Stopping Employee Theft in Your Coffee Business

Regardless to how good of an employer you are, and even if you treat your employees well, understand that employee theft is a reality, and you need to control it. While it may only be a very small percentage of your staff that might steal from you, it can have a significant financial impact on your coffee business. If it goes unnoticed, employees will usually become even more brazen in their activities.

When it comes to theft, your employees are likely to fall into one of the following four categories:

Mr./Ms. honest – these are people who would never think of taking anything if it doesn't belong to them. If they happen to go home with one of your ballpoint pens, they'll bring it back the next day, and feel guilty that they took it home, even though it was unintentional.

Incidental theft – these are people that will take home your pen by accident, and will keep it. And, they may scarf a piece of cheesecake sometimes when you aren't looking, even though they know they shouldn't. Because these items have minimal value, they have no great sense of guilt related to their activities.

Theft because of need and opportunity – this is when you have an employee who is perhaps living on the edge financially, and because they have the need, and because your security may be lax, they'll take advantage of an opportune situation to take something .

Compulsive theft – this is the person who is always looking for something to steal, and they have absolutely no conscience about it. They typically rationalize the theft in their own mind. They consider you to be the rich, fat cat, and feel that they are over worked and under paid, so stealing from you is justified.

Employee theft probably exists to some extent within your operation, whether you are aware of it or not. You can most likely live with incidental theft, provided it does not get out of control. Theft related to need and opportunity is, in reality, your fault. These people would probably not steal from you normally, but a lack of security procedures has created the temptation and means for them to do so. Compulsive theft must be discovered, stopped, and you must eliminate the person (s) responsible.

Losing product due to theft:

Your employees may have no desire or need for a sleeve of 12oz. paper cups, Java Jackets, or a roll of toilet paper … but they might like a frozen cake, gallon of chocolate sauce, 6-pack of beer, or a bottle of wine.

There are some simple things you can do to significantly reduce the chance of being ripped-off. First, don't allow your employees to store their jackets, backpacks, and purses near where you store products. This makes it incredibly simple for someone to slide something into their bag or jacket pocket when no one is watching. I always had my employees store their personal belongings in the cabinet under the cash …