How to Protect Your Sushi Restaurant from Fraud
Fraud is common in restaurants because of large staff members and people who have access to computer systems and cash registers. Combine this with numerous shifts, high employee turnover, and owners who can’t be there every second of the day to prevent restaurant fraud.
Diners, including sushi restaurants with online and mobile channels, encounter a growing number of fraudsters eager to exploit their platforms. Restaurants must be aware of not only the trends of fraud but also the most effective ways to protect themselves and their customers.
Frauds happen through customers, suppliers, and sometimes staff members. Most times, people who have no connection to the restaurant itself commit these crimes.
Many restaurant operations have transitioned from manual to digital platforms, like social media and online ordering services. So criminals use sophisticated methods to defraud restaurants. This article identifies popular cons and how to stop them in your restaurant.
6 Common Internal and External Restaurant Fraud
1. Phishing Scams
Phishing scams are deceitful emails that look genuine and tries to deceive you into supplying personal data or information. Most restaurant phishing scams often target the POS that has valuable customer data like credit card information.
Besides, these frauds also appear through social media pages and phone calls that look authentic. These fraudsters use real copy logos of companies or names of vendors related to the restaurant. These scams usually lead to the loss of huge funds.
How to Avert Phishing Scams
- Never open suspicious links in an email.
- Make sure employees understand how to spot these scams. Educate them and incorporate a policy that stops the provision of sensitive information to outsiders.
- Validate caller Identity and names. Look up other numbers associated with the supposed vendor and call to verify.
- If you have any suspicions, or if the individual calling uses a menacing language, hang up and call other numbers associated with the vendor.
- Never provide sensitive information or give computer access to anyone you don’t trust.
- Also, use and benefit from Identity theft plans that protect you from phishing sites, online fraud, credit card theft, and safeguards your online presence.
Chargebacks occur when customers use fake credit cards for payment or when an employee adds a tip to a receipt already signed by a customer.
How to Prevent a Chargeback Swindle
- Educate employees about the warning signs of fraud. For example, how to identify expired cards.
- Use payment methods, as the EMV technology, to circumvent a chargeback claim.
- Solve all customer complaints and issues promptly.
- Get and authenticate signatures, watch out for customers presenting multiple cards for the same order.
- Use well-defined payment narratives- if your restaurant’s name is Joe’s Sushi, use (Joe’s Sushi Restaurant) instead of a parent company.
3. Vendor Fraud
These ploys ensue when a staff member uses false documents to create a fake payment for their profit. Check tampering, bribery, billing schemes, and extortion are examples of vendor fraud.
Check tampering also occurs when checks are diverted and deposited into an unintentional bank account. They often involve adjustments and falsification.
How to Prevent Vendor Fraud
- Ensure that third-party vendors, like payroll contractors, have access only to what their services need. It inhibits cracks and security breaches
- There should be a strong separation between staff handling bills/payments and those taking delivery of goods.
4. Undercharging Tricks
Undercharging happens when an employee inputs a lower price for an expensive item. For instance, a waiter inputs $9 for a $16 glass of champagne and pockets $7.
How to Stop/Hinder Undercharging Cons
- Take stock often to detect inconsistency between the total amount received and sales.
- Computerize your inventory using programmed stock software that makes sure that what waiters serve to customers is what they input into the POS.
5. Auto-gratuity Scams
Restaurants automatically add a service charge (auto-gratuity) to a bill. Usually, restaurants print it on their menu, and it applies to parties of 6 or more individuals. However, an employee who knows that the tip is part of the total cost allows these persons to tip.
Always watch out for staff that earns higher than standard tips. Most times, the customer doesn’t know about the auto gratuity.
6. False Void Transactions
A void is a transaction which revokes, or entirely erases, a concluded deal. It happens when a waiter collects money for a complete order but later voids some items and keeps the cash for those items. New POS systems can compare void lists for each waiter and help you keep tabs on these expenses.
How to Prevent False Void Transactions
- Assess time stamps on void transactions. Some staff members do this when a few staff members are working a shift.
- Evaluate voids over time- Look out for those employees that have lots of voids on their tabs. Investigate and question them.
With a new data breach occurring every day, and an expansive marketplace for criminals (both physical and online) to exchange data, fraudsters have direct access to the information they need to commit fraud at a scale unlike ever before.
Launching a sushi restaurant is expensive without the added cost of fraud. As a Sushi restaurant owner or manager, continue to learn possible methods fraudsters use. Make sure you verify calls and accounts before making transactions. Make more money, don’t lose it.
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