It’s unpleasant to consider that, at some point, your restaurant might be impacted by business fraud. Unfortunately, it’s a reality for all industries and the companies within them. For the restaurant industry in particular, fraud can take on many forms. Food fraud is a growing problem that costs the industry close to $40 billion a year. So, how do you prevent restaurant fraud when it seems almost unavoidable?
Use food labels to cut down on theft
When you have an efficient and consistent food labeling system, food is monitored more closely, and the chance of theft is reduced. This monitoring allows managers and owners to compare product usage with on-the-books profits. Food labeling makes tracking the shelf life of food easier, and it provides a way of locating the inventory closest to expiration for first-use. Not only do these benefits improve your restaurant’s food safety, but they also make preventing food fraud much more manageable.
Learn to identify fraudulent schemes
Understanding all the different ways business fraud can happen in your restaurant allows you to be proactive about a solution. Knowing the different forms of restaurant fraud makes them easier to recognize and, in turn, makes them easier to prepare for before they happen.
Obviously, fraud is common where money transactions are handled, so tills and registers are particularly vulnerable to business fraud. However, it’s important not to overlook the other areas where fraud can occur. The kitchen is also susceptible to fraud via food prep, employee meals, and productivity.
Restaurant fraud may look like:
- Waitstaff applying a larger tip than the customer authorized
- Vendors tampering with checks
- Wrongly voided transactions or undercharging scams
- Food or alcohol theft
- Unapproved substitutions or enhancements to menu items
- Mixing or bulking food with cheaper alternatives while customers pay full price (for example, mixing honey with corn syrup)
Invest in register tape
Register tape is a required for any consumer-based business. When you use quality paper, it’s easier for customers to read their receipts. This is beneficial for managers as well because there’s no question about what was recorded.
Counterfeit receipts are also a problem, so when your register tape is professional and high quality, your staff will have an easier time picking out fraudulent receipts.
Part of preventing restaurant fraud and theft depends on having the proper tools to do so. For food labels, register tape, and more, turn to NCCO’s food service solutions.