Cash shorts


I’ve a del/co business which has been open for 18 months and is doing reasonable business. We are open 11.30am to 11pm 7 days a week and I have 4 ‘managers’ who run shift for me (I do 4 shifts per week). My store manager has been brought in for overseas as we’ve had problems getting ‘experienced managers’ and has been with me for about a month. My other 3 guys (1 asst mgr and 2 trainees) have been with me since I opened.

Over the last few months we had a few series of cash shorts (about $100 over a month), this then improved and then has come back (15, 12, 7, 14 per night but not every night - lets say 4 out of every 8).

I’ve checked shift patterns and so far theres nothing to link with any one manager. The pattern if anything is it happens any day regardless of whos on.

I’ve cctv which I can (and do - and they know I do) view remotely if needs be, I pop into the shop regularly, managers only hold the till keys etc etc.

So, its likely to be either one or a combination of:

a) someone (pr more than one) with their hand in the time
b) giving out an order without getting payment
c) not correcting amendment orders/bad orders etc

I’ve watched countless hours of cctv - and if you’ve done this you’ll know how pointless it is.

So my last step is to pin down when it goes and make the lead manager responsible/pay when we’re short. So as we’re open all day I need a cash handover policy.

Does anyone have (saves me having to re-invent the wheel) a policy/checklist to help with this or any other advice they’d be kind enough to share?



that should read 4 out of every 8

Hi j_r0kk

I was hoping you’d reply as your posts are excellent.

I’ve already read the post you’ve put up and yes we do everything on the list and more;

no order no food, daily stock counts, etc etc. when we opened I had two staff members (one a trainee manager, the other crew) together they were altering previous orders and pocketing the difference. As soon as I saw the items on the paperwork (2 days after) I knew what was going on - both sacked and police informed.

At the moment there is no financial pain for the managers if we’re short so whilst they’re interested theres a limit and I’m the only one who suffers in the end.

My key issue now is identifying when in the day the cash is going missing - if I have an opening manager and a closing manager repsonsible for cash then it would be meaningless to split the short between them as if one were stealing its still worth his while as he’d only end up paying 50% of the cash he’d taken whilst the other guy is penalised for another manager stealing.

So I’m looking for a process/document to assist with mid shift cashing up i.e. whilst the shop is still open and taking business.

Any other views?


Nope, you’ve hit the nail on the head. Do a shift change. That will let you know if you’re missing money at lunch or at night. Shift change paperwork shows the basics:

Starting cash
+daysift sales

  • mileage paid out
  • cash paid out
  • credit card sales
    = “whatever”

Count your till and you should have that amount (“whatever”)in it. If it’s short, they’re short. If it’s over, they’re over.

One word of advice:


(Even though I don’t listen to my own advice because I have not a one camera)

But seriously, a picture is worth a thousand words… or in your case, probably a thousand bucks. -J_r0kk

The cameras are there as noted in the first post but you have to watch them. I was lucky I was missing money but found a pattern and then watched those days of tapes and caught the guy. I know its hard to watch them but it may be the only way to tell if all else fails

So what can you see them doing? Staight out putting the $$$ in their pockets?Hiding it in their plams and then putting away a little later?

thanks pizzaguy - I think it is my last resort. When I knew two guys had stolen money from me over two days even watching the cctv I never actually saw them take the money. Ther act of taking money can be a split second and i think you’ve been luck to spot a pattern - so far I haven’t so it would mean watching a full 14 hours of cctv.


Sorry, didn’t see in your first post you had cameras. Good to see you’re putting them to use. Here’s another little tidbit for you:

  1. Have the closing manager count the till with another employee watching. Run a (calculator)tape, have both manager and employee sign on the tape.

  2. Have the dayshift manager, AND ONLY THE DAYSHIFT MANAGER, control access to the till (in other words, the dayshift manager is the only one allowed in the till)

  3. Do a shift change at the end of dayshift to see how cash is.

  4. Make a dayshift deposit and re-set the till for a certain dollar amount.

  5. Give the till keys to the front counter person so that he/she can take care of carryout customers.

  6. At the end of the front counter person’s shift, the closing manager counts down the till IN FRONT OF THE FRONT COUNTER PERSON to make sure it’s correct.

  7. After the front counter person leaves, the closing manager is the only one in the till until it’s time to do a deposit.

By doing this, 3 people in a day are responsible for the cash: Opening manager, front counter person, closing manager. These are checks and balances so you know EXACTLY where a cash problem is coming from. Let EVERYONE in the store know you’re keeping an eye on it and you’ve got to follow it, without question.

