November 6, 2001, 12:00 AM

Using the web to nab dishonest employees

Using a web-based loss prevention system has allowed a Sonic Drive-In franchisee with two locations to monitor fraud at restaurants 150 miles apart and catch dishonest employees without having to be near the store.

Using a web-based loss prevention system has allowed Steve Bottom, Sonic Drive-In franchisee with two locations, to monitor potential fraud at his restaurants that are 150 miles apart and catch dishonest employees without even having to be near the store, Bottom tells “We’ve caught people hooking up family and friends that we would have had to have been there to catch in the past,” Bottom says.

Bottom operates Sonic Drive-In restaurants in Anaheim and Bakersfield, CA. Bottom uses web-enabled PC-based POS terminals in restaurants linked to servers that analyze the data at Apigent Solutions Inc. in Oklahoma City. When questionable transactions occur, Bottom receives a page on his cell phone or an e-mail alert. He then calls the store manager to investigate the transaction. “This allows me to visit my money without actually having to be there,” he says.

Apigent consolidates the data from the POS terminals, then analyzes it based on parameters that Bottom sets. Bottom reviews the day’s activities, paying particular attention to transactions or groups of transactions that fall outside of norms. Among the measurements that Bottom reviews are voids, excessive discounts, or if sales don’t reach a certain level by a certain time.

Bottom’s Sonic Drive-Ins have been the beta site for Apigent’s technology. Roll-out prices will start at $327 a month for a 3-year commitment and will include a server at the store to link to Apigent’s servers, a web-based video camera for monitoring activities and installation of equipment and wiring.


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