The holiday season is fast approaching, and for Q-S-Rs, and businesses in general, that means more instances of robbery, loss, and internal theft than at any other time of year.
Refining your team’s loss prevention routines will keep your employees safe, and your assets secure.
Here are 10 steps you can take now to create or enhance your organization’s loss prevention culture during the holiday season, and beyond.
1) Deck your halls with ample lighting
Check your exterior lighting and lighting schedules. Keep employees safe by allowing them to enter and exit the building in a fully-lit parking lot. If you are a drive-thru-only operation with hours into late night and early morning, keep the dining room lights on until exiting the building.
2) Make sure no one outside is stirring, not even a mouse
Ensure your security system is functioning properly including door locks, alarm systems, panic buttons if equipped, and surveillance system. And remember, don’t share alarm codes.
3) Look out for any Grinches before and after shifts
Ensure your team follows your brand or company’s procedures for entering the building before open and exiting after close. And, coach them to be aware of – and report – any suspicious activity to the authorities.
4) Be visible!
Coach employees to remain in customer view at all times, during both customer service tasks and non-peak rush activities. Staying visible helps staff monitor and reduce suspicious customer activity.
5) Check your policy list, twice
Follow your brand’s back door policy, and keep your team safe!
6) Revisit your store’s cash handling best practices
Review your brand or company cash policies with your team; highlights should include:
a) Try to Limit the amount of cash-in-drawer, by making frequent drawer skims and drops into drop boxes. Then take your cash to your Smart Safe or Time-Delay safe – if you have one
b) Reduce, even eliminate the acceptance of counterfeit bills: review the policy with all cashiers for accepting fifty and hundred dollar bills. The manager in charge should approve these bills and feed them into the Smart Safe bill readers before serving the guest. If the bill readers do not accept the bill, request another form of payment from the guest.
c) In the absence of a Smart Safe, use counterfeit marking pens to verify genuine legal tender. This is especially important with the increased activity in counterfeit twenty-dollar bills.
d) If your team is making daily bank runs with cash deposits, review your policies and follow up to ensure they’re followed.
7) Regularly switch your system codes
Prevent fraudulent use of a manager’s P-O-S passcodes. Change your register passcodes frequently – even daily, if possible – as a best practice.
8) Work with cashiers to close out drawers
Review cashier shift close tapes for deletions, voids, over rings and refunds, and discounts. Follow up on all the metrics and make sure your documentation is in place for all discounts and refunds before the cashier leaves their shift.
9) Keep employees off the naughty list
Web-based loss prevention tools are great for monitoring your P-O-S metrics, and employee behavior, and identifying and reducing the risk of theft. Let your team know you’re monitoring their performance. If you have a web-based tool, now is the time for you and your team to brush up on your knowledge and usage.
10) Guard against gift card fraud
If your brand or store sells gift cards, protect yourself from credit card chargebacks and fraud by drafting a policy to set limits for gift cards sold on credit card purchases. For example, credit card purchases for gift cards should be limited to one 50-dollar gift card purchase per guest or group of guests. And be sure to educate your cashiers on your policy.
There you have it! 10 steps you can take this holiday season to improve your team’s routines and the loss prevention culture in your restaurant, protecting your people and your assets along the way.