Once these procedures are established, your thief will eventually get frustrated and probably quit. Why should they stick around with no more extra, tax-free income?

Now, this method totally…SUCKS and is the biggest hassle in the world. But I guarantee you your cash problem will either stop, or you’ll find out where it’s coming from.

Hope this helps. J_r0kk


In my new store, we are lucky enough to have solid managers that currently don’t have cash issues.(crosses fingers and knocks on wood) In previous stores we have used a count sheet that shows opening count, mid-shift over/short and then the closing count.

If you send me a fax number I can fax you the sheet we are using. If used correctly, the person responsible for the cash shortage will have no excuses.

One of the worst things you can do is allow 3 or 4 people work the register during a shift. That’s why I insist that only one person is on the register on each shift.

As far as recovering some of the shortage, I give my managers a monthly/period bonus for meeting COS, COL and service times goals. I keep track of our period over/short and any shortages get divided up evenly amongst the managers and it comes out of their bonus checks. Believe me, they hate that and are more than willing to help you find out who the thief is.

Once you use a system that holds one person accountable it then becomes a progressive discipline issue. Since you’ve had problems in the past I’d suggest that you meet with your managers and let them know how serious you are about keeping shortages under control. I’d start out by considering the meeting to be their first oral warning. Then, everyone has only two strikes left.

Cash shortages are one of my biggest pet peeves. I have no patience for anyone that is willing to steal from our business, their co-managers and my family.

Good Luck !!

This guy tried it all, hidding it puting it under the till then comming back for it palming it and making it look like he put it in you name it! I must have watched 40 hours of tape while I was trying to figure out who it was but once I started narrowing it down to a few people it got easier. Then it was a matter of about 1 hour of tapes and I nailed him. Wow did that feel good. I found that unless you know who it is or can narrow it down to a few people you have to watch a lot of tape so have paitents

This is unconventional but it worked. A friend of mine owns a “great clips” hair cutting place. They had the same problem with cash disappearing but couldn’t catch the culprint even though they had cameras. So what he did was call a meeting of all staff for a sit down. He asked a local police officer to park outside in front of the store for a few minutes, in sight but just doing paperwork. He then took a blank CD with him as a bluffing tool and started the meeting as such: “We have had money missing from the register and I have here in my hand a CD of several video clips from the security system that I am going to turn over to the police. I wanted to give the guilty party the opportunity to resign before I press charges. So, you know who you are, please pack your stuff and leave now, or I will press charges and the officer outside can come in and arrest you.” He expected one or two people at most, but three got up and left. Problem solved. Thefts stopped.

That is awesome!!!suprised they got up.These days people just don’t care anymore and the judges let them off anyways.

You know, it would’ve been funny as Hell if ALL of 'em got up and walked out. LOL. -J_r0kk

omg. Funny and sad at the same time.

The hair cut joint idea is funny.
I pay my Managers, and Asst. Managers a small base wage and a large percent of profit. All cash shortages come out of their portion of the profits, I don’t have shortages, Employees are very self policeing when there paycheck if affected.

Genius! I am going to try this system in my future pizzeria.

Here’s an update for you:

  • I read PMQ prior to opening my place and was a little worried about theft issues (a post from Big Dave certainly gave me a few things to think about) hence why I’ve done cctv, daily stock take etc etc.

  • As a result of the posts I read I put a clause in my employee handbook stating that cash shortages etc would be deductable from the pay of the person controlling the asset - I had the contracts and handbook written up by a HR firm.

  • I’ve now told the managers that one person per shift is responsible - they count at the start and end of each shift and handover to the new manager.

  • Any shorts come out of their pay (so far they’ve not figured out about overs but there you go!)

  • We’ve still had a few shorts (we’ll I haven’t the managers have) but wait - one of the managers suddently got itchy feet and has resigned… funny that! He happened to be the one I thought I trusted the most, but I found out recently he’s had money problems - the bank’s collections depatment rang the shop one day asking for him. He was always the one who said he felt really bad when we were short as he knew that I suspected all the manager and he really felt uncomfortable thinking I didn’t trust him, and funnily enough the cash shorts have stopped - maybe it was him maybe the procedure has stopped it we’ll never know.

One of my biggest learning points so far is the person who is always the most vocal about stealing (“god i can’t believe someones stealing from you Kev”) have in my experience normally been the one who we found out had been doing it.

Thanks for your help and hope that sharing my problem has helped.