9 Tips to Improve your Restaurant Security
Dining out is a relaxing experience, but it can be dangerous for those working in this industry. The hours are late, and the patrons can be unpredictable. Any business that is open to the public runs the risk of crime. Restaurant security should be an important concern for owners, managers and employees.
In addition, restaurants are frequently the target of robberies, employee theft and violent incidents.
Restaurant security concerns include:
- Armed robbery, based on an assumption that there is a lot of cash onsite.
- Employee theft involving misuse of coupons and gift cards or stealing customer credit card info.
- Violence involving employees and customers. These acts may include verbal attacks, physical assaults and sexual violence. Violence is less likely to occur when an authority figure such as a manager is present.
Your restaurant may be located in a safe, low-crime area, but you don’t want to provide an easy opportunity for the criminal-minded. Here are some suggestions for enhancing the security at your restaurant.
1. Install a Security System
Install a security system and place cameras around the restaurant, especially near cash registers and exterior areas.
Restaurant owners can even use video surveillance to check on their business when they are out of the building.
Just recently, a Houston restaurant owner witnessed a robbery at his restaurant through his smartphone while he was at home.
He was able to alert the authorities who apprehended several of the suspects.
2. Establish Secure Procedures
Establish a secure procedure for receiving deliveries and taking out the trash.
Rear doors to the trash or delivery areas should have a buzzer to restrict entry to unwanted individuals.
These doors should never be left propped open.
3. Lock Outdoor Containers
Keep outdoor trash containers in a locked enclosure that is accessible only from the inside of the restaurant.
4. Provide Consistent Exterior Lighting
Provide sufficient, consistent exterior lighting around the restaurant’s exterior.
5. Use the Buddy System
Use the “buddy system” to ensure employees leave the restaurant safely after their shift, especially if they are getting off late at night. Leave through the front door instead of the back door. Many robberies occur when employees leave through the back door because it is less visible.
6. Identify a Safe Area
Identify a safe area for employees and patrons to hide during a violent incident. Freezers are a good option because they are large and can be secured.
Make sure your freezer can be unlocked from the inside.
It should also have a way for someone inside to communicate to those outside (cell phone reception may be poor inside so don’t rely on someone’s personal phone).
7. Avoid Drop Ceilings
Avoid “drop ceilings” in bathrooms. This type of ceiling could be used as a way for someone to stay behind after closing.
8. Prevent Roof Access
Prevent roof access by locking the internal entry point and removing any exterior ladders that may be used to hoist someone up.
9. Limit Keys
Limit the possession of keys to management only.
The more keys that are floating around, the greater the likelihood they will fall into the wrong hands.
Save Time and Money
You can save valuable time and money by having professionals install your security system.