Monitoring Internal Theft with A POS System

One of the biggest cash drains for retailers is caused by internal theft. Theft in the retail environment can be done by the theft of merchandise smuggled out in a purse or backpack, by giving product away to friends who come into the business or by the theft of cash. No matter how it is done, it costs the owner money.

A Point-Of-Sale (POS) System can help identify theft and specific losses in conjunction with conducting regular physical inventory checks during the inventory ordering process.  Not all losses are caused by theft and a POS system can help identify losses caused by spoilage, shelf life loss or other types of loss. For instance, McDonald’s goes to extreme lengths to monitor their French Fry inventory control. McDonald’s conducts a physical count once a month of every single French Fry container in an individual restaurant location. Each container is designed to hold a specific weight of fries. On the last day of the month, after the close of business, the count is done. The POS knows how many of each size container were on hand at the beginning of the month, how many were added to inventory during the month and how many of each size were sold during the month. In theory, the number of French fry containers sold would determine the pounds of French fries used to fill them.

McDonald’s is then able to determine how many pounds of raw fries they should have consumed and compare that to how many pounds of fries are left and then determine how many were pounds were lost due to theft or spoilage.

On a smaller scale, a bar that sells beer by the bottle enters in the number of bottles of beer they receive at each delivery. On beer ordering day, a report can be generated from the POS system to show how exactly how many bottles of beer were legitimately sold and how many bottles should be remaining on the shelf during an inventory count.  If the POS reports there should be 48 bottles of beer left and you can only find 40, you know that 8 have been stolen, given away or broken. Either way, as an owner, you know you paid for them but didn’t sell them and that’s never a good thing. POS systems can be programmed to record comp bottles of beer given away as well as breakage to truly drill down to how many bottles were essentially stolen.

An efficient POS system used correctly can pay for itself in no time simply by helping to identify problems so they can be addressed. Many systems such as the Clover system are very inexpensive to purchase and can be operated with an i-Pad or other tablet device. Chosen Payments is a dealer of Clover POS systems as well as integrated credit card processing, check processing, gift/loyalty programs. For more information visit

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