How to Deal With Restaurant Employees Caught Stealing

Running a restaurant comes with lots of challenges. Not only do you have to prepare meals that your customers love but you also have to manage your staff. While most restaurant workers are good people, you will sometimes find a few bad apples in the mix. Today we are going to learn how to deal with restaurant workers who get caught stealing.

Review The Tape

When money or other items go missing at your restaurant it is easy to jump to conclusions. But before you start pointing fingers, you will need to find out who actually stole from your establishment. Any smart restaurant owner will have cameras installed in various important locations.


Cameras should always cover cash registers as well as the bar. This will help discourage employee theft. But if you do have someone take something that doesn’t belong to them, review the tapes. This will without a doubt help you find out who did it.

Check Your Inventory Software

Not everything that is stolen from a restaurant is money. In fact, some of the most common items that are stolen are alcohol and food. While you might turn a blind eye to a few drinks that went missing, things can start adding up quickly.

To find out who has been pouring drinks for themselves while on the job, all you need to do is check your restaurant inventory software. You will be able to see who took what and what shift it was taken from.

File A Police Report

Depending on the number of items stolen and the amount they got away with you might want to involve the police. By filing a police report you will not only have proof for your insurance company but you will also make sure it goes your employee’s record.



This will discourage them from stealing from others in the future and teach them a hard lesson that they will not forget. While this may seem harsh, you just might be doing them a favor. Most people who are let off with a warning will often end up getting in trouble for stealing in the future.

Speak With Your Attorney

While it is a wise move to fire anyone that has stolen from you, there is something you should do before letting them go. There are many laws that protect workers rights and you could run into hot water if you wrongfully terminate someone. To protect yourself and your business you should meet with your lawyer before you make the decision to fire your employee.

This will allow you to know where you stand on the matter. If you don’t have an attorney you should find one that specializes in employment law. He or she will have the knowledge that you need to build a solid case for termination.

These are just a few things that you should do if you catch an employee stealing from you. Remember to always make sure you have proof that they took something before point your finger. It is also a good idea to speak with both your lawyer and the police before making a final decision.