Restaurant Articles

Loss Prevention Training for All Restaurant Staff

By July 26, 2016 No Comments

How to Train All QSR Employees on the Basics of Loss Prevention

Some quick service restaurant owners might think that loss prevention is something only managers and specialized loss prevention employees need to understand. However, it can be incredibly valuable to train employees at all levels on basic loss prevention protocols. Here’s what you need to know when it comes to training your restaurant’s employees in basic loss prevention strategies. 

 What is loss prevention?

You could very well have some employees that don’t know what loss prevention is or what it entails, so spend some time on the basics. Explain that loss prevention involves creating policies and procedures that are designed to prevent the loss of money, inventory, and even time. Something as seemingly innocent as taking toilet paper and ketchup packets could fall under the “loss” umbrella.

Loss prevention is commonly understood to involve tools like video surveillance and undercover employees posing as customers, so teach employees that loss prevention is multi-faceted and customizable to the needs of the business. Once everyone is trained you can even challenge your staff to brainstorm new and innovative LP strategies.

How do losses occur?

Next, employees need to understand some of the most common ways losses occur. The easiest way to break this concept down is to explain the differences between internal and external thefts:

  • External theft occurs through outside sources. Customer theft and robberies are two common forms of external theft and are the types of loss that many people think about when discussing loss prevention.
  • Internal, or employee, theft is carried out by employees and staff members. This form of theft can take on many forms, from simple inventory theft to colluding with fellow employees to commit point of sale fraud.

There’s one final variety of loss worth mentioning: errors. Mistakes can happen at any point in the retail process, from receiving shipments improperly to charging a customer the incorrect amount. Innocent mistakes can add up to big losses for a business, so your loss prevention training should also emphasize eliminating mistakes.

Customer service training to prevent external theft

Any training on loss prevention should focus heavily on customer service, especially when external thefts are concerned. Controlling and reducing external theft requires that employees learn to “read” customers and that they understand the workings of any technology that your business uses.

It’s also important to make sure that employees are familiar with laws about detaining patrons suspected of shoplifting. This might not be as relevant in the QSR industry, but the laws are worth knowing. By law, experts say that the employee must:

  1. See the customer enter the area where the item is displayed.
  2. See the customer select the item.
  3. See the customer conceal, carry, push, or pull the item from its location.
  4. Maintain constant and uninterrupted observation of the customer from the original location of the item to the point of detention.
  5. See that the customer failed to pay for the item.
  6. Approach the shoplifter outside the store or after the last point of sale. This may be identified by a governmental entity.

Loss prevention tactics for internal theft

Battling internal theft can be a bit trickier because you can’t always be 100% in control of your employees. You can implement robust training procedures and create a culture where staff members feel valued, though. Unsatisfied employees are more likely to commit thefts and other fraudulent acts.

When it comes to training make sure that employees understand your commitment to eradicating internal theft. Explain that you don’t plan to micromanage them but that there will be procedures in place to prevent losses. If you’re going to utilize video surveillance tools that monitor the restaurant and the point of sale terminals make sure that employees are aware.

Preventing employee errors to mitigate losses

When it comes to creating a loss prevention strategy tackling employee errors can be a demanding task. Luckily, we’ve already created a useful guide outlining various strategies that you can use to mitigate losses due to employee errors.