The dining business is very challenging. Restaurant safety doesn’t have to be.
Employee turnover, equipment failure, and a dozen other factors can make or break the bottom line. On top of the typical issues, a manager also has to deal with restaurant safety and security. A restaurant faces risks from both inside and outside its walls.
Threats to your restaurant safety:
- Employee Theft
- Identity Theft
- Armed Robbery
- Parking Lot Accidents
- Slips and Falls
- Obscured Interiors
- Cooking Fires
Unfortunately for business owners, employee theft is most common. There are many opportunities for a server or bartender to steal from the company. These include skimming the register, voiding or shorting receipts and then keeping the difference, comping friends, over-pouring drinks, and many other types of scams.
The high rate of credit card use in daily transactions means that thieves could gain access to customers’ private information. Theft of credentials results in great damage to the reputation of your business.
With a large amount of cash on hand, especially in the early morning or late evening hours, a restaurant could be a likely target for armed robbery. Since restaurants often have multiple entrances and exits, it is essential to add security by zones. The goal is to provide open traffic during business hours while maintaining observation. Providing staff with training and tools to react to potentially dangerous situations is also vital for restaurant safety.
An act of violence can be a physical altercation between patrons, or employees. Restaurants serving alcohol or open late are often at risk of threats for violence.
Losses may include broken windows, graffiti, and the destruction of signs.
Parking Lot Accidents
In an instant parking lot accidents can result in injury to both patrons and employees. With a high volume of automobile traffic, damage to vehicles and buildings may occur at some point.
Slips and Falls
The busy environment of a restaurant, with servers, quickly coming and going creates the potential for slips and falls. Spills, greasy floors, a buckled mat or other obstacles can send an employee or customer to the hospital.
Blinds or tinted windows help keep customers comfortable. The downside of these items is that they can also create a cover for criminals. They may take these as an invitation to commit a robbery.
The average restaurant has all the ingredients for a dangerous fire – hot equipment, open flames, natural gas, cooking oil, cleaning products and a large supply of paper products. There are thousands of restaurant fires each year, according to FEMA, the average loss per fire is $23,000, but this number can often be much higher.
Thankfully, very few people die in restaurant fires, but the most damage is done to the business operation. In 43% of restaurant fires, the cost is large enough to force a restaurant to close, at least temporarily if not permanently.
Fire extinguishers and automated fire alarms and suppression systems are a must for every business in order to ensure restaurant safety.
First, security devices such as video cameras and access controls can reduce risk. Panic buttons shorten response times and save lives in the case of a robbery. Security cameras can be useful to identify thieves. A combination of a Point-of-Sale (POS) system with video recording can help prevent the majority of employee theft, saving your business thousands of dollars.
Secondly, even the presence of security signs and related equipment can help act as a deterrent to violence and vandalism. Lastly, creating a smart security plan with an experienced vendor will protect your business for years to come.