• April 25, 2017

    How to Stay in the Black if Profits Decline

    New Year News— 2016 was a terrible year for the restaurant industry!

    Here’s the low-down from TDn2K (Turning Data into Knowledge), a restaurant-industry supplier of statistics and analytics: The last month of 2016 was the weakest for sales growth in the past three years and the 4.3 percent decline in sales for December brought down the entire quarter, resulting in fourth quarter sales being the worst in five years.

    These findings, based on weekly sales reports from 26,000 restaurants representing over 130 brands, revealed that 2016 was the worst year for restaurants since the recession. Victor Fernandez, executive director of Insights and Knowledge for TDn2K, says, “The last time the industry experienced a year with all negative quarters was 2009, when the economy was suffering the effects of the great recession.”

    Why are sales off?

    TDn2K cites several reasons for the current decline in restaurant sales.

    1. Shopping malls reported a decrease in customers. Shoppers opted to join the ranks of online purchasers rather than visit traditional brick and mortar stores. Consequently, food courts (and external eateries around these shopping areas) also saw a decline in traffic.
    2. Restaurants experienced a drop in their average guest check amounts.
    3. Family restaurants and casual dining establishments, especially the “bar and grill” segment, were particularly challenged to show profits despite increasing sales reported at quick service restaurants and fine dining places.

    Protecting profits for 2017

    These factors – less consumer traffic, sluggish check growth, and disparate segment viability –  will, of course, be the focus for many newly-developed marketing plans in the coming year.

    But the new year’s forecast is not all doom and gloom and restaurants can work to develop plans to protect their profits by focusing on areas other than sales.

    Make 2017 a better year!

    Here are some keys to sustaining profits during a declining sales period.

    1. Retain employees and keep them happy!

    Turnover for all levels of employees, from hourly workers to upper management, is continuing its upward trend. Analysis of TDn2K data “links higher restaurant management turnover with lower sales and traffic growth.” So now may be the right time to beef up employee training or institute orientation sessions that can enhance employee morale, or find new ways to build loyalty among employees. Unnecessary labor costs can eat into company profits. Minimizing workers’ compensation claims can also help protect profits and decrease employee turnover.

    1. Know the laws, old and new!

    Being familiar with all legislation regarding minimum wage and overtime regulations can prevent citations, fines, and unnecessary work and money to defend an action, etc. Completely understanding OSHA laws and how they affect employees and the company is imperative. Compliance in all areas will eliminate fines and prevent obstacles to continued business success.

    1. Increase security!

    Enhancing current security measures may cost a little, but could save a lot. Easy-to-implement things like training employees how to safely handle money, make secure deposits, or be vigilant with cash drawers, doesn’t cost much, but missing or stolen money can make a difference in bottom line profits. Other actions, such as hiring additional security personnel, upgrading computer protection networks, or installing intricate safety systems can save money and prevent future losses.

    1. Ensure customer and employee safety!

    Insisting that everyone follows all safety precautions from external and internal lighting to door and freezer locks can prevent labor and product loss due to negligence or ignorance. It might be prudent to update all relevant safety rules, initiate additional safety training sessions, or educate employees about mandatory safety standards. Maybe it’s time for those initiatives that have been put on the back burner, such as implementing the “buddy system” for night closings or installing parking lot cameras.

    1. Train security teams!

    Ensuring that loss investigations for both employee and customer theft are identified, investigated and resolved promptly will take on greater significance as money gets tight. Training in these investigative and interrogative areas is available and can be well worth the money spent.

    Future news can be good!

    TDn2K’s Chairman Wallace Doolin says the new year will be “one of winners and losers that are not necessarily determined by the segment, nor the age or size of the brand.” Increasing sales, capturing more market share, outperforming the competition, and operating a successful business will be important profit indicators in 2017. The future “winners” will also be those companies that work harder to capitalize on what they already do well to achieve peak, profitable performance …they just have to do it better.

    For more restaurant resources, #JoinRLPSA in Las Vegas for our 38th Annual Conference and Expo! Register here.

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  • March 2, 2017

    Associate Member Spotlight: Pedro Ramos, VP Sales at Agilence

    Meet RLPSA’s Associate Member, Pedro Ramos, Vice President of Sales at Agilence, the industry leader in cloud-based data analytics solutions for store operations and loss prevention for retail and restaurant organizations, in our RLPSA Associate Member Spotlight.

    What is your greatest quality/strength you are best known for?
    Not sure how to answer. Anything I say will only be a fabricated answer, I don’t spend much time thinking about it.

    What would you consider to be your area of expertise?
    It has evolved from leveraging technology to drive results to now showing others how to do the same.

    What is your greatest professional achievement?
    Adapting well to the various business challenges throughout my professional career thus far. Being a creative problem solver. How long have you been working in the food industry?

    How long have you been working in the food industry?
    34 years, 25 as a food retailer and 9 as a solution provider.

    When did you first become involved with RLPSA? What benefits have you gained as a result of this partnership?
    2013 was when I first became involved with RLPSA. Learning about the challenges facing the restaurant industry and meeting some great professionals that have helped me expand my knowledge about the restaurant industry.

