CCTV Articles

Preventing Restaurant Theft

From employees to guests, no one can escape Video Surveillance


In my years in the business, I have seen that restaurants and bars have about the highest need for video security. Why, do you ask? Well, many places have numerous employees, and not all are trustworthy. The opportunity for “just a little” to big time restaurant theft are all over.

A camera system allows you to see, and prove, when your people are taking advantage of you. One of the worst, most common, is giving friends free food or drinks. This bit of “nice” can and will cost you hundreds a NIGHT! Also, are you being cheated by servers pocketing cash? You can spot this if you have cameras properly placed.

Burger King had a situation where employees were eating free food as a fringe benefit. The camera installation stopped this bit of petty restaurant theft immediately, resulting in a reduction of shortages in each store averaging 1000.00 per month! When you are talking 600 stores that is a lot of money.

Do you have a liquor room? Prime area for theft. Usually access is restricted, but opportunity is still there. A camera will determine who is the culprit.

Storage room. I have seen instances where cases of high value product were being taken out the back door and set out of sight to be picked up by an accomplice. That’s bad enough when it’s a case of burger patties, but I have seen cases of lobster and filet mignon stolen this way.

Back door. An area of real concern, as most anything of value can be removed. A camera inside and out will stop this cold.

Besides the obvious restaurant theft issues that a camera system can stop, there are many more areas where a good camera system can save the owners big money.

Are your staff actually doing their job while you are not there? We have seen video where staff was having a party!! On your time, on your dime! Free food and drinks for their favorite friends, a great way to be real popular. And a great way to hurt your profits bad.

Do you have servers just standing around when there are customers to be taken care of? This is one way for a restaurant to get a bad reputation for bad service. Even if you are not there, you can go on line and make sure this is not happening. If it is, a phone call will take care of that!

Same thing for kitchen staff. Do you have enough people? Do you have too many? Are they properly preparing meals? Are they wasting product? Observing while you are not there will give you an excellent handle on that situation.

It is a sad fact of life that people get into arguments. This can even lead to violence in the workplace. A video of the episode can lead to who is the victim and who is the bad guy. No more “He said, She said”. You have it on video! Another real problem at restaurants can be sexual harassment. These lawsuits are a no win for the restaurant owner. If the activities are recorded, responsibility can be quickly established.

Another big problem for restaurants is spurious lawsuits. A slip and fall can result in large legal expenses and expensive settlements. Unfortunately, a large number of these suits are faked, and then are very hard to disprove. But, if caught on camera, it all goes away. I have seen this in all kinds of businesses, from bagel shops to large auto dealers. Easy money if you get away with it, and there are bands of fakers, teamed with sleazy attorneys that eat quite well doing these, over and over.

Have a valet? Does he drive easy, or does he like to take a joyride? You can get rid of this bad liability before it causes a bad problem.

Parking lot security. Observing and recording what is going on out there can be very important. From punks stealing from cars to drug dealers selling to your customers and employees. Get a handle on it, problem goes away. And if Mr. Jones backs into Mrs Bigbucks Bentley and drives off, you can solve that and be a hero!

Office. Watch the manager work. IS he working, watching porn, entertaining a waitress, having fun with friends, getting a nice meal, or is he actually doing his job! Easy to see, and to prove.

Deliveries. Too many times delivery guys are charging for non-existant deliveries. Delivers 4 cases, your manager signs for 6. Manager gets a few bucks, you lose more money. Think it doesn’t happen? It does. I have even seen it with ice deliveries! Cases of wine or liquor? Big bucks.

Also keep in mind that as effective as our systems are for solving and recording inappropriate activities, they are equally effective at deterring these problems. If a bad guy is looking over the place for a future activity, just seeing your camera system can, and will, suggest to him that going to another place to victimize is a better idea. Hey, there a lot of places out there that don’t protect themselves, so why risk it, getting caught.

A video system, properly installed, can be an extremely powerful tool for a restaurant. Have multiple locations? You can have everyone on video in your office or home. How much time will that save you, not having to waste time driving around. Have an employee go a bit above and beyond his job responsibilities? Call him in and thank him. THAT bit of news will go all over the place. See someone breaking the rules, call them in and counsel them. Make sure they know “We have it on video!”. Have an employee repeatedly violating policy? They can be fired without repercussions, remember, you have it on video, they cannot object or say you were not being fair.

When choosing a video system, it is absolutely vital to choose wisely. There are way too many inferior products being sold on the internet. To make a proper selection, it is most important to talk to a system designer that can help you lay out a workable system, that will last and one that will give you the video quality necessary for the results you are after. Going to Walmart or Home Depot will allow you to get a box of cheap product, built as consumer grade. That means that the product was built to a price point. And when you need help, who do you call? When you come to Security Camera King, you will get top quality product, commercial grade. That means product built to a quality and performance level. And, a very vital part of your investment is the service that you will get here. Professional sales people with real experience in the field. We will be happy to make sure that you get a system that meets and exceeds your needs and expectations. When you do the installation, we have techs here that will assist you as much as you need. They do this all day, every day and can, and will, go on line to your recorder to make sure you have it properly set up. In my 40+ years in the business, I have never seen the equal of the technical staff here. In fact, our sales manager is a much better tech than most of the tech agents at other companies.

Keep in mind, a security system is not just a purchase, but a real investment in your security. Do it right, do it once, do it with Security Camera King!

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