The hospitality industry is a very difficult industry to manage. The three products in which it operates, food, alcohol and cash, are plentiful and easily accessible to staff, customers and suppliers. The temptation is always there for people to abuse the responsibilities given to them.
For the owners of these businesses there is a dilemma about the level of security that should be provided. Noone wants to work,or frequent a premise that is regulated to the extent of Fort Knox but the absence of any form of control would inevitably be financial suicide.
In the most basic form systems are set out to separate the various components that make up the entire operation. In a restaurant that would entail the purchasing, storage and production of food being distinct units, as would the food service, bar, cash handling and financial recording.
In situations where these measures are proving ineffective the use of cameras, security personnel and undercover agents are possible but at the cost of presenting a relaxed ambience.
The most desirable form of control is for the owners to have the trust of their staff.
Again however there is the dillema.
Trust however is not a one sided equation. It has to be given to be received.
Once established there are enorrmous benefits to all. Job descriptions needn't be precisely defined and the chance for a broad range of experiences can be offered. The chance to bring one's own personality into the work place and to reap the rewards of personal endeavour are seductive incentives for most people to pursue.
The focus becomes positive, rather than the negative consequences of controls.
A breach of trust however is inevitably dire.
In my own experience I found that there was a bottom line.
On several occasions I have had to terminate employment for what might have seemed the most minor misdemeanors.
I can recollect having to hold firm against the combined efforts of Church representatives who implored me to reinstate one of their members who I had caught stealing a block of butter.
To no avail.
The problem with even the smallest of indiscretions is that you lose trust.
The chances that I had caught that person on the one day that they had taken a very small package seemed highly unlikely.
Without trust, the boundaries are unknown, and the unnerving feeling of uncertainty prevails.
Trust may seem incidental, but it is vital for the well being of society.
Without it, the world would be a far more fragile place to be.
Its value is immeasurable.