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Restaurants are particularly susceptible to losses that stem from quality assurance and security issues. A high rate of staff turnover increases the risk of internal theft. The fast-paced, high-energy atmosphere in the back, coupled with streams of customers entering and exiting the dining area make security matters especially challenging for Pompano Beach and Fort Lauderdale restaurants. Even the most alert managers are unable to maintain eyes and ears at every moment of every part of the business, day and night.
Installing a custom, powerful surveillance system can help resolve the major challenges Fort Lauderdale restaurants face regarding safety, loss prevention and liability.
Advantages of installing restaurant security cameras
Unlike some Florida businesses, surveillance in a restaurant setting is generally more straight forward. Typical modern restaurant surveillance systems consist of mounted high-definition cameras that stream and record video to fast, reliable servers.
In addition to deterring theft, surveillance cameras can prevent fights and unruliness among customers and staff. Restaurants that also have a bar where drunk patrons could become rambunctious may find it easier to maintain order if the area is monitored by security cameras.
Like other businesses, restaurants sometimes are targeted for vandalism. Broken glass and spray paint detract from a restaurant’s ambiance and can make the property unsafe for patrons to enter, especially if large amounts of broken glass are present. Vandals are far less likely to strike if they are aware that their actions are being recorded. Restaurant surveillance cameras also could aid law enforcement in solving crimes that occur in the neighborhood.
Best locations for cameras
Aesthetics matter when it comes to installing cameras in the dining area.There are many moving parts in a restaurant business. All these areas are critical; therefore, each requires adequate security.
- For business owners and managers, perhaps the most obvious area that would mandate surveillance coverage is the cashier desk, as many patrons still pay with cash. However, even when credit cards, identity theft and fraud have increasingly become serious concerns. Pointing a security camera at the cashier desk minimizes the opportunity for cash to be diverted from the register or for employees or passersby to engage in suspicious activity near the restaurant’s money, receipts and credit card processing equipment.
- It is critical to monitor the dining area. Customers often leave cash tips on the tables prior to exiting. Installing a camera that records numerous angles of the dining area can discourage others from stealing the money.
- In addition to deterring tip theft, video surveillance can deter theft by committed by non-paying customers. “Dine and dash” – where a person orders a meal, eats it, and leaves without paying – is much easier to detect and even prosecute with a robust security system in place.
- Dining room surveillance can prove useful if a conflict arises between a customer and an employee, if a customer complains about service or food quality, or if two or more people are involved in an altercation. Florida Restaurant owners and managers may simply review recorded footage to accurately determine what took place.
- In terms of meeting external security requirements, monitoring the property’s parking lots, exits and entrances can deter unauthorized entry and vandalism.
Things to consider beforehand
Prior to installing a surveillance system, restaurant owners and managers should consider the different areas they would like to monitor and note lighting and layout details that may affect visibility from a camera.
- Entrances and exits are high-traffic areas. If an incident occurs in this area, it may be more difficult to identity faces clearly. Dome cameras are often used here because they offer higher megapixels for clearer, sharper images. These cameras are available in smaller, low-profile sizes that allow them to fit within the confinements of a restaurant’s entrance.
- The kitchen area is the busiest and most critical in terms of quality control. Surveillance equipment monitoring a kitchen must be capable of withstanding extreme temperatures, as dishwashers, ovens, stovetops and other appliances generate high heat. Weatherproof, tamper-resistant dome cameras can endure oil splashes and are more resistant to vandalism.
- When evaluating the right equipment to monitor a cash register, note that a camera with a fixed lens often is not ideal. Motorized varifocal cameras can zoom in and out to capture small hand movements and the details of every single bill. These cameras also capture images of the area surrounding the cash desk.
- Parking lot and exterior cameras should be weatherproof, to endure extreme weather conditions. Parking lot cameras should be positioned high on the building to capture the full area. Weatherproof bullet cameras are excellent options as they are easily mounted and aimed.
Choosing the right surveillance solution
Camera surveillance should be an essential part of a more comprehensive restaurant security system. In addition to training staff members on internal security measures, business owners and managers must choose cameras that are able to deliver clear footage and withstand lighting, temperature, and structural challenges in the most critical areas. Let the business security experts at Eos help you choose the right solution for your restaurant’s needs.