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January 23, 2023

Transforming Your Restaurant: The Power of Strategic Security Camera Placement and Envysion’s Software

As a seasoned quick-service restaurant (QSR) operator, you are aware of the significance of investing in security cameras for your establishment. Utilizing surveillance cameras to their fullest potential, in conjunction with managed video, can transform them into a multifaceted asset beyond just a security measure.

Your security cameras should be placed in various (but strategic) positions all around your restaurant. Security cameras can do more than just surveillance. Restaurant security cameras paired with a Network Video Recorder (NVR) or Video Management Software (VMS) give you access to live and recorded video. This level of access to your video can assist in transforming your restaurant by improving your loss prevention and restaurant operations, increasing profitability, assisting with liability, and understanding 3rd party pick-up.

Let’s walk through a quick service restaurant and see how your existing cameras integrated with managed video software add value to your locations:

Be Aware of Backdoor Activity with Restaurant Security Cameras

Security cameras paired with a Network Video Recorder (NVR) or Video Management Software (VMS) gives you access to live and recorded video. Backdoor safety and compliance help to prevent theft and unauthorized access to the building. It is important to properly train employees on backdoor safety procedures to ensure that they are aware of the potential risks and know how to respond in the event of an emergency. When the software has a motion search feature, you’re able to view a specific area of recorded video, such as highlighting the top corner of the backdoor and watching every time the backdoor is opened. 

For example, a QSR had been experiencing a number of thefts. The owner was at a loss as to how the thefts were occurring, and it was starting to have a significant impact on the restaurant’s bottom line.

The owner decided to review the backdoor recorded video footage and was shocked to see an employee using a copied key to enter the back door after hours and take inventory from the cooler. After confronting the employee with the recorded video, the owner was able to handle that situation. He then trained the team on the importance of backdoor safety procedures. 

From then on, the restaurant has had no further thefts and the owner has peace of mind knowing that the security camera is there to protect his business. The incident also served as a reminder to all employees that their actions are being monitored and that any theft will not be tolerated.

Expert Eyes on Your Business 24/7

Additionally, surveillance cameras can do more for your restaurant by spot-checking or auditing the video. Pull up various times in your recorded footage to check your operation protocols. Is your kitchen activity checking all of the boxes? Are food safety procedures being followed? Are the floors free of tripping hazards? Reviewing video footage to keep an eye on restaurant operations is an important activity and can help in decreasing safety claims and improve daily operations.

In this use case, the Envysion Audits team noted a hazardous setting in the backroom of this restaurant’s kitchen. In the video below, you’ll see cardboard boxes covering the floor, hindering the employees’ ability to walk across the floor to get to the backdoor. In this same situation, another employee is seen setting food down next to chemicals, which is against this restaurant’s food handling procedures. The audits team alerted the store manager with video footage of the incident, along with relevant information, like the date, time, and location.

An audit program is similar to a secret shopper yet a fraction of the investment. Restaurant Auditors are able to provide you with an extra set of eyes when you don’t have the time. They are an extension to your team providing you with expert-reviewed video footage and actionable insights so you can take the important next steps to ensure the proper training is in place.

Drive-Thru Efficiency

The drive-thru is a critical part of your restaurant. With so many moving pieces, it can be challenging to track where opportunities for improvement lie. During your dinner time rush, take full advantage of your Envysion Drive-Thru Insights Reports and make better business decisions based on where your process can be sped up or improved. For instance, find out what your average service time is across all of your locations and compare the time to a specific location with a slower service speed. With insights like this, you can establish goals to make your service line more efficient for your guests waiting in the drive-thru. 

In a recent blog, we discuss ways to improve your restaurant’s drive-thru, “Dive even further into managed video and visually see the data that’s pulled from your drive-thru’s transactions to uncover any hidden internal theft with a drive-thru data integration. With a customized reporting tool, you’re notified of exact moments when voids are entered or discounts with cash transactions are happening – helping you to make better decisions for your business before it negatively impacts your bottom line.” 

Curbside Pickup

While it’s still relatively new, it’s important now more than ever to ensure your curbside pickup is a seamless experience for your guests. When you integrate managed video software with your existing security cameras, you have more insights into how to make the process more smooth and more efficient. With a VMS, and cameras placed in proper internal and external positions, you’re given visibility into time stamps of when the customer arrived, when your employee handed off the order, and when the driver left the parking lot.

Curbside pickup is becoming the norm in the restaurant industry and cameras add benefits to this service. In fact, Del Taco recently introduced food lockers to their restaurants and cameras have never been more impactful. Adding cameras to their new food lockers cultivate a sense of safety and security for their customer experience.

“Adding lockers with cameras are differentiators for us,” Kevin Pope, vice president of operations innovation at Del Taco says. “They tell our guests that we’re serious about delivery and pick-up and that we want to get the food to everybody safely and accurately.” (QSR Magazine)

Point of Sale and Managed Video

Another key area where security cameras in your restaurant can do more for you is at your point of sale (POS). You can easily spot patterns of internal theft or loss, when you tie these systems together to view transaction receipts and exact video of the instance side-by-side. Spotting voided transactions, discount abuse, refunds, and dishonest cash handling becomes that much easier.

In this situation, a restaurant manager ran a void report and viewed the video tied to all voids. Viewing the video of one of the voided transactions they noticed the order was taken, handed to the customer and then voided. In the process, the customer handed the team member the cash where they slyly put it in their pocket versus the register. With this evidence of internal theft, the manager can move forward with a solution after seeing the entire picture of what happened.

Spot Cleaning Opportunities with Security Cameras

It is crucial to abide by health and cleaning guidelines in order to provide a spotless dining experience for your guests. As a restaurant manager, ensure tables are being wiped down according to protocols. If one of your locations is receiving poor feedback from customers relating to cleanliness, reviewing footage of the situation can help you better understand where additional coaching may be needed.

As an illustration, a restaurant was sued by a customer because of a slip and fall incident. After reviewing the video footage prior to the accident, no spill occurred. A few hour’s worth of footage was handed over to the court where it was discovered that 59 minutes before the slip and fall, a server had dropped ranch dressing and wiped it up quickly without following proper cleaning protocols. With ranch dressing being oil based, the person who fell ended up slipping on the oil still on the ground.

If this restaurant took the time to use Envysion Motion Search to highlight the area on the floor, the restaurant’s team could’ve easily searched the specific area. Within seconds they could have found the incident of the dropped ranch, and the lack of proper cleaning procedures, and handled the situation before it escalated to the courtroom.

Front Door Activity

There can be more than meets the eye at the front door. You can see many activities at the front door such as patrons walking in and out. Following up on 3rd party delivery orders as well as other various activities. You can also discover why your restaurant’s morning sales have been lagging such as verifying or confirming if employees are in fact opening the restaurant on time.

For instance, a restaurant manager noticed that each Monday morning no sales were occurring between 5am-5:11am. With the specific day of the week and time in mind, the manager reviewed video footage of the front door and noticed that the opening manager wasn’t opening the restaurant until 5:10am. With this information, the manager could coach the team member accordingly to avoid this situation in the future.

Owning or managing a restaurant is a lot of work! As a multi-unit operator, it’s impossible to have visibility at each of your stores 100% of the time. With Envysion Managed Video Software and your existing security camera system, you do have the ability to be everywhere at all times allowing you to have an extra set of eyes so you can focus on your bottom line.

If you’re interested in learning more about Envysion’s managed video software or our expert team of restaurant auditors, we want to speak with you – get in touch with us today.

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