Put a Stop to Petty Pilferage with Clear, Consistently Enforced Policies

Pilferage of food and beverage items can cost hospitality operations a significant amount of money.  Not only does pilferage directly affect your bottom line, but it contributes to unsanitary conditions and damages your reputation when seen by members.

The best way to reduce pilferage is to have a clear policy that is explained to new hires during the onboarding process and constantly reinforced and enforced by all supervisors.  It is also essential that all supervisors set the example and refrain from “snitching a bite” from buffets and the kitchen line.

Here is a sample policy:

A.  Policy.  It is the policy of the Club that employees are not allowed to eat food prepared for service to members or guests.

B.  Discussion

  1. Definition.  “Grazing” – Employees helping themselves to food that is being or has been prepared for service to members or guests.
  2. Employees are not permitted to take or eat food other than the Employee Meal or eat at times other than their meal break unless authorized by their Supervisor.
  3. “Grazing” by food service staff in the kitchen or from buffet lines in the dining room will not be tolerated under any circumstances and no excuses will be accepted.
  4.  This policy is taken seriously and will be enforced by all supervisors.  We ask that you understand the necessity of such a policy and realize that it is essential for a number of reasons, including cost control, sanitation, professional appearances, and good member relations.  Please cooperate so that none of us is put in the position of having to play “food police”.

A further policy is that no food or beverage items whatsoever will be removed from the premises including leftovers or unconsumed employee meals.

Thanks and have a great day!

Ed Rehkopf

This weekly blog comments on and discusses the hospitality industry and its challenges. From time to time, we will feature guest bloggers – those managers and industry experts who have something of interest to say to all of us. We also welcome feedback and comment upon the blog, hoping that it will become a useful sounding board for what’s on the minds of hardworking  hospitality managers throughout the country and around the world.

Hospitality Resources International – Management Resources for the Hospitality Industry!

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