One thing that always drove me crazy was the thought of inventory just disappearing. When I was operating a FEC it was always a huge concern to control the inventory that your employees are handling. This causes a huge internal struggle. One struggle is that I was smart enough to understand the risk of your inventory items being out in the open. So you have to stay on your toes at all times. The other struggle is not trusting your employees. Your employees are your team mates and play such an important role in driving your business in your FEC. The easiest way to control these struggles is putting together employee policies to help control your inventory. The three areas that I want to focus on is your Redemption area, Arcade area and Food & Beverage.
In this area you have a wide range of products that vary greatly in cost. Some of these items are hard to control simply due to their size and ease of access..... so many bins. The only way to control this is with inventory control. You have to know how many items that you have on hand at all times. You also have to have a system to track the number of tickets that are being exchanged for these prizes. Without both of these controls you are just allowing your inventory to fly out the door.
In this area you have two options. The strongest option is to use a debit card system that can control every dollar that is being spent in the arcade. You can issue "tech cards" that have a limited value and the value on these cards can even expire at the end of the day. If you don't have a debit card system you have to control, control, control your tokens. I used to deal with cups and cups of tokens. NO CONTROL. Then I was able to control the amount of tokens being dispensed with a counter top token dispenser. This allows you to monitor your token output. The best option here is to have this token dispenser integrate with your POS system. So no token is being dispensed without it being purchased in one form or another.
Food & Beverage
I would always hate rounding the corner into the kitchen area to find an employee drinking a bottled drink or snacking on potato chips. I hated wondering if they paid for it or was it received via a five finger discount. You have to put controls in place. The easiest way to control this is to make sure that your employee purchased these items. Use your POS system to record the transaction and provide an additional receipt that they can sign. Keep this signed receipt in the cash drawer. This will provide the employee with the peace of mind that they can prove that they purchased the product and also provides an easy method for management to track these purchases.
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