Preventing employee theft is something that most food service business owners encounter at one time or another. Unfortunately, this issue 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. This includes giving away free food and drinks without permission, 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.
Preventing Employee Theft In Your Food Truck:
Track all sales
As the food truck owner, it is hard to be everywhere at once. Because of this, it is important to have a good tracking system for food and beverage sales. Track food and drink orders through a POS system. This allows you to 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 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.
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.” This is not an ideal way to boost staff morale. However, if preventing employee theft is an ongoing problem, cameras 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.
The Bottom Line
Is your food truck staff stealing from you? It’s tough to deal with the reality of employee theft, but it is a reality. No matter what you do to protect your food truck against theft, there will always be ways that your staff can steal from you. So it’s also important to recognize the roots of your staff’s impulse to steal.
We definitely understand that theft is a personal attack against you and your business. Just make sure that if you feel any of your food truck staff is stealing from you, that you have absolute proof of theft before you fire someone.