McDonalds Reduces Inventory Shrink by Installing Biometric Security


“Over 6 Billion Sold.” . . . during the 1960’s. Since the opening of their first restaurant in 1955 and until 1994 (the year they stopped counting) McDonalds claimed to have sold well over 99 billion hamburgers.  Most statisticians support the claim.  Regardless, it takes a lot of ingredients to make all those hamburgers and fill McDonald’s menu.  All that food is very expensive and McDonald’s uses ZKTeco biometric technology to safeguard it.


McDonalds was seeking a way to reduce food theft in their Jackson, MS restaurants.  Food theft, or any kind of inventory shrink, is one of the biggest operating costs to any retail establishment.  McDonald’s preserves and secures its food inventory in walk-in coolers which use traditional lock ‘n keys to prevent unauthorized users from obtaining access.  The challenge is the restaurants employ so many full-time and temporary staff, it’s not that difficult for any one of them to obtain a copy of the key and thereby gain unauthorized access to the food, or any locked doors in the restaurant, for that matter.  The advantage of using keys of course is that keys are cheap to make, lightweight and easy to copy.  But when keys fall into the hands of unauthorized users, all the advantages of a lock ‘n key security system then become a security liability.  Case in point, every morning during inventory count, McDonalds discovered unexplainable short counts.  It became clear that employees were stealing food.  So, it as was decided an electronic security and auditing system would best serve the needs of the restaurants.


At the advice of trusted security consultant Myles Cross from Cross Company Inc., McDonald’s selected ZKTeco biometric InBio door kits.  Mr. Cross recommended the use of biometrics over popular RFID systems because no different than metal keys, RFID cards can also be easily shared amongst unauthorized employees.  It didn’t make sense spending money replacing a flawed security system (i.e. lock ‘n key) with a slightly less-flawed security system (i.e. RFID cards).  McDonald’s needed a security solution in which unauthorized users are prevented access to the food cooler.   The inBio door kits include an InBio door access control panel (enclosed inside a metal enclosure with power supply) and FR1200 fingerprint + RFID card readers.  The combination fingerprint + RFID provides an added layer of security (2-factor authentication) while also ensuring those authorized employees with difficult to read fingerprints can still access the food cooler.

InBio panels come in 1, 2 and 4-door configurations.  McDonalds liked the flexibility of having a 1-door option because it didn’t force them to purchase unused capacity.  McDonald’s also liked the InBio because it uses a separate controller which is installed inside a secured room.  Since the FR1200 fingerprint reader mounted beside the cooler door isn’t connected to the door lock, even if the FR1200 is vandalized or forcibly removed from the wall, still there is no way to compromise the door lock.

Major features of inBio-1-door kit include:

  • inBio-160 panel, power supply and metal cabinet
  • ZK4500 – USB fingerprint enrollment reader
  • 1 FR1200 fingerprint + RFID card reader
  • 1 PTE-1 Exit Button
  • Management software

Standard Functions include Access Levels/Groups/Holidays, DST/Bell Schedule, Duress Mode (Password), Anti-Passback, Record Query, Custom Wallpaper and Screen Saver


Security consultant Myles Cross commented “The ZKTeco inBio security system has been operating in McDonald’s Jackson MS restaurants for years without a single problem.  The reduction in food theft was immediate.  The resulting cost-savings paid for the system the first month I installed it.  The system also acts as an excellent deterrent against food theft.  Employees are now conscious that management is aware of any unethical behavior going on at the restaurant.”


ZKTeco is a leading provider of Biometric and RFID access control solutions. Product offerings include Biometric readers (i.e. fingerprint, finger-vein, palm vein, face, iris), RFID readers, long-range Face Recognition Cameras, Elevator/floor access controllers, Long-Range UHF readers for gate control, Turnstiles, Walkthrough Metal Detectors, X-Ray Baggage Scanners and Consumer products including fingerprint-based battery-operated Biometric Door Locks. Its solutions are multi-lingual and localized in over 18 different languages. ZKTeco USA designs specialized products for specific markets and provides local support to all its customers. Its U.S. facility includes a large experience center and warehouse in Alpharetta, GA.  ZKTeco USA is a subsidiary of ZKTeco, a leading global developer of security and time management solutions. ZKTeco is synonymous with technical innovation, quality, speed-to-market and reliability. For more information, please visit

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