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Insights Success Story

Restaurant Franchisee Discovers $12,000 Employee Theft Ring With Solink’s Video Security System

January 2, 2023

The Challenge: Employee Theft

Employee theft is a concern for every franchise owner, but as a restaurateur, it can be challenging to find the time to take on the role of a loss prevention officer. Several franchisees using Solink’s cloud video security and loss prevention solution expressed an interest in Digital Shadow to audit outliers for them as an outside source.

With over 20 years experience in loss prevention, James Burke, Co-President at Digital Shadow, decided to pilot their audit using Solink’s security system solution. Johnny Mizzoni, an ex-police officer and restaurant franchisee, agreed to the pilot project. Like many franchisees, he rarely has time to sit down and conduct audits himself. Using the Solink system, James would conduct a monthly audit of transactions. “By having an unbiased professional look at the data, we can uncover things you didn’t suspect were happening.” -James Burke.

See how Solink helps combat employee theft in your restaurant.

Initial Findings: Suspicious Transactions

Over the course of the next month and a half, James was notified of several important findings:

  • It was observed that team members (TMs) were using “Timbit” transactions and no-sale transactions quite often to open the register to give correct change. Most of the time this is an honest mistake, but the TMs know that they are not supposed to use this practice.
  • One TM, in particular, was observed opening the till using single Timbit transactions more often than others.

At this point, Johnny asked James to pay closer attention to this TM, specifically in the evening hours when there is fewer staff around.

Outcome: Theft Ring Busted

Using the Solink app on his iPad during a business trip, James was investigating various possible outliers. That’s when he discovered the TM in question giving police discounts to ordinary customers. At one point, money was observed being tucked into her pants waistband.

James bookmarked the video security footage in the Solink app and notified Johnny, who then began reviewing them on his mobile device.

Johnny was able to find footage of this TM taking orders at the POS system, but no transactions were recorded at that time. It became clear that she would delete the orders from both the register and order screen before making the order for the customer and pocketing the cash.

“Thanks to Solink and James, we caught an employee theft ring that was stealing between 8-10 thousand a year, not even considering food costs. Other Team Members simply thought she was a rock star, as she could work so quickly and do everything herself. Then I found her voiding another TM’s transactions and that’s when I knew they were working together. What I found when I had completed my investigation was shocking.” -Johnny Mizzoni

“It’s a wonderful success story. I now advertise it to my managers so they know someone’s keeping an eye on my cameras. I consider it to be an asset, and I’m comfortable with your service because I know it will keep good people from making bad decisions,” said Johnny Mizzoni.

James’ expertise combined with Solink’s Loss Prevention solution made it possible to detect the suspicious incidents and gather the evidence necessary in such a short period of time. On using Solink, Johnny commented: “Solink makes it easy to obtain video evidence, even when I’m not at my desktop or in my stores. This has never been possible with any of our past systems.

A few weeks later, another team member was also caught stealing. Considering that some of the TMs that were apprehended had been on his team for years, the results we were able to achieve far exceeded Johnny’s expectation.

In under 2 months, Solink and Digital Shadow uncovered upwards of $12,000/year in lost revenue and food costs to employee theft.

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