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Surveillance of Bartender Giving Away Free Drinks

Are you the owner of a bar and think your employees are giving away your hard earned cash? That’s what happened in this next case study.


Our Client owned a small bar in New York and he suspected a certain bartender of giving away free drinks. If this was found true, the bartender in question was without a doubt going to be let go. Our job was to conduct surveillance of the suspected employee and catch them in the act.

Details of the Case:

Our Investigator set up at the bar in question while the Subject was on shift. At about 2:00 PM and within an hour the Investigator had already witnessed a double shot being poured and no payment tendered. Not even two hours later, another breach of protocol happened when a different customer came in. This time 2 shots were poured (1 for the customer and 1 for the bartender) but nothing was paid for and the bartender took a free shot as well. The Subject, throughout our surveillance efforts, appeared to be taking drink orders without entering the sales immediately into the POS system and was observed to be entering the orders after a long period of time had passed. Through the night the Subject was observed to be undercharging customers and even offering free drinks. The Subject was furthermore observed to be over-pouring several drinks and did not appear to be charging for double drinks. The Subject was even on occasion observed to be entering drinks in the POS system and giving out the checks to the customers that contained significant discrepancies for lesser amounts. Shortly after, our Investigator had seen enough and left, not before getting plenty of video and eye witness testimony.


Obviously, the bartender was doing something she wasn't supposed to do – giving away free drinks.  When we relayed our findings to the owner, he quickly terminated the bartender to make sure no more money would be lost due to free drinks. The owner was very happy to know the truth and glad ICS had delivered as promised.

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Covert Surveillance (Tailing)

Covert surveillance is the monitoring of behavior without the target being made aware that they...

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Small Business Clients

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