurrences.