Employee theft: When incentives are not enough to prevent it.

In a previous post, I addressed using incentives to prevent employee theft. While incentives are a form of positive reinforcement, they are not the only solution. Sometimes you must go the route of checking up on your employees, and the most impactful way to do that is through video surveillance.

This is a great option to deter employee theft. Theft often occurs simply because there is opportunity. When employees know they are being watched, opportunity disappears.

There are significant benefits when you make the decision to invest in IP based cameras and monitoring software. This is not the old-fashioned tape that you need to sit down and watch at the end of the shift. With today’s technology, you can access the live video feed from any mobile device.

In addition, the business intelligence that comes from such a feed can be matched against transactions in your POS system to pinpoint exactly when and where the fraudulent event occurred, and most importantly, by whom.

If you are going to go to the trouble to install, what specifically should you be monitoring?

  • • The cash registers- cameras should ALWAYS be installed for a clear picture of those handling cash at the register.
  • • Entrance and exit- you cannot get food and supplies out of the restaurant any other way.
  • • Office space and safe area
  • • Stockrooms and storage areas


It’s clear that this is an investment of both money and time, and there are many price ranges and options to choose from, and you might think that theft is not causing you a significant amount of loss.

However, Video surveillance can be used for MORE than just employee theft:

  • • In food prep areas, it can be used to monitor the adherence to procedures regarding safety and potential unsanitary working practices.
  • • Vandalism- cameras can be placed outside bathrooms or exterior or the building.
  • • Safety- it promotes a positive work environment for the employees when you care enough to monitor the parking lots late at night when employees are leaving after closing the store.


If you are not using video surveillance already, it’s time to consider the investment.