When you hear the word “theft,” the first thing that comes to mind is broken cash drawers, pickpocketing, or bank robberies.
But, many thefts surprisingly occur in the flavorful, smoky, and mouth-watering world of restaurants, but it takes a uniquely different form.
Time theft - as the name suggests - is everything from buddy-punching to extended paid breaks, all adding up to an inaccurate reporting of total hours worked. And unfortunately, the problem in the restaurant industry is so deceptive that owners feel as if they have no solution to bring this type of theft to a halt.
The only answer or remedy for small restaurant owners is an online time card, which makes the work environment equal for everyone.
Today, an online time card is imperative for every type of restaurant because according to a survey by the Boston Globe and Denver Post, companies in the United States lose more than $400 billion per year due to time theft.
For restaurant owners, it's essential to understand that time theft is not always intentional because not all employees are dishonest.
For example, an employee forgets to punch-out after a break or accidentally punches out a few minutes late. A time tracker app will put a full stop to the time theft by sending a reminder notification to the employees about their break times.
Here are a few ways how an online time card will help prevent time theft.
As per a report by the American Payroll Association (APA), buddy punching costs companies 2.2% of their annual gross payroll. Buddy punching occurs when a coworker punches for someone else who is not at work. It can be accomplished by sharing personal clock information such as username and password, but with an online time card, restaurant owners can prevent buddy punching because it features GPS tracking features.
With the help of GPS monitoring, small restaurant owners can create invisible barriers within a specified radius, disallowing employees to clock in if they are not within reach.
Extended breaks occur when employees take longer breaks than prescribed in the employee handbook policy of the restaurant.
For example, Adam is entitled to a 30-minute break. He leaves the restaurant, then comes back after running an errand in 45-minutes but records clocking in after 30-minutes back in the restaurant.
But, with the help of an online time card, restaurant owners can eliminate extended breaks because these smart clocks automatically send a notification to the employee when his/her break time is over. It will not allow employees to punch back in from break without prior approval from the manager.
When chefs or waiters manually report their working hours, they can deliberately misreport their hours worked. This can result in financial catastrophes because a few minutes a day can add up to an insurmountable added - and unnecessary - cost.
For example, a restaurant has 25 employees, earning $15 per hour, who report 6 minutes as the wrongful time for lunch each day. The restaurant is losing productivity in these 6 minutes, and the owner ends up paying
60 - 10
8 min - 1.33
$187.5 per week
$750 per month
$9,000 per year
For restaurants just starting out, $9,000 is a significant amount using which they advertise and market their offerings or invest in buying the latest equipment. Furthermore, with 43% of the employees exaggerating the amount of time they worked in their shift, finding a solution to wrongful punching is essential.
And, an online time card will put an end to the falsifying punching the employees have to punch in/out of the system using biometric data or scanning their fingerprint.
One of the hardest time card frauds to detect is excessive personal time used while working. Checking social media, using the internet for browsing, using a phone, and running personal errands are different ways in which employees eat productivity from employers.
While many restaurants encourage a few minutes of personal time to refresh the mind, an excess of anything is wrong. With the help of an online time card, owners can compare the performance over a selected period with respect to the labor laws and report a violation on comparing the actual hours worked with the scheduled hours.
The performance report will also help identify the top talent and reduce the instances of excessive personal time used because the software is not biased to show favoritism to an employee.
Today, restaurant owners across the globe are facing the growing challenge of controlling labor costs without cutting the diner services. While you might come across different online time card software, Zip Clock might be the software offering functionality and scalability required for the restaurant.
High labor cost has always been a concern for the capital-intensive restaurant business, and time theft only exacerbates this growing problem.
Using digital time clocks, like Zip Clock, to amend the various uses of time theft will reduce labor expenses.
Apart from preventing time card fraud, the software helps in enforcing business rules and labor laws, sends automatic reminders for employees break and clock out, prevents potential overtime by an employee, and helps in finalizing the payroll.