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Managing Safety and Security for the Worlds Largest Restaurant Company

EDITORS NOTE: Emil Monda is vice president of global assets protection at Yum!Brands, Inc. His responsibilities include safety and security worldwide for all five brands, including KFC, Long John Silvers, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and A&W. Monda has held this position since the spin off of Yum! (previously Tricon) from PepsiCo in1997. Prior to the spin off, he was vice president of assets protection for the PepsiCoRestaurant Group.

In 1983 Monda joined Taco Bell and started their loss prevention function. He expanded his role and was appointed to vice president for Taco Bell and PepsiCoRestaurants International before heading up the consolidated safety and security function for all PepsiCo restaurant brands.Prior to joining PepsiCo, Monda worked at General Foods. He was a captain in theU.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations after his graduation from the Air ForceAcademy.

As a leader in the restaurant industry, Monda was a founding member of theNational Food Service Security Council, which is focused on networking and education of loss prevention and safety professionals in that retail segment.

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EDITOR: Our readers will certainly recognize the names of your restaurantsPizza Hut, KFC, Taco Bell, Long John Silvers, and A&W. But they may not be familiar with Yum! Brands. Give us a brief overview of Yum! Brands.

MONDA: Yum! Brands is the largest restaurant company in the world with 34,000 restaurants in 102 different countries, much of those in our franchise network. Here in the U.S. we have more than 20,000 restaurants, including approximately 4,500 company-owned locations. We have a very diverse restaurant business, appealing to a variety of different consumer tastes. We have high-quality, great-tasting food, and we offer consumers a lot of choices, especially in our multi-brand units.

Thats one of the key strategies that we have thats unique to us. We have been putting two brands in one location now for eight to ten years. We started out with the KFC/Taco Bell multibrand units, but now have different combinations with our brands in different locations. The company and our franchisees today operate over 3,300 multibrand estaurants worldwide.

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EDITOR: With all of those different brands and all those restaurants around the world, thats a staggering responsibility for you and your team. What would you identify as the priorities of your asset protection team?

MONDA: We have a mission statement that focuses on thatto promote a safe and secure environment for our employees and customers worldwide. Our number one priority is the safety and security of our employees and customers. We also want to reduce the loss of assets and risk of liability from the erosive effects of crime. Our loss prevention managers spend a significant amount of time in the safety arena. We have a very active safety program that is concentrated on prevention of accidents in our restaurants by both employees and customers.

EDITOR: Describe your safety program.

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MONDA: It starts with education. Our loss prevention managers conduct safety training for our restaurant operations people and there are monthly posters and lesson plans on safety. We have a corporate safety leader who puts those things together for our people. We also have safety equipment that we make sure our employees are using. So its a combined effort of education and training as well as making sure our processes are as safe as possible. Those things go a long way in reducing the accident frequency and promoting a safe environment for employees.

MONDA: Since spinoff, our safety record has improved and weve reduced our costs overall. So, weve had a really remarkable run, which is due primarily to our team of loss prevention managers who do an outstanding job of servicing our customers who are our restaurants. Our loss prevention managers are a great group of what we call customer maniacs who are focused on promoting a safe and secure environment for our employees and customers.

EDITOR: Are the responsibilities for your LP managers different when it comes to company-owned versus franchise stores?

MONDA: We see our franchisees as our partners and always seek to help and provide counsel whenever they need it. If they have an issue and call us to help, we will always do our best to respond to their needs.

EDITOR: What about your responsibilities for the international operations?

MONDA: I have global responsibility for our brands when it comes to security and safety. In China, we have an assets protection department that includes a director and a team of employees. He reports to the local business unit team as well as to me. For the rest of international, we have a second director who reports locally to the Yum! Restaurants International Group in Dallas as well as to me. Im responsible for markets such as the Middle East, North Africa, Turkey, Pakistan, and others. I get involved in markets around the world, and I work with our franchise business units.