    What advice would you give a millennial as they launch their new career?
    Listen, keep an open mind and challenge yourself by doing something that scares you.

    What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
    Spending time with my family, very involved in my community by volunteering in sports programs, cooking, and movies.

    If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would it be?
    Going for a drive with my wife and kids, the location is irrelevant.

    What is your favorite book?
    From Beirut to Jerusalem by Thomas Friedman, it was relevant then and still remains very relevant now.

    Who are your heroes/role models?
    My parents who had the courage to leave all they knew behind in their mid-40’s to emigrate to the U.S. to give my brother and I better opportunities.

    What keeps you up at night?
    Heartburn from acid reflux and the fear of failing.

    To learn more about becoming an RLPSA Associate Member, visit: rlpsa.com/join-us.
    To learn more about Agilence’s cloud-based analytics data solutions for store operations and loss prevention, visit: agilence.com.

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  • February 15, 2017

    RLPSA Releases Exclusive Educational Resource

    ATLANTA, February 15, 2017 – The Restaurant Loss Prevention & Security Association (RLPSA) is proud to announce the release of a members-only video that provides a never-before-seen view inside some of the industry’s leading restaurant safety programs.

    This safety video can be found under the Safety of Employees and the Safety of Customers sections in the Topic Centers portion of RLPSA’s new website. The video can also be found here: rlpsa.com/topic-centers. Other highly educational and informative topics ranging from Crisis Management and Insurance Fraud, to Robbery Prevention and Workplace Safety, can also be found in the website’s Topic Centers section.

    RLPSA’s Board President, David Johnston, said, “We are dedicated to sharing resources, expertise, and knowledge amongst our peer community. We are proud to be continually adding relevant educational and informative resources.”

    RLPSA is the only association dedicated to restaurant and food service loss prevention, security, safety and risk professionals. As a member-run organization, RLPSA shares information about industry trends and connects a network of peers who understand the unique challenges of the job, and who collaborate to find the next best solution.

    Members are encouraged to participate in its 38th Annual Conference & Expo in Las Vegas July 30 – August 2, 2017. To learn more information, or to register for the annual conference, visit: rlpsaannualconference.com.

    RLPSA’s would like to thank the following restaurant brands who made this safety film possible: Cracker Barrel, The Cheesecake Factory, Domino’s, Little Caesars’ Enterprises, Panda Express Restaurant Group, and BLD Brands.

     About RLPSA

    RLPSA’s goal is to help make our members more efficient and successful in their careers by serving as the “go-to” resource for restaurant and food industry loss prevention and security professionals.  Investigate your company’s membership rate here and join today: http://rlpsa.com/join-us/

     

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  • February 14, 2017

    Join Now to Download RLPSA Safety Program Video

    The Restaurant Loss Prevention & Security Association (RLPSA), in partnership with Little Caesar’s, Domino’s, Cracker Barrel, Panda Express, BLD Brands, and McDonald’s, has created a sneak peek into the nation’s most effective safety programs.

    Join now to download your copy of this video bringing you….

    Download your copy of this video, which includes:
    – Statistical safety data
    – Reality video footage
    – Safety tips and pointers
    – Real-life impact of forward-thinking safety programs
    – Successful safety program components

    Check out a preview to the safety video below:

    JOIN NOW to download the full version of this and other valuable members-only content.
    rlpsa.com/join-us/

    RLPSA members click here to view the full version of this safety training video in the RLPSA topic center: Safety of Employees.

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  • February 14, 2017

    Violence in the Workplace – An RLPSA E-book

    A violent act in the workplace is almost never the initial event or disturbance, but the last. Being proactive can help prevent workplace violence, and can also minimize undesired legal exposure.

    The purpose of having a workplace violence prevention program is to create an atmosphere in which employees understand that violence in the workplace is unacceptable and to educate employees about how to seek support without retaliation in order to stay safe and to help prevent disruptive behavior in the workplace. The focus of a program is to:

    • Protect human life
    • Prevent or minimize personal injury
    • Optimize loss prevention and security best practices
    • Provide proper situational response training

    The Restaurant Loss Prevention and Security Association (RLPSA) and the Foodservice Insurance Group (FIG) have partnered to create an e-book to assist RLPSA members in creating a comprehensive Workplace Violence Prevention Program.

    To become an RLPSA member and gain access to this e-book and other valuable members-only educational materials, click here.

    *The Restaurant Loss Prevention & Security Association (RLPSA)’s blogs, tweets, and articles are made available for educational purposes only as well as to provide general information and general understanding of common safety and security practices. The information provided is not all-inclusive, nor does it represent all means of potential safety and security within a restaurant or business environment. Readers are solely responsible for determining and developing what safety, security and loss prevention measures are appropriate for the operation of their locations, allowed by law in their jurisdiction(s), and understand that this material may not reflect the most current legal developments or industry requirements or regulations.
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  • February 14, 2017

    RLPSA Welcomes New Members Starbucks, Taco Bueno, Krystal and Cheesecake Factory

    ATLANTA, February 13, 2017 – The only association dedicated to restaurant and food service loss prevention, security, safety and risk professionals, the Restaurant Loss Prevention & Security Association (RLPSA) is proud to announce its distinguished new members.

