With data breaches, shared employees codes, shrinkage, and unbalancing cash floats, there are plenty of security-related concerns that operators of food service establishments deal with every day.
Tightening security at your POS terminals doesn’t necessarily require costly upgrades or extra equipment, and making a few small adjustments to the way you do things now can have a lasting impact and send your food service business in a more accountable, secure direction.
Here are three things you can do today to check the security at your registers:
1. Change employee passwords (and/or add in swipe cards.)
Most POS systems require employees to utilize a password (usually a series of numbers) to log in to the screen. This is how you tie transactions, cash deposits, and other bits of information to each employee. However, codes are easily shared among staff or may be easy to guess in some circumstances (i.e. 1234). Particularly if you are a manager or supervisor with override permissions, you’ll want to ensure that your POS login code is hard to guess, kept safe, and not shared with others. If you are using codes:
- Immediately deactivate or remove employees who are no longer with your organization
- Implement a system where codes are changed every few months
- Discourage employees from sharing their code with others
Using generic or shared accounts reduces individual accountability, increases your risk of theft, and will make mistakes more difficult to rectify. So, if you are using shared logins, start by creating individual profiles for each employee and eliminate the shared login practice altogether.
If you aren’t already using swipe cards for employee access, this cost-effective way of improving your security is an option to consider. Swipe cards are often more secure than codes, and employees can wear them on a lanyard or wristband to avoid losing them. Swipe cards, unlike codes, cannot be copied simply and are simple to activate and deactivate if needed.
2. Start using dedicated cash drawers for each employee.
Instead of having a shared cash drawer, ensuring that each employee manages their own drawer by inputting open and close counts can go a long way in improving your cash handling practices. Shortages in the cash drawer can occur due to mistakes in counting, theft, or simply money getting lost – all of which become easier to diagnose when you only have one person on each drawer at a time. Assign a dedicated drawer to each cashier, server, or bartender and ensure they are responsible for opening and closing this drawer at the beginning and end of their shift.
Managers can still be granted override permissions to allow them to make change, collect or swap bills, and perform other administrative functions within the cash drawer, however, improving accountability to each drawer by personal assignment is a great way to enhance security at each POS terminal with a cash drawer.
3. Increase settings that require manager overrides.
One type of employee theft is fraudulent voids or refunds, where the employee will void or refund a transaction and pocket the cash. Are cashiers allowed to perform voids? How about refunds? Typically, functions like these should require manager permission to ensure they are not being used and abused. Based on your users and securities, you’ll want to ensure all employees have the ability to do what they need to do, while ensuring that some functions are reserved for managers or supervisors only.
Here are a few functions that we recommend implementing a manager override for:
- Discounts over 50% or up to a certain dollar value
- Cash drawer opening
- Open price items (items that don’t have a fixed price, allowing for a manual price to be charged for an item)
Taking control of security starting at the POS terminal can have a positive impact on your food service operation: improving accountability, decreasing shared drawers and passcodes, and improving oversight into what is being overridden at the POS. If you have questions on how else security at your POS can be improved, feel free to reach out to us.