August 27, 2020

Avoiding the Costs of COVID Exposure

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that employee health and safety remains a top concern among risk management professionals, as we emerge from a spring of regional lockdowns toward a sustainable new business-as-usual model in QSR and retail. Every business wants to do its part to prevent the spread of coronavirus among employees and guests. But even beyond the altruistic desire to take care of the public, there’s a significant monetary risk to allowing COVID-19 to infect your restaurant or retail environment.

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have triggered temporary closure for restaurants across the country and significant lost dollars for operators. Consider the overall impact: 

  • Third-party “deep” forensic cleaning services charge between $0.50 and $2.50 per square foot to clean both kitchen space and front-of-house customer areas and take 24-48 hours, even for multi-person crews.
  • Each temporary closure — and some have spanned the better part of three to four weeks, as workers self-isolate following exposure — can amount to upwards of $30,000 – $40,000 of lost revenue per week for the typical QSR. 
  • Product waste as a result of temporary closure can result in thousands of dollars of additional food cost. 
  • Additionally, reputational damage can slow the return of even the most loyal customers to a site that has been shut down due to coronavirus exposure.

All of these factors contribute to more than three-quarters of risk professionals surveyed at the recent Envysion-sponsored Think Tank hosted by the Restaurant Loss Prevention & Security Association (RLPSA) identifying employee health and safety as priority one, as they continue to reopen locations across the continent.

Thankfully, most restaurants have already invested in key technology to support their successful adoption of new procedures to check employee health and reduce the risk of infection from peers and guests alike: their video system.

There’s no shortage of reasons to invest in a quality camera solution. In the restaurant and retail worlds, businesses rely on clear video of store entry points to provide evidence for break-ins and robbery, to protect against fraudulent slip-and-fall claims in customer areas, and most stores install cameras above point-of-sale terminals to deter internal theft and fraud. But now, more than ever, managed video solutions are being applied to a much broader set of in-store problems, to increase the return on investment being made in camera technology. Video footage offers an unbiased confirmation of new operational policies and therefore an objective means to review the consistency of employee compliance to COVID-19 health and safety measures.

If reviewing CCTV footage for internal audit sounds like a daunting task, this is where Envysion has differentiated itself as a managed video software solutions and service provider. With more than a dozen active point-of-sale integrations, Envysion lets you drill directly into customer interactions at every register or drive thru window. And with powerful motion search functionality, you can review activity at the back entrance and the prep station, to make sure employees are following protocol when they check in for work and are handling ingredients safely. Envysion was also first to market with a remote Health and Hygiene audit service allowing clients to outsource daily checks around consistent usage of gloves and masks, packaging and sealing of take-out containers, cleaning of high contact items (like POS pin pads), and proper installation of plexiglass shields and hand sanitizer dispensers to protect employees and customers.

There’s a lot at stake for restaurateurs today looking to ramp revenues back toward pre-COVID levels and Envysion continues to play an active role as a technology partner to the industry’s biggest brands. By ensuring that loss prevention, risk management, operations and health and safety needs are being addressed through our software tools, services, and expertise, we’re helping give operators peace-of-mind that their most valuable assets are protected during this pandemic: their people.

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