Transform Your Workforce: ‘HOURLY’ by AJ Richichi Available Now — ORDER HERE>>
A bartender making drinks

4 Ways Your Employees Are Stealing From Your Restaurant

You want to think you have hired the best employees. You want to think that they wouldn’t steal from your business or deceive you. Unfortunately, that often isn’t the case. In fact,  75% of employees have admitted to stealing at least once from their employer.  However, not all theft is monetary. It can also include lost productivity and taking advantage of “free” food in a restaurant setting. This may sound shocking and disappointing, but when you know the signs to look for, you can mitigate the theft. 


1. Time

What breaks do you offer your employees? How well are they monitored? One common theft is time. When an hourly employee takes longer breaks than accounted for or disappears for 30 minutes, they are being paid for not working. A study by the American Society of Employers found that 20% of every dollar earned by a U.S. company is lost to employee time theft.


2. Money

Internal employee theft is responsible for about 4% of restaurant sales. Tracking where the money is lost can be difficult.

Here are common tactics employees use to pocket change:

  • Ringing up a cheaper alcohol than what was used 
  • Taking from the cash register
  • Voiding cash transactions 
  • Claiming people dined and dashed 


3. Food and Inventory

Offering free food to employees on their break seems like a nice perk to offer, right? It is. The problem is when employees take advantage of this and take more free food than what’s really offered. A survey uncovered that internal employee theft is responsible for 75% of inventory shortages.

Examples of food theft:

  • Making extra pizzas at the end of the night to take home
  • Giving free alcohol to friends and favorite customers
  • Snacking on unauthorized foods


4. Productivity

It’s not unexpected for employees in this digital age to sneak some peeks at their phones during a shift. However, when this consistently happens, or when they start taking bathroom breaks to do so, it becomes an issue. This lost productivity is costing your restaurant. It can result in unhappy customers and even fewer customers served due to slow table turnaround time.

Overall, employees stealing reaches from time and productivity to money to inventory. Awareness of these issues empowers you to put policies and procedures in place to mitigate these thefts in your restaurant. 



Want to hire reliable and trustworthy staff from the start? Learn how Sprockets’ Applicant Matching System can help your restaurant hire staff you can trust and reduce employee turnover.



Table of Contents


Case Studies

View All


View All


View All

Industry Articles

View All

Solve Your Staffing Challenges With Sprockets’ AI Hiring Software

Sprockets works alongside your current system to help you source, screen, and select the best applicants for open positions. It’s the solution to hiring hourly employees you’ll wish you discovered sooner.