There was a time when restaurant owners treated loss due to theft and other crimes as part of the cost of doing business. Burglaries and vendor or employee theft were a typical risk for every owner and manager.
Here's just one example: In Greater Manchester, UK, incidences of 'dine and dash' - where a customer leaves a restaurant or café without paying his or her bill - reached an all-time high in 2018. Police there reported 6,379 incidences - the highest rate since they began tracking the category in 2002.
Installing surveillance cameras not only serves as a deterrent for these crimes, but the cameras also make it easy to see what happened and who did it.
Security cameras provide restaurants - both sit-down and quick-serve - with a host of benefits:
Inventory protection - Cameras help managers keep an eye on inventory and ensure that storage facilities are locked properly.
Employee monitoring - Workers may abuse their privileges by helping themselves to food, over- or under-serving customers, and even raiding the till. Cameras help ensure that misbehavior is caught quickly and that excellent service may be tracked and rewarded.
Patron safety - Cameras can help reassure customers that the establishment cares about their well-being, especially when they're placed in darker areas outdoors.
In a 2016 survey of 18,911 quick-serve and full-dining restaurants across 11 brands, the Restaurant Loss Prevention and Security Association (RLPSA) found that approximately two locations per hundred experienced robberies and assaults the previous year. Interestingly, only four of the 11 brands surveyed had interior security cameras deployed across all of their locations, and only two had them deployed outside their locations, keeping an eye on parking areas and exits.
For maximum benefit, a surveillance solution should cover all public-facing areas in the establishment, plus the kitchen, break room, and storage areas. Outdoor areas like alleys and parking lots should also be well-lit and monitored. Expert security consultants can help restaurant owners and managers tailor a solution that takes the unique needs of each location into consideration.
Having a thorough view of the business helps in preventing crime; it also enables managers to analyze foot traffic, determine peak customer activity times, and optimize staff activity. Armed with this kind of information, they can tweak employee schedules to minimize wasted time and money, manage promotional offers more effectively, and incentivize good service.
Today's video surveillance solutions add an important element that older systems lack: Anytime/anywhere access to video footage. Owners and managers may not be present during all operating hours, but a networked setup means they can check in on locations securely via their phones or computers.
Another important feature of connected surveillance is that the digital footage these cameras collect is stored on hard drives, not tapes. Restaurant owners and managers can determine how much historical footage they need to store and configure the system accordingly.
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Video surveillance is absolutely critical for dining establishments, and in order to ensure maximum benefit, partnering with an expert is critical, as well.
Cox Business Security Solutions offers a variety of indoor and outdoor cameras that are connected via Cox's broadband service. Cox owns the network, ensuring that access to the surveillance system functions reliably, 24/7.
Restaurant owners that partner with Cox Business Security Solutions enjoy a consultative experience, where experts tour their establishments to determine the optimal number of cameras and where they should be positioned. Cox provides on-premises storage as well, tailored to the number of cameras and the amount of historical footage needed.
Cox Business Security Solutions delivers the latest in connected, high-quality video surveillance equipment, helping restaurant owners and managers detect and prevent crime, monitor customer and employee activities, and ensure safety and security for their patrons.
Click here to learn more about Cox Business Security Solutions for restaurants.