Close Expense Gaps Restaurant Owners Don’t Know about and Employees Don’t Tell

How many restaurant owners have run into the problem of disappointing profits, despite selling at their best? Did you miscalculate your prices or overlook something? If you’ve tried investigating all the causes and couldn’t figure out the source of the problem, try observing the behaviors of your restaurant employees, because you’re not the only one accepting payments or accessing ingredients.
Every step of the restaurant business has to go through lots of people.

So, this situation might create an opening for your business funds to leak out through dishonest employees, whether unintentionally, intentionally or due to necessity. It’s a problem that restaurant owners don’t want to happen, because even a small leak can escalate and become difficult to correct. Take a look at the reasons for employee-caused profit losses so you can monitor and prevent them in time. When your sales are good, your restaurant has to profit. Don’t let anybody steal from you.

Did they enter ingredient prices higher than real price or did they collude with suppliers?

Sometimes restaurant owners have to assign employees to handle restaurant expenses. This can lead to problems. For example, an employee might purchase supplies fully according to purchase orders but doesn’t enter the actual prices or decides not to tell the restaurant about discounts.  Or the employee might increase the prices and pocket the difference, even if a cash bill is returned for verification. Even if a cash bill is presented for verification, don’t forget that a mischievous employee might forge it or even collude with the supplier to issue a bill that’s higher than actual prices with the hope of pocketing the difference.


Therefore, restaurant owners must diligently purchase ingredients in person on a regular basis in order to check market prices and must directly contact their own suppliers in order to prevent theft that might occur later. Otherwise, restaurant owners have to purchase from sellers that state their sales prices clearly and issue proper and reliable receipts.


Did they secretly eat at the restaurant or take things home?

Restaurant owners who neglect to regularly check their restaurants’ stocks might suffer losses caused by theft of kitchen ingredients by employees. Employees might steal fresh ingredients like fruits inside refrigerators or secretly eat the restaurant’s food in the back. Otherwise, employees might inform restaurant owners that they purchased 10 kilograms of pork while the actual weight was eight kilograms and they steal the difference for themselves.


These problems can be resolved by having standard calculation formulas and regularly checking your stock.  If you have formulas in place, you can use them to calculate ingredients actually used based on the dishes sold, and your results should be similar to the actual stock as you check it. If the figure that you calculated is very different from your actual count, you can suspect two cases.

Maybe more ingredients are wasted than necessary, or maybe there’s corruption. It might seem picky and time-consuming, but it can help you learn about the problem quickly and prevent it from spreading. It also demonstrates the restaurant’ owner’s strictness to employees and let them know that you are always checking.

Are they stealing from daily sales totals or using the restaurant’s funds for personal expenses?


Oftentimes it’s inconvenient for the restaurant owner to constantly watch the restaurant, and nearly every restaurant hires cashiers to oversee the restaurant’s finances. A problem that can arise is that a dishonest employee might steal cash from the restaurant’s profits for personal expenses. Some people seriously steal, while others borrow money and later return it, but it’s still a big problem that can lead to legal cases.  So, don’t stay idle. Regularly check your sales totals. It’s very easy to do this if you have a POS device. That’s because a record is made for every sale and daily closure, and employees have to deliver funds in the amount stated in the accounts.


Another effective measure is to never leave a lot of cash in the restaurant. Go ahead and specify how much the change in the drawers and emergency cash should amount to, while setting the totals that must be submitted to the restaurant owner or deposited in the restaurant’s account daily. This can minimize damage in corruption cases involving large sums of money.

Additionally, if you’re not around to watch the restaurant in person, you should install some CCTVs at your restaurant. They can help you observe and check the situation at your restaurant. Otherwise, you could invest by obtaining a partner or having close relatives to take turns overseeing payments at the restaurant.

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