Capacity Corner

Restaurant Crime: Tips to Prevent Theft

Restaurants are particularly vulnerable to robbery, burglary and theft. As restaurants typically accumulate a large amount of cash, it makes them attractive targets of criminal activity. A criminal also looks for establishments with late-night hours and easy entry or escape.

If you are working in a restaurant, you need to be prepared to deal with restaurant crime. That’s why it is important for you to prepare now so that in the event that the unexpected happens, you will be able to stay calm and react quickly.

Preventing Theft

The best way to deal with the threat of theft is prevention. Some ways to discourage thieves from attempting their crime are as follows:

  • Greet and make eye contact with every person that enters.
  • If you see suspicious behavior in any area, courteously ask the person if they need assistance.
  • Always show that you are alert and aware of all customer activity by actively moving around the area.
  • During daily operations, cash registers should be inspected regularly to prevent cash buildup above the minimum amount needed.
  • The rear door leading to the trash or waste containers should never be propped open. Always keep back doors locked.
  • Be aware of and report any strange behavior to your shift manager, such as someone loitering on the premises. 

General Guidelines

  • If you witness someone attempting to steal something, do not run after the person or try to intervene. Attacking the person could mean harm to you.
  • In the event of a robbery, do as the intruder commands. Speak slowly and calmly to intruders, and don’t make sudden or unexpected moves.
  • Study the suspect carefully, noting facial features, height, clothing, etc.
  • Do not follow the thief outside. The possibility of causing harm to innocent bystanders escalates in this situation.
  • Call the police and notify your manager of the situation as soon as possible.
  • If an intruder threatens you, comply with all of his or her demands. Your well-being is much more important than anything that may be lost. 

Know Who to Contact

  • The phone numbers of local authorities are listed near all phones on the premises for quick access.
  • Call the police as soon as possible, preserving any evidence left at the scene by the suspects, such as robbery note, objects handled, etc.
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