Four Ways to uncover TIME THEFT in your restaurant

Many weeks ago, I touched on six ways employees could be stealing time. One of the questions that you should have been asking yourself is, “Do I have the tools and resources to help me identify how much time is being stolen by my crew members?”

It’s estimated that 20% of every dollar earned by a US Company is lost to employee time theft. According to a Robert Half study from years ago (Link to Article), employees were stealing 4.5 hours per week. Think of the impact on your profits if even one employee falls within that range. How can you find out? Here are some suggestions.

  • • Look in the POS system or build exception reporting for time edits by the manager
    • o How often are time edits being made?
    • o Is it consistently the same employee(s) performing the editing or getting hours changed?
    • o How much time is being edited?
    • o Is there a pattern on the shifts?
  • • Productivity reports for employees
    • o If they are running the register- how many transactions per hour?
    • o Is the employee productivity comparative to others at same day/time?
  • • Video surveillance of the interior of the restaurant and exterior and comparing to hours worked for suspect employees
  • • For employees asking others to clock in, implement a biometric time system OR many payroll companies now have geofencing- the employee cannot clock in unless he /she is physically present within a certain physical range.

The key is that these tools must be utilized real-time. Life moves at the speed of light, and it’s difficult when you are managing many employees, often at different locations to remember.

It’s very difficult to go back and take wages away, but if you see an employee taking an hour break using video surveillance on Tuesday when he recorded only 30 minutes, it can be confronted immediately and corrected in the POS before payroll is finalized.

Finally, timeliness with offenders provides the perfect opportunity to make sure all employees know you are watching, and enforces a zero-tolerance policy.