10 Areas Restaurant Owners Need to Monitor to Mitigate Loss


Your restaurant is a symphony of moving parts; servers rushing plates of food, kitchen staff, bussers, etc. It can feel impossible to monitor all of the activity in one location, not to mention the challenge of operating multiple locations simultaneously. In this article we’re going to highlight 10 high-risk places to point the video surveillance cameras in your restaurant to monitor the most common areas for theft, security issues, or incidents that may results in insurance, legal, or HR claims.

Types of Risk Restaurant Owners Must Monitor

As a restaurant owner or operator, there are five essential categories of risk that must be monitored and mediated; customer safety, food safety, employee safety, theft, and security. Safety and security are paramount in operating any type of establishment. Video surveillance can help you monitor and mediate any potential safety and security hazards before they become a liability. Restaurant video surveillance can also help identify and stop instances of employee theft, operational inefficiency, or inappropriate customer interactions.

Top 10 High-Risk Areas in Restaurants

1. The Safe

Your safe is an enormously important tool in your business and is worthy of a dedicated security camera to monitor employee interactions and potential security risks. It can be difficult to investigate potential fraud when your safe is located in a surveillance blind spot. Any surveillance blind spots in which individuals may be handling cash opens you up to risk. Put your safe in a location where it can be clearly monitored or allocated a security camera especially for this task.

Type of risk: Theft/fraud

2. The office 

Who knows what goes on behind closed doors. If you have the safe here it’s even more important to have camera coverage. Often this is one of the greatest blind spots (from a video surveillance perspective) in a restaurant, so it is a prime location for assaults and other gross misconduct. Without evidence of these activities you open yourself up to legal risk and are unable to address misbehavior when it occurs.

Type of risk: Theft/Fraud, Employee Safety, Security

3. Bathrooms

While bathrooms are a high risk area for slips and falls due to preponderance of water, restaurant owner and operators typically shy away putting cameras in bathrooms, entrances/exits. Consider putting video surveillance cameras in Bathroom hallways as this is the second greatest location for most slips & falls.

Type of risk: Customer Safety, Employee Safety

4. Drink Station

What are the other most likely locations for slips and falls? Right in front of the employee drink station can be a hazardous spot. Restaurant patios, entrances and exits can also be likely areas for customers and employees to slip on water or ice.

Type of risk: Customer Safety, Employee Safety

5. Kitchen

For restaurant owners, it is absolutely essential to capture video surveillance footage in your kitchen and make lines. Monitor this footage to ensure that all safety and sanitation rules are being followed. Look for employees misusing food or equipment in the kitchen. Food left out and spoilage has a serious negative impact on your bottom line. Failure to comply with safety and sanitation rules and regulations can result in substantial fines and even total business failure.

Type of risk: Food safety, employee safety

6. Back door

The back door is the number one entry for restaurant robberies, kidnappings, and murders. This is an extremely important location for a dedicated surveillance camera. Monitor to ensure that the back door is not kept open or obstructed. Install a motion activated security camera on the outside of the door to monitor who comes and goes. This is also an important surveillance location to monitor activity behind your restaurant and food being taken to the trash.

Type of risk: Employee safety, security

7. The walk in cooler

What’s going on in your walk in cooler? The answer might surprise you. This often overlooked area can be the host to employee misconduct and the source of great financial loss for your business. An employee carelessly props open the door to the walk in cooler, which starts loosing temperature and puts thousands of dollars worth of food at risk. The walk in cooler can also be a location to catch employees stealing food.

Type of risk: Employee safety, Food Safety, Security, Theft/Fraud

8. Drive thru

If your restaurant features one or more drive in windows, this is an obvious place to focus your security cameras. Capture customer and employee interactions to ensure the best possible customer experience and monitor for potential robberies that may occur through the drive thru window.

Type of risk: Employee safety, Security, Theft/Fraud

9. Employee line

Monitor where your employees are interacting with your customers. This surveillance footage will help you identify, dispute or confirm customer complaints and false insurance claims. Position your restaurant surveillance cameras to capture the exchange of funds, dialogue, and goods between employees and customers.

Type of risk: Customer Safety, Employee Safety, Theft/Fraud

10. The Bar

If your restaurant has a bar, this is a very high risk area and definitely worth one or multiple dedicated security cameras. Customers getting excessively drunk can pose a safety and security risk to your employees and other customers. Bars are also an incredibly likely location for employee theft as bartenders give away liquor for free or under-ring alcoholic beverages. Position your security cameras around your bar to capture the exchange of funds, bartender, and customer behavior.

Type of risk: Customer Safety, Employee Safety, Theft/Fraud