EDITOR: When you look at the security side of your responsibilities, how do you know when youre winning? The traditional retailer usually uses their shrinkage number to measure their performance. How do you measure the effectiveness of your asset protection team in the restaurant environment?

MONDA: Youre right. The restaurant industry does not have a shrink number to go up against. So we have to look at some different kinds of things. For example, we look at how we increase overall safety and the effect were having on some of the crime that is brought to our stores. Thats part of our focus on providing as safe an environment as best we possibly can for our employees and our customers.

Towards that end, I personally have another standard. I have three children. If I dont feel comfortable that my kids could work in a restaurant, then why would I want anybody elses kid to work there? Thats really what it comes down to. Fortunately, I am very proud of the work environment at our restaurants.

EDITOR: What types of technology-related initiatives are in place or are under consideration that enhance the safety and security of your restaurants?

MONDA: We use a layered concept of security technology, sometimes referred to as security in depth, to help enhance the security environment for our employees and customers. One of the key deterrent technologies we use is a time-lock, time-delay safe. It has been very valuable in reducing robberies. We also have CCTV in many of our stores as well as alarm systems in every store. CCTV can also play a role in reducing losses due to theft. Weve tested a POS interface with CCTV so you can actually see each transaction as it occurs. Were also beginning to use exception-based reporting systems at the transaction level.

EDITOR: Youve touched on the responsibilities of your team; describe your organization for us.

MONDA: Domestically, we have approximately twenty loss prevention managers who report up through three directors. In the western U.S. Dan Pletke is director for Taco Bell. He also has some international responsibilities. In the central part of the country, Dick Desoto is the director for Pizza Hut. In the east, Pete Laguens is director for KFC. We also have a manager of loss prevention for the Long John Silvers/A&W brands, Cliff Stepp. While our directors are aligned by brands, the loss prevention managers (LPM) who report to them service all of the brands. There are about 240 restaurants with various brands per LPM. A LP manager doesnt drive by a KFC to go to a Taco Bell. They have responsibility for all brands in their geographic territory.

EDITOR: How often would a typical restaurant see a loss prevention manager?

MONDA: Our LPMs are in the restaurants almost every day. We focus the job on actually being there as opposed to being at a desk. There was a time before the spin off, when our loss prevention managers had 600 restaurants. At that time you never saw the loss prevention manager unless there was a major issue. Weve actually done some analysis over the years that show that our smaller spans of stores have produced outstanding results. Our results are highly correlated to the span of the LPM both in safety and in cost. Were very pleased with the kinds of results were getting with those lower spans because the LPMs are out in the stores more often, and it makes a difference.

EDITOR: What does the LP manager do during a store visit?

MONDA: Our culture is one of coaching and positive reinforcement. We use coaching terms because we want our managers to coach our people to be better performers; we dont want them to be drill sergeants. We try to have an overriding culture of caring about people. So we have area coaches, regional coaches, and market coaches. Since our folks service all the brands, they have to know the operating systems of each of the brands. They have to know the culture of each of the brands, which are somewhat different. So the loss prevention managers really have to know their business. Our LPMs will do security and safety surveys and coach our team members on how to continually improve.

EDITOR: What types of backgrounds does your team have?

MONDA: We have a great team that comes from diverse backgrounds. Some of our loss prevention managers have a background in law enforcement. Some of them came from retail. Some of them actually came out of our restaurants where weve trained them in loss prevention techniques. Weve sent them to interrogation and asset protection courses. We encouraged them to become Certified Protection Professionals. Some of them have become Certified Fraud Examiners. We believe in building people capability by helping our team members with their professional development.

I find having a team with varying backgrounds services us very well. It gives you a department where you dont just have one point of view. I think that gives you a synergistic effect that you can actually get better results by having people approach problems differently and not everybodys in lockstep as to how to solve a problem.

EDITOR: What other things do they do while they are in the stores?

MONDA: They focus on prevention. Prevention is where you make your money. If you can prevent something from happening, then youre way ahead of the game, especially on the safety side. They will ensure that the security equipment is functioning and reinforce proper procedures with the restaurant team.

