The Remarkable Power of Monitoring Employee Actions

Wait, don’t tell me. You don’t like the idea of “spying” on your staff because you want to create a trustworthy environment full of respect and camaraderie. 

Bullshit! You don’t like the idea of monitoring your staff because you’re a coward who despises confrontation and you’re terrified that they won’t like you.

God forbid everyone doesn’t like you!

If this does not describe you, I apologize, but you would be surprised at how many managers I come across who would rather let their bar or restaurant go to hell than confront someone not doing their job.

And if you are one of those cowards (it’s ok to admit it; I won’t judge too harshly), I’m going to tell you why it’s so important for you to grow some balls right now for the good of the business.

First off, 95% of bartenders steal. If you even try to debate this fact with me I will bash my head into a cinderblock wall out of pure frustration because bartender theft is a plague in this industry. If you think your bartenders are “good people” who wouldn’t betray your trust like that, take your blindfold off and join reality.

Yes, they are probably good people, but conformity is contagious and bartenders will do what others around them are doing and what bartenders down the street are doing, and greed is a powerful motivator.

Because of this fact, our industry loses 25% of it’s products, compared to the retail industry which only loses 2% of its products.

So how do we solve it? I know, I gave it away in the title, but a little repetition never hurt anyone:

MONITORING. And do you know why? Because when people know they are being watched, they behave like better people. This is another fact. Need some back-up research? Sure, no problem.

In 2011, a group of scientists at New Castle University released a study called, “Effect of eye images on everyday cooperative behavior: a field experiment.” In this study, the scientists would hang posters of eyes in different locations around campus, at eye-level to see how people would react.

Over a 32-day period they monitored people eating in the cafeteria to observe their littering behavior and how often they cleaned up after themselves. At first they had flowers hanging on the wall, and nothing changed. But when they switched to eye images, littering was reduced by more than double.

Similar experiments have gone on in business offices where images of eyes were hung up and it was determined that productivity increased by 34%. From FAKE eyes watching them. From a poster!

These studies are fascinating and prove that people’s behavior is greatly affected if they believe others are watching. Personally, I love these studies but I am not surprised by them because I see the exact same results with our clients when we start taking inventory for them.

The average bar we take inventory for the first week, without the bartenders realizing that we are counting, is losing 27% of it’s inventory due to over-pours and bartender theft. After we inform them that we are monitoring and watching them, that number drops to 5%. Like MAGIC!!!

These experiments and field studies are not just food for thought. It proves a real way for you to reduce losses and increase your profits, and we all know how difficult it is to find extra profits in your bar or restaurant.

So man (or woman) up and find a system that monitors your bartenders, or you may find yourself out of a job once the business goes belly-up because the bartenders were bragging about making 6-figures in “tips” while you did nothing but stand by and watch.

Cheers, until next time.


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