    RLPSA is excited to welcome The Starbucks Company, Taco Bueno Restaurants, The Krystal Company, and The Cheesecake Factory.

    RLPSA Board President, David Johnston, welcomes the newest members and looks forward to working with the diverse business operations. “We are dedicated to sharing resources, expertise, and knowledge amongst our peer community,” said Johnston. “Together we find solutions to today’s challenges.”

    Renewing members include McDonald’s, AMC Theatres, Caribou Coffee, Domino’s Pizza, El Pollo Loco, and others.

    RLPSA serves as the “go-to” resource for the challenges loss prevention, safety and security professionals face every day. Adding to its ever-expanding membership roll makes RLPSA stronger and more versatile as it plans upcoming crime workshops known as RLPSA CONNECT, educational webinars, educational videos, and an annual conference. All RLPSA members are featured on the RLPSA website. To join RLPSA, go to: rlpsa.com/join-us

    Restaurants across the country are encouraged to participate in RLPSA’s 38th Annual Conference in Las Vegas July 30 – August 2, 2017. To find out more information and to register for the annual conference, visit: rlpsaannualconference.com.

     About RLPSA

    RLPSA’s goal is to help make our members more efficient and successful in their careers by serving as the “go-to” resource for restaurant and food industry loss prevention and security professionals.  Investigate your company’s membership rate here and join today: http://rlpsa.com/join-us/

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  • February 14, 2017

    RLPSA Continues Food Bank Support with a $3,500 Donation = 24,500 Meals to San Antonio Food Bank

    ATLANTA, December 1, 2016 – The Restaurant Loss Prevention & Security Association (RLPSA) donated $3,500 equaling 24,500 meals to the San Antonio Food Bank, a not-for-profit organization. This 2016 donation brings RLPSA’s contribution to food banks across the country to more than $40,000 over the last eight years.

    RLPSA partnered with the San Antonio Food Bank by hosting a charity raffle at its recent 37th Annual Conference held in San Antonio, Texas. RLPSA member’s annual donations to local Food Banks has become a long-standing tradition within the organization.

    Located in Southwest Texas, the San Antonio Food Bank serves over 58,000 people throughout the year. Every dollar donated helps provide 7 meals for those in need.

    The upcoming 2017 Annual RLPSA Conference will be held in Las Vegas, Nevada. RLPSA will partner with Three Square Food Bank of Southern Nevada to continue the long-standing tradition of making a significant impact on reducing hunger.

    To find out more information and to register for the annual conference, visit: rlpsaannualconference.com.

    About RLPSA

    RLPSA’s goal is to help make our members more efficient and successful in their careers by serving as the “go-to” resource for restaurant and food industry loss prevention and security professionals.  Investigate your company’s membership rate here and join today: http://rlpsa.com/join-us/

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  • November 18, 2016

    Robbery Prevention & Response Checklist

    With the recent increase in robberies of restaurants, it is critical to remain vigilant when entering, exiting and working inside restaurants.

    To help maintain a high-level of situational awareness, RLPSA Members download the Robbery Prevention & Response Checklist and decrease the chances of a robbery or another serious incident occurring at your restaurant.

    If you are not an RLPSA Member, click here to join RLPSA today and then download the checklist.

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  • November 14, 2016

    The Holiday Scams You Can Refuse to Serve

    As the holiday season nears, it is common that a “customer” may try to take advantage of excellent customer service and make a false claim or allegation about an organization or one of its employees. Restaurants are frequent victims of these scams and other fraudulent claims because sometimes it is more cost effective to settle an allegation rather than contest the claim.

    False Claim: A “Slip & Fall” incident from a customer who was “about to buy something” or “just using the restroom.” These incidents usually have no 3rd party witness or the witness is the person with the claimant.

    ACTION STEPS:
    A. To ensure the proper safety of all customers and employees, ensure Wet Floor signs are in place and in use
    when a spill has occurred and/or mopping is taking place. All spills and melting ice on the floor should be dried
    immediately. Employees should always keep floors clean and clear of obstructions. Be sure to remove the Wet
    Floor signs once the floor is dry. Employees should immediately report any trip hazards with steps, mats, floors
    and doors in the store to the supervisor for immediate correction or removal.
    B. Follow all incident procedures if a “slip & fall” is reported. Do not share any information about policies, CCTV,
    cleaning schedules, previous incidents, etc. with the customer. Get them the proper and appropriate medical
    assistance and refer them to the supervisor for any additional information.
    C. Do not provide the customer with any copies of the incident report or claim form. The supervisor will make note
    of any witness statements, if possible, in an area away from the injured customer.
    D. Call 911 immediately if needed or requested by the customer.

    See more common holiday scams and the action steps restaurants can take to counter them, download The Holiday Scams Restaurants Can Refuse to Serve Ebook.

    For RLPSA Members, download The Holiday Scams Restaurants Can Refuse to Serve Ebook to help protect your organization against frequent and often costly holiday scams.

    If you are not an RLPSA Member, click here to join RLPSA today and then download the Ebook.

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