Case Study: Theft by Employee at Restaurant Chain

When we received a call from a very well-known restaurant the last thing we thought of was that they would be asking us to conduct a series of polygraph tests on their employees. A very wealthy client had lost his wallet in the restaurant and as usual on his visits he had been the last to leave and hadn’t noticed his missing wallet until he returned home. The following morning he had telephoned the restaurant expecting them to have found it but after a search was made they were unable to locate it.

The customer was not happy and in fact it was he who suggested that the staff were polygraph tested. We attended the venue the same day and five staff members were tested, all of whom passed the polygraph test. Two staff members refused to be tested and one of those two walked out of his employment. The owner was not impressed. For some inexplicable reason he had decided that one of the staff who had taken the test was lying and was as guilty as hell!

We took the owner through each and every test result showing him how the employees had reacted and how they had passed, yet he was still not convinced. It was only as we were leaving that a waiter mentioned changing the CCTV recorder to his boss. We all stopped mid exit, turned, looked at each other and almost like a comedy movie, ran back upstairs following the client to retrieve the CCTV. We very quickly fast forwarded to the period when the diner had left the restaurant, minutes later the employee who walked out of his job, could be seen clearing the table and oops, he dropped something but unfortunately for him, he could very clearly be seen picking up a rather fat wallet and stuffing it in his apron pocket.

We have a saying “the polygraph works in mysterious ways”. Sometimes it tells you more about the people who refuse to take a test, than it does those who do.

Bon appetite.

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