What do you think of when you hear the term “loss prevention?” If I had to guess, it may be something like Sherlock Holmes with a magnified glass – someone spying on your employees or your business, nit-picking your workflow and using industry-heavy jargon. Loss prevention is an industry where innovation has been minute and connotations are anything but positive. When I began my journey as a loss prevention industry professional, I knew it would be no easy task to change loss prevention’s preconceived image and turn it into a true consideration for restaurant decision-makers. I knew we had to change the way the system was designed and bring it up to speed with the modern issues restaurant owners and franchisees face every day.

Are you analyzing your data? If not, you are sitting on a missed opportunity that could provide you with astounding profit.

One of these issues is staffing. The restaurant industry is a special one, and keeping employees in the organization is essential. The restaurant industry provides so much opportunity for those who may not otherwise get the chance to climb the corporate ladder. Restaurants in the U.S. are filled with immigrants and rags to riches stories. Some owners barely spoke English when they started and invested in their first store with all the money they had. These are the people we need to keep within our organization, and in today’s day and age, it is becoming more difficult than ever to remain competitive with other opportunities. Luckily, a strong loss prevention strategy is key to retaining top talent, and all it involves is the data you already have on hand.

The most common complaint I hear from restaurateurs is how hard it is to find employees and retain staff. With unemployment at an all-time low and with the country experiencing an uptick in freelancing, restaurants have to remain competitive to attract talent. In theory, loss prevention goes against everything restaurants are struggling with. The strategy investigates, shows all hidden aspects going on behind the owner’s eyes and creates chaos by suggesting staff turnover. Who can afford to lose staff at this point? It’s no wonder the industry has such a negative perception.

What goes unnoticed, however, is how loss prevention can improve a restaurant drastically once the storm clears. Loss prevention is proven to increase revenue, customer counts, profit, customer satisfaction and employee morale, and the list goes on.

Although it may sound counterproductive, having an environment where each employee’s actions are being monitored (and where everyone is aware) creates a culture of accountability. The best employees know they will be recognized and rewarded for their efforts while lesser performers can get the additional training needed for them to succeed. This can be incredibly helpful during annual reviews as managers can see an unbiased report of how each employee has performed throughout the year and give feedback as necessary, allowing the restaurant to better retain top talent.

Loss prevention is proven to increase revenue, customer counts, profit, customer satisfaction and employee morale.

It is arguably more difficult than ever to recruit employees, leaving many restaurants under-staffed. By using operational analysis tools through CCTV video footage, loss prevention can help find ways to redistribute staff to decrease the amount of labor needed per shift, while still allowing the restaurant to provide the same level of service the customer expects.

There is an endless supply of data in every restaurant, including video footage, POS transactions and customer reviews, and most of these areas do not get utilized to their full potential. Almost every restaurant has some kind of surveillance software that rarely gets proactively watched. Usually, reviewing video surveillance is an afterthought left only for when an emergency happens, say a break-in or a cash shortage. All of this data is just sitting there, and often, restaurant decision makers fail to use it to fine-tune their business.

Are you analyzing your data? If not, you are sitting on a missed opportunity that could provide you with astounding profit. Take a look at what you already have on hand, and if you don’t have the time, contact a loss prevention company today to analyze your data to see where losses are occurring and how they can be turned into opportunities.

Every location has a culture and its own story waiting to be told. You simply need to let it be heard.

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