Ensuring the safety of your employees and customers starts with a solid security program. While you may not review your security program as often as you change your menu or restock your merchandise, it should be periodically evaluated throughout the year to help reduce your exposures and crime-related losses.
As part of your business’ security program, be sure to:
- Strictly enforce and implement security policies. The best way to protect your business from theft is to be vigilant and adhere to strict protocols on cash handling and security policies. Employee theft can go undetected for years and affects restaurants and storefronts of all sizes. Hold everyone accountable, and take action against employees who participate in criminal activity.
- Standardize reporting procedures for security breaches throughout the entire organization. Make sure managers follow your company’s guidelines and all employees understand the consequences of stealing business property (this includes cash, equipment, supplies, and products).
- Conduct background checks. Make it difficult for anyone inside or outside your organization to steal or cause harm. Perform background checks on employees, if legally permissible, and check provided references. Review your hiring and firing criteria with legal counsel to ensure it is appropriate.
- Limit availability and access to cash and financial records. Perform regular audits of money from the registers. Management should handle large bills and transfers. Program cash limits on registers to manage accounts and prepare deposits accordingly. Lock and properly secure the register(s) at all times. Record and bank deposit cash receipts daily. Consider using security personnel to transport cash.
- Install and monitor security cameras. Many restaurant managers and shop owners say camera systems can cut employee turnover by deterring would-be pilferers from committing acts that would get them fired. Review camera surveillance on a regular basis, checking on safety and security procedures.
- Train employees on security and safety policies. Training should address incidents such as robbery, loitering, employee theft, and opening and closing procedures. Be sure to discuss procedures for handling difficult situations, such as those involving aggressive customers and employees.
By collaborating with employees to implement and reinforce your security program, you can help reduce the risk of criminal activity occurring at your restaurant or retail store.