How to catch a thief, (and verify honesty) the quick and easy way.

I’ve been had some past issues with till reconciliation slips showing as balanced at closing , when they were not actually balancing.
I had one cashier who would write the negative or positive dollar amount in the correct slot, but cirlce “Balanced” even though the till didn’t balance.
I have no idea why this was happening, the math was correct. but she would never circle over or short. I got that fixed, but I had some concerns.

So I started randomly altering till amounts by anywhere from $2.00-$30.00 (negative or positive) occasionally , and seeing what their reconciliation sheet says at the end of their till count. I’d do a till debit to account for it for my records.

I am happy to say that all of my current cashiers brought any discrepancies to my attention immediately.

I never told them that I was purposely altering their till amounts, , and they were honest about overages instead of pocketing the difference, so I would tell them that I added rolled coin, and forgot to credit it to the till so they knew it was not their mistake. then I’d thank them for their honesty, and usually get them a gift of some sort to make up for “My Mistake”

What do you guys do to verify you have an honest crew?

Right now, I verify it by the fact that the only ones that use the register are my fiance and I, who run the place 60 hrs a week, or my parents, the owners who fill in a day or two a week.

Before, we just did it by verifying sales vs inventory and making sure the money works out. Here at the pizza shop, I always reconciled the till at the end of the night.

Recently, at our carryout location we had an employee who we trusted as a family friend for 30+ years steal over $12,000 of lottery tickets from us over the course of a month or two. We weren’t able to do those verifications due to issues with our logmein account on that computer and we didn’t think we needed to as we thought the staff was trustworthy. We were right for all but one. But it was a big one.

we have all servers bring all bills paid by cash to the cashier drawer…there is usually only one person using the cashier drawer and it is reconciled at every shift close. We also have a camera on this station. Although there is a tip jar on the counter, they are not allowed to put any cash into the tip jar and it is kept on the opposite side of the counter (this is where we have had problems in the past)

I don’t have any solid system but to watch. especially bc I don’t do deliveries like a lot of other shops do (most utilize the driver dispatch on their POS) I just keep deliveries in order and send them out according to time and direction of delivery. So at the end of shift or rush I add up all deliveries subtract cc tips and collect the money. sometimes they do it themselves I trust them maybe Im naive. I don’t think my register has ever been to the penny. We are growing though and This is going to be one of my areas I need a more solid system.

I did it a few times when I had some questions. I put $20 in the drawer and waited to see what happened. Only had one time that the $20 disappeared and the drawer balanced less than $1 off. Now most of the managers know I do it occasionally so it may keep them honest on that side. However, somebody will always find a way to steal from you. It doesn’t matter if they have been with you 10 years or started yesterday. I’ve seen some pretty creative methods over the years. I’ve caught more delivery drivers in the past few years than anything. Getting a managers login and discounting orders, taking an order with no coupons (Customer pays full price) then adding the coupons when they get back to the store, modifying tips (The smarter ones go small, change the 1 into a 2 or 6 into 8. Had one I fired for something else and found out a few days later he was adding onto almost every tip he got. Watch all your reports and be present is the best thing you can do.

I do not allow anyone into a till except for who it was assigned to.
I found a driver closing his own tickets because a cashier was not logging out when she had walked away, and when I told her that the driver was in her drawer, it got real ugly with threats of dismemberment directed towards the driver if her drawer was off by 1-cent. That ended that quickly enough.

I really want to go to biometric sensors as opposed to PIN codes, just so nobody can enter others numbers, I also look over my audit report daily for quantity changes, no-sales, and other items.
I currently have a trustworthy crew, but we are bringing on seasonal help shortly