With all the focus on good bartender practices and internal controls, what about those “other” employees? All good practices should extend to anyone who has the words, “Serve Alcoholic Beverages”, in their job description. With cocktail servers so prevalent and necessary to provide good service in lounges everywhere, cocktail servers should be held to the same standards as all bartenders. The temptation and the opportunities for a cocktail server to steal are enormous because they work independently and self bank. Dishonest cocktail servers use a variety of methods to take advantage of their situations.
These methods can include:
Short-Changing – Stealing by not returning proper change to a guest. This happens as the guest can become less attentive as they become more intoxicated.
Overcharging – Charging more than necessary for a certain drink and stealing the difference. This usually happens when guests have no intention of seeing a receipt and the server quotes the drink price to them.
Substitutions – Charging for a requested premium liquor, but ordering a well brand from the bartender.
Representing Checks – Presenting the same check to two separate guests/transactions with the same order, then pocketing the cash from one or both transactions.
Fake Walk-Outs – Alleging that a party walked out, but pocketing the cash instead.
Altering Checks – Voiding or adding to checks. Usually goes hand in hand with representing checks.
With the following controls in place, you will curb the chance that your cocktail servers have to steal.