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Restaurant franchisee shares $12,000 employee theft ring story

January 2017

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 Video Recording and Loss Prevention solution expressed an interest to Digital Shadow in having an outside source audit outliers for them. 

With over 20 years experience in loss prevention, James Burke, Co-President at Digital Shadow, decided to pilot their audit service using the Solink solution. Johnny Mizzoni, an ex police officer and restaurant franchisee, agreed to the pilot project since like many franchisees he rarely has the time to sit down and conduct audits himself. 

Using the Solink system, James would conduct a monthly audit on transactions that are most susceptible to theft.

"By having an unbiased professional look at the data, we can uncover things you didn't even suspect were happening." -James Burke.

The Challenge

Initial Findings

Over the course of the next month and a half, James notified Johnny 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 are fewer staff around.

Using the Solink app on his iPad during a business trip, James was conducting 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 these events 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 register 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. 

Outcome: Theft Ring Busted

“Thanks to Solink and James, we caught a theft ring that was stealing between 8-10 thousand a year not even considering food costs.” -Johnny Mizzoni

Solink Mobile App

“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

James’ expertise combined with the Solink 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 we apprehended had been on his team for years, the results we were able to achieve far exceeded Johnny’s expectations. 

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

“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.” -Johnny Mizzoni

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