Part 2: Common Excuses for Theft
Why do they do it? Your bar is a good place to work; you're a decent boss - you pay above-average wages - why does your staff feel the need to break the law? Put simply, human nature is to take something for nothing when the chance arises. An informed bar manager is in a far better position to fight losses from theft.
- Greed. Theft isn't always about needing a little
something extra to pay the bills; some employees
just plain old enjoy beating the system. The
thrill of getting a sneaky ten bucks is far more
important to these people than the actual dollar
- Rationalizing criminal behavior. "I didn't think
it was hurting anybody," is a terrible excuse, but
you'll hear it again and again. A little fiddle here
and there is seen, in some employees' minds, as not doing anyone any harm.
- Tip boosting. Some employees feel that if a customer isn't doing his or her part by leaving a reasonable tip, then turnabouts is fair play. Tips make up a significant part of any bartender's pay, and when the tips are low, they try to make up the difference in other ways.
- Resentment. People don't always take orders, or discipline, well and sometimes members of staff who feel "picked on" will strike out by "getting even" with the manager or the venue that they feel has wronged them.
- "It was there." Human beings can be impulsive creatures, and sometimes leaving the opportunity for a staff member to defraud the system is all the person in question needs to kick into action: "I don't know what came over me!"
This article is an excerpt from the Food Service Professional Guide to Bar & Beverage Operation, authored by Chris Parry, published by Atlantic Publishing Company. This excerpt has been reprinted with permission of the publisher. To purchase this book go to: