On January 3, revisions to PCI Security Standards became effective for foodservice operations, providing guidelines to help prevent compromised credit card information in restaurants. To help restaurants secure their business information, Cintas Corporation released a list of the five most common document management-related issues in foodservice with tips for helping restaurateurs improve business document handling. Cintas is also hosting a free webinar on the subject January 19 from 3 to 3:30 p.m. EST and January 20 from 11:30 a.m. to noon EST.

“Restaurant operators often do not have the resources to stay up to date on changing document management laws and lack the right systems to protect their business, exposing them to risk from noncompliance, fraud, and theft,” says Brian Garry, senior director of foodservice at Cintas. “A secure document management program will optimize many restaurant management processes in any type or size of operation, improving compliance and reducing overall business costs.”

Protecting customer credit card data against rising fraud-related incidents is a major issue for many foodservice operations including credit card “skimming,” an illegal method of retrieving credit card information from an otherwise legitimate transaction, which cost the restaurant industry more than $200 million in 2009. Other valuable personnel and business data can also be vulnerable without the proper document management program in place. Poor document management practices can also impact human resources, accounts payable and accounts receivable operations.

Below are the top five most common data privacy issues within a foodservice organization, according to Cintas:

1. Maintaining and tracking employment application forms. Completed by prospective applicants prior to employment, these documents maintain important information that could be used to steal someone’s identity. These documents should remain in a secure system that is easily accessible for future reference or review by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Once personnel documents are no longer needed, they should be shredded so the information does not fall into the wrong hands.

2. Proper filing of I-9 employment forms. Quick-service restaurants are often a target for illegal immigrants who will work during the period while their I-9s are processed and before they are identified as illegal workers. Regulations to control this issue are expected to increase, so restaurants are encouraged to have a document management system in place where I-9s can be easily tracked and located to stay compliant.

3. Personnel file duplicates. Restaurants oftentimes have two types of folders on employees that are called “floor” and “shadow” files. In addition, other departments may maintain separate personnel files on employees. Multiple files can create confusion and prevent information sharing. Maintaining one online version of a personnel file assures all the necessary information is in one location.

4. Credit card fraud. Whether it is compromised credit card information or discrepancies with a restaurant bill, credit card fraud is on the rise within foodservice. To help limit reconciliation issues and protect customer data, an offsite hosted document imaging program ensures the security of your data while providing immediate online access and saving valuable storage space.

5. Mislaid documents. In a hectic restaurant environment, familiar documents such as invoices, payroll reports, and personnel forms can become easily displaced. Time spent searching for these documents equals lost labor hours. An online document imaging solution can help reduce the storage space required to file old documents and limit time spent locating filed or misplaced documents.

“Negative public relations, lost revenue, and compliance issues can all directly result from poor document management practices,” says Jamie Samide, director of marketing-emerging businesses at Cintas. “As foodservice operations look to increase margins and gain customer loyalty, a document management program can help protect and organize the vital information that keeps the business running.”

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