50 Ways to lose money in a Restaurant!

15 ways to lose money

September 21, 2020


Restaurant management is hard. Probably you already know some of these ways, other readers do not even imagine that these small details are the cause of losing thousands of dollars a year or closing a promising business.

Advanced POS Solutions (APS) with more than 15 years of experience in consulting and POS systems provider for the hospitality and food service industry, based on their experience, this “50 ways to lose money in a restaurant” to help you identify and correct them.


50 ways to lose money in a restaurant

  1. Combining smaller checks with large parties thus getting paid twice for the same tab
  2. Charging other customers’ credit cards for cash sales and pocketing the cash
  3. Not charging for chargeable extras
  4. Buddy clocking
  5. Not recording comps to get bigger tips
  6. Milking the Clock
  7. Under-purchasing
  8. Overproduction of prepared goods
  9. Over-pouring to get a bigger tips
  10. Over-purchasing
  11. Kitchen preparation mistakes
  12. Server ordering mistakes
  13. Serving free drinks, salads, or desserts to get a bigger tips
  14. Under-pouring to build a bank of liquor and pocketing the sales from that bank
  15. Bringing in their own liquor and pocketing the sales from those bottles
  16. Keeping manual tabs, then not entering all the sales from those tabs, keeping the difference
  17. Cooks giving free items to servers to sell and split the profits
  18. Faking breakage and spillage sheets and pocketing the sales from those “broken” and “spilled” items
  19. Snacking, nibbling, and drinking – personal consumption
  20. Ordering an item, getting paid, then transferring that item to another table in the computer (floating beverage scam)
  21. Diluting liquor with water or cheaper liquor and pocketing the additional sales from that bottle
  22. Comping or discounting food and drinks to friends or family (and their friends)
  23. Ringing in beer bottles as draft beer because kegs are harder to control
  24. Ringing normal sales at happy hour prices and pocketing the difference
  25. Faking normal sales as “walk-outs” and pocketing the difference
  26. Serving premium drinks or mixed drinks and ringing them as well drinks and keeping the difference
  27. Serving imported and microbrew draft beers and ringing them in as domestic draft beers
  28. Serving premium wines and ringing in a house wines and pocketing the difference
  29. Preparing the drink wrong, replacing it, and then selling it to someone else without ringing it in
  30. Ringing in regular sales under “special promotion” items and pocketing the difference.
  31. Over-portioning
  32. Under portioning
  33. Low yields – waste
  34. Signing for goods that were not delivered
  35. Spoilage
  36. Short weights
  37. Theft by delivery drivers
  38. Accepting damaged goods
  39. Stealth pricing – prices rising slowly until you notice
  40. Accepting a padded order
  41. Employees damaging goods so that they can take the “damaged” goods home
  42. Selling miscellaneous or “open food” at discounted prices
  43. Turning in their own discount coupons and keeping the cash
  44. Giving friends or family employee only discounts
  45. Server and manager deleting items after collecting for full check
  46. Using Mgr ID #’s to perform voids and returns on cash checks
  47. Putting product into garbage cans and then removing those items from the dumpster at a later time
  48. Adding drinks not delivered to large parties knowing they won’t be able to protest exact # of drinks ordered
  49. Changing the tip amount on the credit card authorization slip
  50. Reversing the sales tax status on Bar Tabs and pocketing the sales tax

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