Then theres detection. When all else fails, you have to determine who the criminal is, if there is a criminal, and do something about it. If you go back 25 years in the security profession, thats a reversal of roles. In those days, it was go out and catch the criminal, and then do something else while youre at it. That doesnt work any more and doesnt serve our customers well. If were going to be customer maniacs, we have to take care of our employees in the store and just running out and occasionally catching a criminal doesnt do it.

EDITOR: Are you involved in your companys disaster preparedness and business recovery program?

MONDA: We have a fairly extensive crisis management and disaster recovery program here that was used successfully in Hurricane Katrina and other incidents over the years. The nature of the incident drives who takes point, but ultimately our operations people make it happen. Our risk group also does a tremendous job of managing these kinds of issues. But when something like that happens, we have a role to play in both taking care of our employees, as well as protecting our assets. The safety and security of our customers and our employees is our top priority.

EDITOR: Let me shift gears and ask you about the National Food Service Security Council (NFSSC). I happen to know that you and some others were instrumental in starting that organization. Tell us why you started it, what youve achieved, and what the priorities of the council are.

MONDA: The NFSSC was started by six of us back in 1979. We started it because in the restaurant business, unlike retail, there really wasnt much coordination between companies about common issues. While our companies were competitors, we didnt view ourselves that way, and we had lots of common problems with respect to providing for the safety and security of our employees and customers. Networking is something that we know works in every industry, but when we looked at the industry associations that were out there, there just wasnt one for restaurants that focused on security and safety issues.

Our first meeting was in Calloway Gardens, as I recall. It was very much a sharing environment, and we still have that today. We all wanted to know who had the best practice, so we could adopt it for our own company. Our programs are much better now. We have professional speakers come. But the whole idea is not only to have development of the people that attend, but also to do that critically important networking and to share ideas among the major restaurants.

You dont have to be the size of a Yum! Brands to belong to the NFSSC. You may only have fifty or 100 restaurants. We welcome anybody that has an interest in the security of their employees and customers in the restaurant business. Its really for that networking and the advancement of the profession or craft of security that the organization exists. Were very pleased to see that its been around for a number of years now. And Im sure it will continue to be around for many more as long as people see value in both their continuing education as well as the critically important networking.

EDITOR: Im looking at the agenda here for the 27th annual seminar this July 16 19 in Nashville. The topics include e-crime, workplace violence, robbery-homicide; its a pretty broad agenda.

MONDA: It is. Dean Correia from Starbucks was primarily responsible for organizing that agenda. Hes done a great job with it.

EDITOR: I know from attending the conference that its a very vendor-friendly environment.

MONDA: Our vendors play an important role in the organization. Were pleased to have them there because they make significant contributions. We may have ideas about what technology can do for us, but its the vendors that actually make it happen. We have a really great partnership with the vendors.

EDITOR: From everything weve talked about, its obvious that education is important to you. What advice would you offer to the many young readers we have who want a career in loss prevention?

MONDA: First, I think you must manage your own career and be ready for opportunity when it comes along. Theres an old saying, You have to be willing to open the door when opportunity knocks, but you also have to have the background to open the door. You should always focus on the technical areas of loss prevention to be expert at your craft.

But you should also know a lot about business. I would suggest that even if they dont complete an MBA, they should take MBA-type classes. This will help them understand the language of business, the way business makes decisions, something about organizational behavior and development. Those are some key things I would strongly urge anyone coming up in the security world to know, so that when they are considered for advancement, they not only have the technical tools, but also have the business acumen and knowledge to take over the function and lead that function to the next level.

If youre strictly focused on loss prevention and youre not a business partner, I really believe that you will limit yourself and your ability to grow in this business. The days of being narrowly focused are gone. When companies look to a security executive, they assume they have all the basic technical knowledge, the professionalism, the certifications. But how can you become a better member of this team? Do you understand the way our business works? Are you involved in the business? Are you serving your customers with a fervor to provide those services to them and advance the profitability of the company and keep people as safe and secure as is reasonable?

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