Restaurant Articles

Evaluating and Preventing Loss in Restaurants

By July 26, 2016 No Comments

As a restaurant owner or manager, protecting your employees and customers is one of the most important but very challenging security concerns. What signs should you look out for when evaluating and changing a loss prevention strategy for your restaurant?

Consider A Proactive Strategy

Restaurant owners and managers should strongly consider a proactive approach to loss prevention.

  1. Complete a Risk Assessment

This exercise is designed to force you as a restaurant owner or manager to proactively go looking for trouble in your operations. A thorough risk assessment helps provide an objective appraisal of your existing security plan and identifies vulnerabilities and weaknesses. It will also allow owner or managers of restaurants to pinpoint opportunities to be more efficient and reduce risks.

  1. Install or Upgrade your Security Monitoring Technology

A restaurant security system should be custom-designed to meet the needs of your restaurant, and technology has improved significantly in recent years. Your upgraded solution may include a combination of intrusion detection with 24/7 monitoring, critical condition monitoring, temperature monitoring or video surveillance. An advanced video surveillance package with onboard video analytics can also help increase the profitability of your restaurant by reducing losses from employee errors or “sweet-hearting” during point-of-sale transactions. An advanced video surveillance package will allow you to have a clearly defined audit picture of your business and employees. Key components should include.

  • An advanced video surveillance system with recording technology and analytics. Cameras should be placed to monitor entrances, any drive-through operations, parking lots, cash registers, customer service lines, food preparation areas and the manager’s office or safe room.
  • Public view cameras are placed in highly visible areas in order to deter criminals who may not commit a crime if it’s clear they are under surveillance.
  • Time lock safes, smart safes, and armored car services.
  • “View windows” should be installed on all back doors. No delivery door should be opened without the ability to see who’s on the other side.
  • Appropriate security surveillance signage should be clearly posted in plain sight at entrances and throughout property.
  1. Evaluate and Monitor the Effectiveness of the Security Plan

As you put your security plan into effect, it is important to monitor key elements in order to evaluate the effectiveness of your loss prevention strategy. Conduct evaluations regularly and consistently, using video analytics to monitor events, check progress and efficiencies and identify any gaps. Should actual security incidents happen, debrief your employees and document the details of the incident for training purposes. An incident may also be an opportunity to adapt your security plan as needed.

Be aware of the critical need to update the risk assessment for each location every two to three years to ensure that you are using recent, relevant data to form your security decisions. As your restaurant or chain grows or changes operations, you may also want to consider scheduling updates to your surveillance technology with your security provider to ensure that you are using your video surveillance solutions to their best effect.