August 30, 2023

10 Key Areas Restaurant Owners Need to Monitor

Your restaurant is a symphony of moving parts: servers rushing plates of food, kitchen staff, bussers, and more. It can feel impossible to monitor all the activity in one location, not to mention the challenge of operating multiple locations simultaneously. To get the most visibility of all that is happening, here are the 10 best locations to place video surveillance cameras in your restaurant. They will be your main resource to monitor the most common areas for theft, security issues, or incidents that may result in insurance, legal, or HR claims.

Why Use Video Surveillance?

Some restaurant owners may not see the value of video surveillance and neglect to install them. This could not be farther from the truth. “Statistics revealed that nearly 75% of all restaurant theft is committed by employees, accounting for nearly $6 million in losses for US restaurants per year.”

Types of Risk Restaurant Owners Must Monitor

Customer safety, food safety, employee safety, theft, and security are the five essential risk categories restaurants must monitor. Of these, safety and security are paramount. Video surveillance gives you a visual record of 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.

Installing video surveillance cameras in the locations below gives you the most effective visibility into the daily activities at your restaurant and results in a more effective and profitable business. Now, let’s take a tour of a quick-service restaurant and explore how these specific camera placements can influence your business:

camera placement in restaurants

1. The Safe

Any surveillance blind spots in which individuals may be handling cash opens you up to risk.  The safe is worthy of a dedicated security camera to monitor employee interactions and potential security risks. Video surveillance at this site will give you the tools to investigate potential fraud or theft.
Type of Risk: Theft/Fraud

2. The Office

This is often one of the greatest blind spots (from a video surveillance perspective) in a restaurant, so it is a prime location for assaults and other misconduct. Without evidence of wrongdoing,  you open yourself up to legal risk and lack the evidence 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 the preponderance of water, restaurant owners and operators typically shy away putting cameras in bathrooms, entrances/exits. Consider placing video surveillance cameras in bathroom hallways, as this is the second greatest location for most slips and falls.
Type of Risk: Customer Safety, Employee Safety

4. Drink Station

Another potential location for slips and falls is in front of the employee drink station. Restaurant patios, entrances and exits can also be likely areas for customers and employees to slip on water or ice. Installing video surveillance here will help rectify any concerns of injury and may reveal non-compliance to spill cleanup.
Type of Risk: Customer Safety, Employee Safety

5. Kitchen

The kitchen is the heart of any restaurant. It is essential to capture video surveillance footage in your kitchen and open sightlines for a complete visual record of activities. Monitor this footage to ensure all safety and sanitation rules are followed. 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 enters and exits. 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 even theft. For example, an employee carelessly props open the door to the walk-in cooler, which starts losing 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. If either of these scenarios occurs, you have the opportunity to explain to employees the result of their actions.
Type of Risk: Employee safety, Food Safety, Security, Theft/Fraud

8. Drive-Thru

Capture customer and employee interactions at drive-thru windows 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 high-risk area and worth at least one dedicated security camera. 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

Placing video surveillance cameras in these ten areas will pay off tenfold in mitigating loss in your restaurant. It can also serve as a real-life training example for new employees. The benefits do not end there. “Video surveillance also helps you, the business owner, better understand your customers’ experience when they dine at your restaurant. Customers also feel more secure knowing that you’re watching out for their best interest while they visit your establishment.”

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