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Dealing With Theft

Written by The Restaurant Doctor UK Team
Last Updated: 29th October 2023

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How to Deal with Staff Who May Be Stealing from Your Bar

If you own or manage a bar, one of the biggest challenges you may face is dealing with staff who are stealing from you. Not only can this be a major financial loss for your business, but it can also damage your reputation and create legal issues if accusations are not handled properly. Here are some tips for dealing with staff who may be stealing from your bar:

Common Methods of Theft by Staff

Some of the most common methods of theft by staff in a bar include:

  1. Under ringing items: This involves not properly charging customers for their drinks or charging less than the actual price.
  2. Stealing stock: Staff members may take items such as bottles of alcohol or glasses from the bar.
  3. Giving away free drinks can cost the bar money and lead to overstocking.
  4. Taking money from the till: This is a direct form of theft and can be difficult to catch.

Prevention and Detection

Preventing staff theft requires clear policies and procedures, effective training, and vigilant monitoring. Here are some steps you can take to prevent and detect theft in your bar:

  1. Implement clear policies and procedures for handling cash and stock and ensure that staff members are trained to follow these policies.
  2. Perform regular checks of receipts and stock levels to ensure that everything adds up.
  3. Install CCTV cameras in strategic locations to monitor staff activity.
  4. Enlist the help of trusted friends or family members who can observe staff behaviour without being noticed.
  5. Conduct regular training sessions to reinforce the importance of honesty and integrity in the workplace.

Dealing with Suspected Theft

If you suspect that a staff member is stealing from your bar, it's important to gather the evidence before making any accusations. Here are some steps you can take:

  1. Perform an "x" reading halfway through a shift and check the receipt roll for any small charges or discrepancies.
  2. Review CCTV footage to see what the staff member served at the time of the transaction.
  3. Watch their hands to see if they put money in their pockets or a "tip jar."
  4. If you have evidence of theft, confront the staff member respectfully but firmly and provide evidence of their wrongdoing.
  5. If they admit to the theft, take appropriate disciplinary action, such as issuing a warning or termination of their employment.


Dealing with staff who may be stealing from your bar is a serious issue that requires careful attention and planning. By implementing clear policies and procedures, performing regular checks, and being vigilant for signs of theft, you can help prevent and detect theft in your bar. If you do suspect that a staff member is stealing, be sure to gather evidence and handle the situation with care and respect.

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