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DVR To POS: Keeping Your Profits In The Till

Employee theft in restaurants can make your food costs dramatically increase--there are now POS systems available to monitor such theft.

Written By: Derek Meade

Video survelliance is nothing new. Businesses have been keeping an eye on sticky fingered employees in this way for quite some time. But many foodservice operators aren't aware that there's a very effective way of monitoring employee theft, and it uses DVR (digital video recording) and technology most restaurateurs already have - their point of sale system.

According to the National Restaurant Association, the cost of employee theft in the United States amounts to $8.5 billion annually, or approximately 4% of food sales. An older study by the Association gives a figure of $218 per person each year. In an industry where keeping food costs under control are vital, this amount can easily mean the difference between success and failure for many food and beverage operators.

There's no doubt that keeping on top of employee theft can be difficult. Checking every employee, every bag, and relying on sales reports to indicate discrepancies is tedious and not very precise. Surveillance systems, used by many foodservice owners and managers, have traditionally relied on antiquated VHF tapes and have typically been ineffective in catching perpetrators. But now there’s a modern and very effective way of monitoring employee theft, and it uses technology most restaurateurs already have in place.

Closed circuit televisions, digital video recorders and your POS system can bring employee surveillance into the 21st century. The integration of these technologies means that food & beverage items entered into your POS system will appear simultaneously on video surveillance recordings. Here's how it works.

An employee serves an order of a sandwich and a coffee to a friend, but enters only the coffee into the point of sale system. The surveillance camera not only records the employee serving the order, but the actual text of the order entered into the point of sale system appears simultaneously on the recording as well. In this instance, the discrepancy is seen right away, and there is no question that a theft has taken place.

DVR to POS technology also allows owners and managers to collect critical data about their operation 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with digital precision. The beauty of digital recordings is that they allow for rewinding and verification to the exact time an order was punched in. This type of software integration enables overlay and search functionality down to an exact image frame.

Precise data reporting is an added bonus of this technology. The data collected is inputted to a database and analyzed for the purpose of providing graphing and reporting features. Such accurate reporting increases management productivity, since less time is required in creating different reports. Managers don’t have to pour over all sorts of different reports to spot discrepancies, everything is streamlined for them.

Some DVR to POS suppliers also offer a web component, allowing users access to data from any location in the world where there is an internet connection.

This innovation in point of sale systems really is the forefront of security technology, and it helps you, the foodservice operator, keep your profits in the till where they belong.

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