When it comes to preventing fraud and improving loss prevention strategies, airport food & beverage operators know that keeping losses to a minimum is no easy task.
On an average day, airport food & beverage operators conduct over 10,000 transactions. As much as 6% of the gross revenue is not captured due to errors or outlier activity. Many times, employee theft can be attributed to revenue leakage.
That’s why it is now more important than ever for airport F&B operators to utilize the right tools and technology to close the gap between revenue and loss. By adding advanced predictive analytics alongside conventional video surveillance and POS monitoring, F&B operators can dramatically reduce the likelihood of loss and protect the bottom line now, and for years to come.
A Look At Loss Vectors for Airport F&B
As is the case for many businesses within the food & beverage industry, revenue leakage can take many forms – from POS input errors to outright employee theft and fraud.
Airport Employee Theft Can Contribute to Overall Loss
In some cases, employee theft or fraud can take on a much more visible form – whether it’s outright theft from the cash register, or sneakier, harder-to-detect fraud options like Tip Adding, Sweethearting, Buddy Punching, and more.
Employees may be asked frequently to stay beyond shift times or come in at unconventional hours to accommodate delays or flight changes, and that can add to the confusion over who is at the POS, conducting which transactions, and for how much.
And when it comes to overall compensation, the fact remains that working for an airport business can just cost more than other jobs. Many airport employees must pay for parking, may have to undergo additional security screenings, or travel significant distances to reach their work. And because many margins for airport food & beverage operations are thin to begin with, those same employees may not be able to count on raises or high starting pay to compensate. Together, these factors may make employee theft a much more likely occurrence in the airport food & beverage sector.
Operational Challenges for Airport Businesses
Compounding these common food & beverage difficulties are the unique demands placed on any business operating within an airport. Guest counts can often greatly exceeding those of a standard brick-and-mortar establishment, and operational hours are often adjusted from the norm to better accommodate the needs of hungry travelers.
For almost all hospitality businesses, the high likelihood of employee theft at the POS has many operators feeling like they must have eyes on all of their employees, at all POS stations, at all times – a prospect that is, frankly, impossible. Additionally, many airport food & beverage operations may operate as just one location under a larger brand, or may in fact be franchise agreements with a particular operator. This adds yet another extra step between the brand owner and the workers on the ground, which may exacerbate loss from employee theft or fraud.
When it comes to stopping this loss at the source, even the most reactive operators may not be able to fully stem the tide of regular losses. That’s why it pays to think proactively – and due to the fast-paced and large-scale nature of airport food & beverage, this is especially true for operators within that sector.
Predicting Loss Patterns with Advanced Analytics
Computers are beginning to outperform humans on a wide variety of analytical tasks, many of which can prove hugely beneficial to operators in the airport food & beverage industry and beyond.
Take, for example, predictive analytics. Rather than scour through thousands of exceptions manually to compare against statistical norms, an advanced predictive analytics system can quickly and efficiently present the user with a list of suspicious checks, as well as the most suspicious employees to review.
An advanced predictive analytics system can assess all POS and transactional data holistically, comparing individual check, workers, and transactions against long-term statistical norms. By looking deeply at all fraudulent or suspicious transactions against historical trends, predictive analytics can alert operators – with reliable evidence – as to which employees are the most likely culprits of theft or fraud over a sustained time period.
Additionally, this advanced predictive analytics system can also be directly integrated into a business’s existing video surveillance system. This adds powerful predictive and analytical analysis to your video surveillance efforts, helping to pinpoint fraudulent transactions and employee theft with pinpoint accuracy, and solid video evidence to match.
POSConnect Can Help Protect The Bottom Line
At eConnect, we’ve been providing hospitality companies with a platform for actionable information, reinforced by video, for a decade – and our newly-enhanced POSConnect application now utilizes artificial intelligence to further analyze point of sale data for fraudulent activity.
When integrated with your existing POS system, POSConnect is able to listen to every transactional keystroke made on every POS terminal throughout your operation. Utilizing an advanced Behavioral Intelligence Engine, POSConnect then analyzes this data for suspicious activity – including employees who deviate from statistical norms. These employees are then are flagged from the system for review, often synchronized with video so that operators can quickly identify if there are procedural errors or if theft is occurring.
Our system identifies those transactions that represent high risk to the client and allows them to take corrective action quickly and efficiently. Whether it’s shining light on individual instances of employee theft or fraud, or identifying broader patterns of revenue leakage throughout your operations to be tightened moving forward, POSConnect can quickly transform a food & beverage operation from a loss-prone operation into a smooth-running, low-loss business.
For food & beverage operators within the airport sector, POSConnect can represent real, long-term savings by reducing employee theft, assessing revenue with predictive analytics to identify key sources of revenue loss, and providing actionable results to help operators quickly and efficiently stop loss directly at the source.
If you’re interested in improving your airport food & beverage operation’s ability to detect and fight employee theft, stop POS losses, and improve overall revenue, get in touch and let’s discuss just how much our enhanced POSConnect solution can do to protect your bottom line.