It is relatively easy to control and account for the packed inventory, like bread, siomai portions or noodle packs because they are separated into portions, which can be easily counted. Like I said before from my last post about beverage inventory control, you just charge the employee double the normal price and they will think twice about pilfering.
What’s harder to control in pilferage in food items are those that are non portioned, like condiments, oil, butter and the like. So how do we prevent our employees from stealing these?
First of all, we should look at how they can take advantage of our inventory. They can:
- store some in plastic/cellophane containers and take them home for use
- for ready mixes like waffle mix, sauce and the like: they can dilute it in water at the expense of less quality
- buy food from your stall using customer’s money by mischarging them
- have other people take the stolen goods for them, then meet them up far away
Well we can reduce these circumstances by:
- making sure receiving of inventory is very important. Have them double count inventory before receiving them.
- doing random spot checks (or have someone do that for you) for belongings that can be used to steal goods. Also perform random check of their bags.
- having a suggestions/comments box
- never letting guests, off-duty crews and crews of other stalls stand by the food cart
More importantly, for preventing pilferage in the food retail industry, take no prisoners. Super firm control should be implemented, and exempt nobody. Employees must always assume that they are never indispensable, and the owner knows that everyone is subject to temptations.