Guide to Restaurant Security Camera Systems
Restaurant camera systems are commonly deployed in the hospitality industry to prevent risk, liability, losses, and operational inefficiencies so that managers can run a more successful and profitable business. A report by Management Science revealed that restaurants increased their revenue by 7% and decreased identifiable theft by 22% after deploying a security camera system. This indicates that video security can serve as a motivator for employee productivity, a deterrent to latent theft, or both.
Featured Video: What Restaurants Look for in a Security Camera System
Jump to each section to learn more:
• How is Surveillance Technology used in Restaurants?
• Benefits of Video Security in Restaurants
• Must-Haves for Restaurant Security Cameras
• Impact of Video Security in Restaurants
• How do Restaurant Owners & Managers use Security Systems?
• How do Restaurant Employees use Surveillance Technology?
• How do Restaurant Patrons use Video Surveillance?
• Final Takeaways about Surveillance for Restaurant Security
How are Security Camera Systems used in Restaurants?
Mitigate Theft, Vandalism, and Dining and Dashing
Unfortunately, there are a number of different negative incidents restaurant teams encounter. From patron and employee thieves to vandals to patrons who dine and dash, smart restaurant owners use restaurant security systems to ensure that criminals are caught on video. Restaurant teams then use this security camera footage to streamline incident investigation and resolution.
Incident resolution doesn’t end when the criminal or criminals have been identified, however—then, law enforcement and prosecutors must prove it. Video surveillance is often essential in proving internal theft, vandalism, or dining and dashing occurred. No amount of subjective evidence can discredit unquestionable, objective video evidence.
Manage Food Safety and Quality with Greater Confidence
Without restaurant security cameras, a restaurant’s food safety and sanitation is often a black box. Leadership sometimes doesn’t become aware of problems with food safety in the kitchen until violations are handed down. These food safety and quality violations are highly embarrassing and easily cast a brand-wide negative light on a restaurant and its priorities.
Restaurant owners may not think of surveillance as an immediate way to increase kitchen safety and sanitation. However, a restaurant security system enables owners to monitor food handlers to ensure they adhere to food safety practices, and equips owners with footage if they don’t. In fact, the resulting footage often serves as compelling employee training material, which managers use to correct—or even prevent—team-wide bad habits and practices.
Proactively Improve Customer Experience
In addition to empowering restaurant teams to mitigate incidents and improve food safety and sanitation, video surveillance is used to improve customer experience in a number of ways. Consider, for instance, the role of restaurant security cameras in providing objective accounts of employee conflict for conflict resolution. Video surveillance also a defining role when formulating kitchen fire safety rules, food safety procedures, food sanitation rules, and much more.
As you search for a restaurant security system, it’s important to remember that video surveillance supports restaurant owners at every step of the customer experience. From ensuring safe food handling to exposing serving delays to minimizing employee conflict and streamlining resolution, owners use restaurant security cameras to optimize customer experience in hundreds of creative ways.
Benefits of Video Security in Restaurants
- Monitor Food Quality and Safety During Meal Preparation: Restaurant security cameras are a critical aspect of monitoring and measuring restaurant safety. When restaurant safety rules or national food safety regulations are bent or disregarded, restaurant security camera footage attributes food and handling missteps directly to specific members of the food preparation team. By equipping managers with actionable insights into health and safety, managers adopt more proactive, effective, and tailored approaches to food quality control.
- Attribute Theft in the Workplace Accurately and Seamlessly: Whether there’s a dine and dash incident or an employee stealing money from an employer, a restaurant surveillance system gives restaurant staff 24/7 visibility throughout the restaurant site. Cases of theft are easier, faster, and more seamless to resolve with definitive video footage showing a thief or thieves committing the crime.
- Provide a Strategic Approach to Restaurant Surveillance: There’s no denying that a restaurant surveillance system may be an expensive investment in the short-term. However, owners and managers should remember that restaurant security cameras will save money and time in the long-term. Would-be repeat offenders will be caught the first time, managers avoid hefty and embarrassing food health and safety violations, and customers will be more likely to enjoy their experience and come back.
Must-Haves for Restaurant Security Cameras
- Ability to Locate Footage of Incidents Quickly: Restaurant teams’ top priority should be giving customers the best dining experience possible—which often keeps owners, managers, and servers on their feet and moving. If footage is easy to locate, isolate, and send to other team members or law enforcement, less time is spent investigating incidents and incidents are resolved more quickly. This enables restaurant managers to resolve incidents with minimal interruption to diners.
- Ability to Monitor Multiple Cameras at Once: Since there are consistently customers and diners throughout a restaurant and the surrounding space (i.e. parking lot, driveway, or areas of outdoor seating), it’s important to maintain visibility into all of these areas of activity simultaneously. Selecting a restaurant surveillance system that enables teams to monitor camera feeds from all areas with traffic from at the same time—perhaps even on the same monitor—make true restaurant safety possible when it otherwise wouldn’t be.
- Ability to Access Restaurant Footage Remotely: Accessing restaurant security camera footage remotely enables restaurant managers to check on a room or item at a restaurant without having to travel to and from that site. This can be particularly useful for restaurant management teams that oversee multiple chains or locations. With one remotely-accessible platform, one team member monitors multiple sites from any location.
Impact of Video Surveillance Technology in Restaurants
Restaurant Owners & Managers
- Can ensure safe food handling practices and procedures are being observed.
- Can manage internal and external theft with confidence.
- Can streamline and optimize employee training program.
- Can monitor long-term patron flow patterns and identify sources of patron wait time.
- Can identify sources of gaps in kitchen hygiene and food sanitation.
- Can provide definitive evidence of innocence if ever accused of internal theft.
- Can dine more safely, and with better service.
- Can enjoy meals prepared with food safety and hygiene in mind.
- Can enjoy shorter wait times with optimized food handling and preparation practices.
Final Takeaways: Restaurant Security Camera Systems for Safety and Loss Prevention
Video surveillance can be a powerful tool for risk and operations management in a restaurant setting. From documenting food safety to tracking employee performance and inventory, video security is an integral tool for restaurant managers to improve efficiency, increase profitability, and safeguard employees, customers, and assets.