Most businesses are presented with specialized security challenges. The food service industry is not less vulnerable to criminal activities from cyber-attacks, burglary, to theft. Restaurants in particular normally accumulate a large amount of cash on-site. Unfortunately, they can be attractive targets for armed robberies, employee theft and even burglaries. Crime prevention for restaurants along with restaurant security procedures should be formulated and implemented.
Dining and drinking establishments comprise the largest sector of the retail industry. Surveys show that 1 out of 3 adults eat out on a regular basis. The food service industry in the United States employs over 9 million people. One out of four retail business locations is either a restaurant or a bar. Venues that operate during late hours witness higher sales. As such, the risks and susceptibilities for being robbed or having data compromised are very high. Therefore emphasis should be put on your restaurant security policy, especially during holiday season. Restaurant security specialists can help you gain new business insights and show you how you can protect your business from common threats from robbery, internal employee theft, food inventory waste and other disasters.
While armed robberies at restaurants are not common, they do occur. They offer a great opportunity for injuries and death. Current and former employees are usually involved. They usually recruit their friends to be accomplices in such incidents. The most vulnerable times for armed robberies to occur are during opening and closing periods. Likewise, incidents of violence can involve both employees and customers. They range from verbal threats to physical assaults with use of fists and weapons with knives and guns by men and women. Violence can result in a street gang and drug activity within the restaurant premises. Acts of violence are more likely to escalate when no one in authority is present. Violent crimes at fast food service venues make instituting safety programs for franchises and chains especially important; finding the best security systems for restaurants by extension should be an integral part of your restaurant management system which may recommend you install intrusion detection alarm systems to deter burglaries.
Most restaurant owners would rather put their faith and trust in their staff. They like to see to the best in others. Waiters, bartenders, and cashiers are tasked with handling money and goods which are hard to monitor. Much to their mistake, some restaurateurs turn a blind eye to the issue of employee theft so long as the dishonest staff does not overstep their boundaries and that they are satisfied with their earnings. That, however, doesn’t negate the severity of this problem. In fact, employee theft is the most frequent criminal event reported restaurants. The reason for this is working at restaurants give them the opportunity to steal as they have access to the assets and are familiar with the operations at a restaurant. Manipulating sales transactions is the most used methods of employee theft of cash. Other means include misuse of coupons, gift certificates, credit cards and complimentary passes. Many restaurant owners put too must trust in their employees responsible for cash and inventory which dishonest staff abuse.
Fortunately, we have technology at our service which many restaurateurs are already using to their advantage. Restaurant security systems provide you with the equipment and opportunities to manage your business effectively. They are also purposely designed to minimize loss and damage of goods. Restaurant surveillance in the food industry has never been easier. It eliminates the need for the service of a security agency thus making it a more affordable alternative. You need to find the right software that will make a video surveillance system that meets your business needs. The best security systems for restaurants are those that allow you to have easy access to cameras and footage anywhere at any time as well as being user-friendly. Xeoma is thought to meet the criteria making the process of setting up a security system easy and fun.
Criminals target unsecured and easy targets to carry out a robbery/theft. They have often cased the areas prior to attempting burglary. But there are preventative measures you can take to increase your restaurant security. Investing in the right restaurant security system that will react to, deter, and even record crimes or other incidents in the most effective and efficient way may be necessary and worth considering. There are three that come to mind:
- Alarm systems are old fashioned yet effective security methods of scaring off thieves. With innovative technology in play, many security systems can be hooked up to a telephone line that can alert you and the authorities immediately. Even if your restaurant is not vulnerable to crimes, accidents can still happen to anyone and anywhere. For instance, if a kitchen staff member accidently leaves an oven or a deep fryer running overnight, a smoke detector can notify the fire department within seconds so that collateral damage is minimized
- Positioning an audio and/or video system with microphones in discrete locations throughout the entire premise can make it easy for you to keep a watchful eye and ear on impending problems whilst maintaining an accurate record of occurring events. This system especially comes in handy during worst case scenarios such an outbreak of violence and robberies. Security cameras are often used as a deterrent for those situations. Making it clear to criminals that their whereabouts are being recorded and filmed is a great way to make them think twice about carrying out their illicit activities
- In addition to surveillance proper lighting is needed for keeping your restaurant’s interior and parking lot illuminated at all hours of day. Vandalism and other criminal activities are less likely to occur in well-lit areas. In events that your restaurant falls victim to crime, wiring motion-sensitive switch (a device that turns the lights on when someone enters a room) to your interior lighting can not only discourage crime but also ensure the safety of your employees who may result injuries from tripping over something they couldn’t see due to poor lighting.
Security guards are not usually needed in the vast majority of food service enterprises. Bouncers, however, can be great additions to restaurant security systems for venues that serve alcoholic beverages and operate most hours of night. A well trained bouncer can keep your business, customers and employees safe with the ability to defuse a violent situation. A bouncer can also work in conjunction with your security cameras. He can monitor a CCTV feeds or perform a security check of your premise. To employ maximum safety, you can team your bouncers into pairs of groups to reduce the risk of injuries on the job. They can double as escorts for you and your employees towards the end of service, walking them to their cars. They can go an extra mile at bars and wait with customers for a cab or a lift home. Providing this kind of security for your customers and staff can improve the reputation of your business for being a safe and trustworthy place to visit. If you don’t use bouncers, you can instruct your employees to open and close your restaurant in pairs. The extra safety measure of having more than one person can be valuable as targets of mugging, assault and other crimes are directed at individuals alone more than in groups.
Every restaurant, regardless of size and complexity, should have a simple honesty policy in place for all staff members that clearly yet briefly states theft or any conversion of any restaurant asset is prohibited. Unfortunately, there are some members who dismiss this policy when it is not presented to them in writing and therefore erroneously belief that theft and other unacceptable behaviors are not subject to punishment. Upon being hired, employees should sign the honesty policy as an agreement to complying with it. Along with it should be a prosecution policy in which prosecution for all crimes in a restaurant should be consistently pursued. Loss reporting should be instated to report and investigate any loss due to criminal activity. While many restaurant employees are in transit by nature, employee screening is essential for restaurant security procedures as it include the conduct of reference checks with previous employers, criminal and credit checks on employees with access to money or keys to the building. Employers can be liable for negligence in hiring criminally motivated employees.
Whether you are a restaurant situated in one location or a chain restaurant operation in multiple locations, the right restaurant security system can help you protect your operations, assets, staff and customers. This solution can also help you develop new business intelligence and increase probability for your restaurant. In some cases, installing a video surveillance program can be necessary for obtaining a restaurant business license in the food industry.