How to Combat Off-Premise Order Scams and Online Ordering Fraud


In today’s dynamic restaurant landscape, embracing off-premise orders and online ordering has become more critical than ever. However, along with the convenience and growth opportunities these channels offer, they also bring a few undesirable challenges: scams and fraud. 

As a restaurant owner or operator, it’s essential to be vigilant and proactive in safeguarding your business from these threats.

Understanding Off-Premise Order Scams

Off-premise order scams encompass various scenarios, from customer pickup errors to delivery driver mishaps and even restaurant-specific forms of “shoplifting.” Restaurants often use simple countertop or pickup shelf systems to manage off-premise orders, making them vulnerable to exploitation. 

These systems usually lack the technology needed to organize and verify orders during the crucial final stages. As a result, employees are left in the dark, unaware of what transpired when orders go missing. This situation not only increases food and labor costs but also damages the customer experience.

The Solution: Smart Food Lockers

To combat off-premise order scams effectively, consider embracing smart food lockers. These innovative solutions offer a streamlined approach. Once an order is prepared, it is placed in a secure locker. Employees no longer need to handle it, virtually eliminating the risk of unauthorized order retrieval. This not only reduces costs associated with remaking orders but also enhances security.

The accompanying software provides valuable insights into the order pickup process, offering data on who collected the order and when, as well as the time elapsed since loading. This data informs process improvements and identifies areas where additional employee training may be beneficial.

Customers also benefit from these lockers. They enjoy a fast, secure, and predictable experience, eliminating the need for employee assistance.

Safeguarding Against Online Ordering Fraud

In addition to off-premise order scams, online ordering fraud has become a concern. Fraudsters exploit various tactics, such as disputing credit card charges, manipulating no-contact deliveries, and QR code scams.

To protect your restaurant from online ordering fraud, consider these measures:

  • A secure ordering portal that syncs with your point-of-sale system can provide essential security features like address verification services (AVS), card verification value (CVV), and optional AI-driven fraud prevention tools.
  • Implementing a maximum order value deters fraudsters from making large purchases.
  • For substantial or suspicious online orders, verify the customer’s identity by asking for relevant details.

By staying vigilant against off-premise order scams and online ordering fraud, you can protect your restaurant’s profitability and ensure a positive customer experience.

Contact DCRS Solutions today so that we can help you navigate these challenges effectively.