Preventing employee theft is a task that most food service business owners encounter at one time or another and this fact hasn’t eluded the mobile food industry. No matter how well you think you know your employees there is always a possibility of theft.
Employee theft in food trucks takes many forms, including giving away free food and drinks to customers without authorization, stealing customer’s credit card information and stealing food or beverages for themselves. Many employees only steal because they know they can and their chances of getting caught are slim.
If your food truck employees know you have a system in place to trace theft, then most will respect that and not try to steal.
Start Preventing Employee Theft In Your Food Truck:
Track all sales
The first step in preventing employee theft in your food truck is to track each and every sale you make. As the food truck owner, it is hard to be everywhere at once, therefore, it is important to have a good tracking system for food and beverage sales.
Tracking food and drink orders through a POS system, you can cut down on the amount of “freebies” that staff might give out without your knowledge. Once an order is placed and sent to the kitchen staff, the ticket cannot be changed without the manager/owner password.
Of course, a POS system used for security purposes only works if the kitchen staff knows not to give out orders without a ticket.
Track food inventory
Stealing food can be as simple as eating a forbidden piece of dessert while on break or it can be more serious, such as taking cases of food right off the delivery truck. Prevent food theft by closely monitoring orders, usage, and waste.
Set up a system where at the end of each shift, inventory is taken and waste should always be written down. If the truck staff knows they are accountable for the food inventory, they will be careful to keep track of it.
Update your PCI for handling customer credit and debit cards
PCI stands for payment card industry data security standards. It basically means the rules that any business, including food trucks, agree to follow if they accept credit cards. PCI standards are administered through banks that handle credit card transactions.
A major liability of using a POS system as a credit card processor is that transactions are via the Internet and could be hacked and your customers credit card information stolen. It is important to make sure all your computer firewalls and other safety precautions are periodically updated.
Install a security camera in your food truck
In our opinion, security cameras are a blatant way of telling your staff “I don’t trust you” and not an ideal way to boost staff morale. However, if preventing employee theft is a must in your truck they may be the quickest and easiest solution.
Limit access to cash drawers
Only the food truck owner, manager or head service window member during their shift should have access to the cash drawer or register. The fewer hands that touch the cash, the less chance of it being stolen.
While we understand that theft is a personal attack against a business, if you feel any of your food truck staff is stealing from you, make sure you have absolute proof of theft before you fire someone. We aren’t suggesting you keep them on staff, but don’t put your business at risk if you publicly accuse someone of theft without any actual evidence.
Have you been preventing employee theft in your food truck with a different method? We’d love to hear what has worked for you. You can share your tips via email, Facebook or Twitter.