Preventing Theft Hospitality and Restaurants

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Preventing Theft Hospitality and Restaurants
By: Paul Schlienz Washington Hospitality ~ 6/24/2018

Theft can happen at your hotel or restaurant, but there are ways you can minimize the risk. Eye on Hospitality recently talked with Doug Rector, president of Northwest Loss Prevention Consultants, in Renton, about strategies for preventing theft.

“A big mistake a restaurant can make is not having systems in place,” said Rector. “Employees not adhering to polices, when they are put in place is another problem, but employers are also part of the problem when they have an attitude that theft is a cost of doing business.”

Rector recommends camera systems to catch thieving employees. And he also stresses that mystery shoppers can often detect problems like theft in a place of business.

“If you suspect theft, consider using a mystery shopping company that utilizes licensed private investigators to perform integrity investigations,” said Rector. “Licensed investigators are insured and licensed.”

For hotels, he also recommends a strong loss prevention policy.

“Don’t allow the housekeeping crew to let someone in a room if they say they forgot their key,” he warns hoteliers. “Encourage guests to use the safe and investigate all complaints regarding theft. Do background checks for all employees and invest in hallway camera systems. The concern is guests missing items from their room, and not verifying identification if someone comes to the front desk saying they lost their key.”

His advice to hotel guests: “When you leave the room, turn on the TV or radio and keep a light on. This gives the appearance someone is in the room.”

For both hotels and restaurants, Rector recommends preemployment background screening for all employees.

“Make it known that any employee caught stealing will be prosecuted, have a proactive loss prevention policy in place and have employees sign it,” he urges. “Consider using a good mystery shopping program, and have cashiers own their own cash drawers for the entire shift,.”

Rector also cautions employers to be aware of red flag indicators of theft or the risk of theft. These indicators include employees who brag about gambling, employees with garnishments and workers who are living above their means.

While theft is not something employers like to think could happen to them, it is a real problem. Take action, and don’t be a victim.

Do You Feel Like A Ghost?
By: Doug Rector ~ 1/6/2017

How many times have you been to a restaurant, sat down and felt like a ghost? You sit there, servers walk by and never acknowledge your presence. You sit, you sit and you sit. Finally you are in this awkward situation wondering if you should just leave and go to another restaurant or wave someone down to take your order. You decide to stay, not knowing how the service will be after placing your order. Now, you are waiting, waiting and waiting and after an ample amount of time your food still has not arrived. Now, you are in this awkward situation once again wondering if you should just leave. You may have wasted your lunch hour at this point.

A restaurant can have great food, food that everyone raves about, but with bad customer service and slow delivery that "great" food may not matter. Yet a restaurant that serves good, not great food, may have exceptional customer service. What restaurant will people gravitate to?

An effective mystery shopping program is an inexpensive way to monitor customer service and customer’s perception to maintain the standards necessary to be a restaurant with both exceptional food and exceptional customer service.

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