November 28, 2023

Security Cameras in Table-Service Restaurants: The Value of Strategic Placement

In the fast-paced world of table-service restaurants, the importance of security cameras extends far beyond simple surveillance. These vigilant eyes play a crucial role in the safety of both customers and staff, enhancing service efficiency, and contributing to financial accountability.

From the guest entrance to the back of the house, we’ll reveal how existing camera setups can bring significant value to your establishment. Let’s walk through a table service restaurant and see how your existing cameras add value to your locations:


Ensuring Safety and Customer Satisfaction at the Guest Entrance

It’s important to have cameras facing the guest entrance to enhance the safety and security of both your customers and staff by monitoring who is entering and exiting the restaurant. Further, it allows for better management of customer traffic, enabling staff to provide prompt and efficient service. By having a visual record of guest arrivals and departures, restaurants can also improve their guest experience and analyze customer behavior and preferences.

In the video shown above, the restaurant manager was investigating how much time guests had to wait before they were seated upon entering the restaurant. Using a tool, like Envysion’s Motion Search, the manager swiftly checked that particular area for a specific time frame to determine when customers were there and how long they had to wait before being escorted to a table.

In this particular case, the manager verified that there were many occasions when customers had to wait much longer than their target waiting time of less than one minute.


Point of Sale (POS) and Integrated Video Security 

In table-service restaurants, security cameras offer advantages when linked to your POS system. When you connect these two systems, it’s easy to spot patterns of internal theft or loss. You can view transaction receipts alongside the corresponding video footage, allowing you to identify voided transactions, discount misuse, improper refunds, and dishonest cash handling. This makes it easier to maintain the integrity of your restaurant’s financial transactions.

In this scenario, the employee processed the customer’s order and received their cash payment. Shortly after, the cashier applied a “First Responder” discount, which lowered the total cost of the transaction. With the receipt pulled up next to the video footage, you can clearly see the cashier pocketing the extra cash in their back left pocket. With this proof of internal theft, the restaurant manager can take action and find a solution after understanding the whole situation.


Certified Auditors Keeping An Eye On Your Table-Service Restaurant 

In the world of table-service restaurants, surveillance cameras offer more than just security. Security cameras in restaurants help you check and audit operations by looking at recorded video footage. Are your kitchen staff following all necessary procedures? Are food safety practices being followed? Is the restaurant floor free from any tripping hazards? Regularly reviewing video footage to oversee restaurant operations is a pivotal activity that can significantly reduce safety incidents and enhance day-to-day efficiency.

In this situation from the video above, Envysion’s Audits team confirmed that the kitchen area was free of boxes and debris. Our certified auditors also observed that the employees were wearing the correct attire and footwear. 

Think of an audit program like having a secret shopper, but it costs much less. Professional restaurant auditors act as an additional pair of eyes, especially when you’re short on time. They become part of your team, offering expertly-reviewed video footage and practical advice. This helps you take crucial steps to ensure that your staff receives the right training and follows proper procedures.


Restaurant Office-Based Camera Placement

Strategically placing security cameras in the office of a restaurant is a critical practice. It ensures that vital areas, such as the safe drop, are within the camera’s view, enhancing security. By monitoring activity in your office, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of theft and loss, ensuring that cash handling is being done accurately and responsibly. This proactive approach not only enhances security but also contributes to a more transparent and financially responsible restaurant operation.

As shown in the video above, the camera provides a clear view of the employee counting cash. To ensure effective monitoring of cash drops and closing procedures, such as drawer counts and tip handling, it is crucial to employ a high-quality camera with bill-reading capabilities.


Restaurant Back of House Safety and Security

By connecting your security cameras to a cloud-based video storage system, your table-service restaurants can greatly enhance safety and security, especially when it comes to storing video footage safely in the cloud. A quality video management system should include a cloud-based video storage feature, ensuring that footage is preserved for a specific timeframe, potentially extending beyond your state’s statute of limitations. This safeguards your establishment in the event of any potential legal claims down the road.

According to a report by the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), “$2 billion is spent on annual injury costs associated with a foodservice slip-and-fall, with the most alarming figure being that this number is expected to increase by 10% year over year.”

In this incident, an employee in a restaurant accidentally spilled a tray of drinks in the backroom, leading to a slippery surface. Several months later, the employee initiated legal action against the restaurant, alleging that the restaurant had failed to provide a safe working environment and had not promptly cleaned up the spill. Fortunately, the restaurant had preserved video footage from that particular day and time in cloud storage. Retrieving this footage allowed them to provide irrefutable evidence that their staff had swiftly responded to the spill and followed proper safety procedures. The video evidence proved crucial in saving the restaurant from substantial legal expenses and highlighting the value of maintaining security footage for such incidents.


Strategic Placement of Back Door Security Cameras

Security cameras strategically positioned to monitor the back door play a crucial role in ensuring the smooth operation and safety of a restaurant. These cameras help in:

  • Verifying vendor deliveries: provide a clear visual record of when deliveries arrive and the condition in which they are received.
  • Assist in reviewing invoices: by allowing restaurant owners or managers to cross-reference the items received via video footage with the invoices, reducing the likelihood of billing discrepancies.
  • Watch for misplaced boxes or debris: enhancing overall safety by alerting staff to potential hazards or security issues

Security cameras facing the back door of table service restaurants not only safeguard against theft and unauthorized access but also contribute to the efficient functioning and safety of the restaurant environment.

As we conclude our journey through the lens of security cameras in table-service restaurants, it becomes clear that these devices provide safety, customer satisfaction, and financial protection. From closely monitoring guest entrances to safeguarding cash handling and back-of-house operations, they contribute to the smooth operation and security of restaurants. Beyond their surveillance role, these cameras are vital tools for analyzing and improving operations. By recognizing the value of strategic camera placement, restaurant owners can bolster both security and efficiency, ensuring a dining experience that’s safe, seamless, and customer-centric.

Interested in learning more about Envysion’s security solutions for restaurants? Get in touch with our team of experts.

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