KFC team fired after massive food loss

The concept of “team misconduct” has been thrown into the spotlight with a Durban Labour Court finding that it was lawful to fire 11 people working on the same shift at a Durban Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet because of “astonishing” stock losses.

Their dismissal followed the loss of 245 pieces of chicken and 63kg of chips in just three days.

Previously, in just two shifts, 424 cans of cold drink and 518 cans of juice had disappeared.

But no-one would admit to seeing anything or having anything to do with the theft.

In his recent judgment Acting Judge Piet Shai said True Blue Foods, trading as KFC in Sarnia, had hired the staff members in December 2009 in various capacities, such as cooks, “expeditors” and cashiers to work the late shift from 3pm until 10 pm.

The stock losses began immediately and management tried to curtail this by locking the freezers, storerooms, the interlinking door at the drive-through section and the walk-in coolers.

A security guard was hired to patrol the double-storey restaurant and to search employees’ bags, CCTV cameras were installed in various sections, and a new computer system was installed to capture all activities at the till.

Employees were warned that there was a “zero tolerance” policy towards theft and they were responsible for the stock during their shift.

But the stock losses costing between R80 000 and R120 000 a month continued unabated.

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