Theft and fraud in retail and restaurants is widely considered a cost of doing business. Internal fraud and organized theft led by employees are playing bigger roles. It’s estimated that 75% of employees have stolen from their employer at least once.
It’s unfortunate that some people become desperate for cash or simply can’t resist the temptation to steal. Regardless of the reason, ignoring these issues will not make them go away. Eventually they have to be dealt with. The first place to start is through awareness and understanding how to prevent it.
There are a variety of ways today’s tech savvy employees are getting away with stealing cash or goods from their employers. One method of employee theft in retail and restaurant establishments is called ‘Building a Bank’.
When a retail or restaurant employee fraudulently ‘builds a bank’, a cashier at a store, an individual restaurant, or café takes advantage of regular customers by learning and memorizing the cash values, and typical change due, of the items they purchase. Here’s how it works. The cashier memorizes what a particular customer buys and its total transactional value. For example, let’s say a repeat customer comes in regularly at 8:00am and purchases the same specialty coffee and a breakfast sandwich. The coffee costs $3.75 and add another $5.50 for the breakfast sandwich. The grand total for this purchase is $9.25.
The cashier knows the details behind this routine order, and has memorized how to make the required exact change. The cashier enters the order into the register, reads the customer the total price, and, upon receiving the cash, voids off the first or last item of the transaction. The customer receives the proper change, gets their food, and suspects nothing. Unbeknown to the customer, the cashier just sold an item, without any record of it, and pocketed the cash, taking advantage of a loyal repeat customer and their own employer. Throughout the day, the cashier will repeat the pattern of fraudulent sales and essentially begins building a bank within their register. At an opportune time, the cashier withdraws the unaccounted cash from the register and walks away with a stash of stolen company money.
So, what’s a retailer or restaurateur to do? How do you find and stop such devious and cunning behavior? First, it is necessary to identify if this behavior is truly going on. Not all employees steal. Most are doing a good job and sometimes even the best employees make mistakes due to carelessness or lack of training. Finding the employees deliberately committing fraud is a tricky process of elimination that can, once dealt with, drastically reduce a company’s losses.
Agilence has the solutions to help you protect the good employees and weed out the bad. Through the 20/20 Data Analytics™ platform, you can monitor and receive alerts to take a closer look at employees or locations that are performing above or below the norm. Our 20/20 suite for retail and restaurants can report on all cashiers that have performed line voids in low value cash transactions. This analysis allows store operators to recognize those offending cashiers above the normal threshold with the highest probability of committing fraud. Furthermore, creating prescriptive alerts allows your company to find the best course of action. Prescriptive alerts drive awareness for this behavior by closely monitoring, identifying, and stopping high risk employees in their tracks.
Hunting for these patterns can be a tedious, time consuming job; 20/20 makes it easy. 20/20 allows you to manage POS activities, scheduling, overtime budgets, employee performance and much more. So instead of planning for the worst, plan smarter with 20/20 Retail™ and 20/20 Restaurant™.
Want to break down the fraudulent bank? Give us a call and we’ll show you the way.