Five Ways to be Proactive About Restaurant Security

Restaurant managers face many unique challenges when it comes to appropriate security within their establishments. Management must consider their guest’s experience, employee culture, reducing and monitoring access points, as well as areas such as parking lots, break rooms and store rooms.


A proactive restaurant manager will balance security efforts with a surveillance combination, split between liability and safety concerns, with an eye on loss prevention and risk management. Here are five actions you can take to increase your restaurant’s security and safety.



  1. Have full camera coverage of your restaurant, both internally and externally


Here’s a quick scenario. It’s been a busy night and your servers have been frustrated all evening long. They have had a variety of complaints such as guests not being seated in a timely or proper order, menus not being distributed and the hostess area being deserted. You worry your guest experience has suffered, but you were helping on the line most of the evening and did not see anything firsthand. You know multiple hostesses were on duty during the night. How do you avoid the “he said, she said” scenario and pinpoint the issue?



With working cameras on your access points, in the dining and prep areas and in the parking lot, you can prepare yourself to address potential risks, problems and safety concerns. And with the data you collect, you can even address employee issues such as performance and productivity. As a rule of thumb, you should store at least 30 days of video at all times for risk areas.



Positioning surveillance cameras optimally to capture customer interaction, employee safety, potential loss and liability issues can provide a wealth of data for review. Make sure that NVR and DVR recording devices have a hard drive large enough to store video data.



  1. Track data in the kitchen to improve safety and efficiency


Here’s another scenario. Your restaurant’s claim to fame is fresh, made-to-order sandwiches, where employees often have to slice meat throughout the day. Your slicer is in the back of the restaurant. You’ve trained your employees on safety measures and the importance of safety gloves. Having a proactively-placed camera in the kitchen ensures that safety procedures are being followed and gives you important data and business intelligence to improve safety within your establishment.


  1. Monitor store rooms for theft


You find that your sales data isn’t matching the inventory numbers for some of your higher priced cuts of meat. According to your inventory count, your week’s sales should be higher than the actual data shown. You know there is shrink somewhere but have not identified the specific cause. Is the issue too many misfires and trashed steaks or are valuable products disappearing out your back door?


With cameras strategically placed, you can monitor product inventory, deterring employee theft and product removal.


  1. Track data within refrigerators and freezers


Surveillance cameras are highly important in kitchens and dining areas, but security can go another level deeper. Full security coverage within a restaurant includes surveillance cameras inside kitchen equipment such as coolers and freezers. Putting a camera inside equipment can help you monitor for malfunctioning equipment, food safety issues or theft.


  1. Monitor areas for slips and falls


Your prep area and dishwashing area can be slick. You’ve trained your employees on safety, wearing proper shoes and having signage easily visible to the employees, but this is still an area of concern for liability and insurance. Your entrance, dining rooms and other service areas are places of concern as well.


Proactive video surveillance within a restaurant, both internally and externally, sets an establishment up for success from the front of the house to the back stock rooms.

Eric Gillman
Eric Gillman is a National Account Executive at ITech Digital. With nearly 15 years experience in the security industry, he works with customers to design video surveillance systems for a range of applications, including restaurants, retail, education, and corporations.
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