How the Right Data Can Improve Loss Prevention Across a Chain

    Though larger restaurant brands have unique needs, the right data tools can help them combat loss.
    Sponsored Content | September 21, 2016

    Sponsored by Agilence.

    A strong loss prevention strategy is a critical piece of driving healthy margins in a restaurant, but when operating a chain across multiple cities, states, and even countries, leaders face a large list of challenges. Following up on issues of security, theft, and operational waste can be difficult because restaurant leaders can’t be everywhere at once. Additionally, when it takes time to research and follow up on theft or waste, problems grow. This makes it critical to ensure loss prevention team members have the information they need on the organizational and store levels whenever they need it.

    When Joe Sherman joined Le Pain Quotidien to lead the loss prevention team, investigating issues was a challenge. Because the brand operates more than 100 stores in the U.S. and has a large international presence, it was challenging to research loss.

    “It was very difficult to look at the numerous types of reports we had and combine the information so that we could get a good view of what was going on in our business,” he says. “Without any data exception reporting platform, the process was very time consuming, and it didn’t give us the type of visibility we needed to identify fraudulent activity.”

    But Sherman knew exactly who to turn to for help. In a previous role, he had used Agilence’s software to access and review data in one neat platform. Now, after installing the system at Le Pain Quotidien, the data analytics platform helps the loss prevention team pinpoint patterns that indicate a need to look more closely at restaurant activity.

    “Data is a fundamental part of our loss prevention strategy and program,” Sherman says. “Agilence allows us to easily expose fraudulent activity at the POS, and it allows us to react through early detection. It allows us to slice and dice our data in different ways so we can discover new trends in how employees conduct fraudulent activity. It allows us to look at our historical data and industry trends so that we can identify what is acceptable behavior and what is suspect and potential theft.”

    Within just the first week after implementing the new system, the loss prevention team identified four cases of potential employee theft. Team members were able to quickly build cases using the system, and those four employees admitted to fraudulent activity.

    “This really proved the value of the analytics tool to the organization,” Sherman says. “When it was introduced to the district managers and operators, it became an important teaching moment. They said they had never looked at data this way before.”

    When those operators and managers saw the historical data and traced patterns with Sherman, he says they became very engaged with loss prevention and asked if they could use the tool in other ways to follow up on other parts of the business. These managers have been able to access data on suggestive selling so that they can identify individuals who might need training or to gather information for marketing teams to make promotional materials more effective.

    “I think it was very important that we found a vendor that understands restaurant chains and is innovative because trends and technology constantly change,” Sherman says. “We need a vendor that is able to adapt and give us the support necessary to deal with current and future issues that arise. I couldn’t be more pleased with the Agilence system. It’s a tool that allows me to build reports that are useful in my role and useful to others in the organization. By being able to capture data around the losses that have been identified with this software, I have been able to justify its value to the organization.”

    By Peggy Carouthers