According to the FBI, restaurants, and eateries rank as the 8th most common setting for violent crime in America. In 2021 alone over 10,000 violent crimes were committed in US restaurants with a staggering 76 murders and 5,642 armed robberies committed against guests, employees, and restaurant proprietors. An interesting point to note is that the FBI doesn't count 'traditional' burglaries as violent crime, but for the sake of this article if you include that statistic as well, then the need for capable restaurant security systems is high indeed.

restaurant security camera


So what restaurant security system is right for your business? This all depends on the size of your restaurant, the type of clientele you serve, your budget, and several other factors. In this article, we'll take a look at some of the different types of restaurant security systems available and help you decide which one is best for you. Before moving into technology-based systems, however, there are operational and design aspects that can give your business the edge when it comes to keeping your property, staff, and money safe.


General Restaurant Security Tips


Smarter Money Management

Despite the growing popularity of debit and credit cards for making payments, many restaurants and bars still conduct a significant number of cash purchases. During operating hours, your business becomes an easy target because of the accumulation of money, so keep it secure to avoid problems by addressing these potential problem areas:


Secure Physical Cash in-Premises

Invest in a drop safe and keep cash in the registers to a minimum. To reduce the amount of money accessible at any one moment, employees should frequently deposit money into the drop safe throughout the day, which also prevents large sums of money on-hand towards the evening or night when a crime is more likely to occur.


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Randomize Money Movements

If money needs to be moved from the drop safe to either the bank or an external safe location, have at least two employees present to accompany the money and act as witnesses in case something happens.


Limit Safe Access

To decrease the danger of money disappearing, the number of individuals who have access to the safe should be restricted as much as feasible. Also, when an employee who previously had safe access is terminated, for whatever reason, good or bad, ensure that the safe combination is changed so that the employee can never return and access the safe again.


Smarter Restaurant Design

Another way to limit the possibility of crime occurring at your restaurant, bar, or eating establishment is to pay attention to the environment both inside and outside.Avoid landscaping like large bushes, shrubs, or hedges that can obscure visibility and provide criminals a place to hide. Also, make sure that the dumpster area is easily visible from multiple angles and doesn't offer dark or hidden spots for someone to hide behind.

Lighting, both inside and out, is also important. Well-lit areas are less likely to be targeted by criminals. If you have an outdoor seating area, consider installing outdoor security cameras that can monitor activity and potentially deter would-be criminals. Lastly, make sure that roof access and any other areas where someone could potentially gain entry to the restaurant are well secured. This includes ensuring that all doors and windows are locked when not in use and that any gates or fences are also secure.


Types of Restaurant Security Systems


Technology-based restaurant security systems

In this day and age, there's no excuse for not incorporating some form of technology into your restaurant security system, as there are so many options available to suit different restaurant needs.

Access Control Systems

Restaurants can keep track of employees and patrons through access control systems. With access control technology, restaurant management and staff can limit or track the areas that each employee has access to, helping restaurant managers gauge how long workers spend in areas or how many times they enter the restaurant kitchen. In addition, this makes it easier to track who's been in an area at a given time and when they entered or exited that specific location.

Video Surveillance Systems

Say goodbye to unwieldy security cameras and tape recorders. Modern restaurant video surveillance systems can be easily installed using digital technology, allowing restaurant managers to monitor restaurant activity via a computer or smartphone from anywhere in the world. Additionally, restaurant security camera systems can be linked with access control technology so that restaurant staff and management can track the movement of patrons and employees throughout the restaurant. This helps restaurant owners and employees keep tabs on their staff during busy periods when there's a lot of restaurant activity, as well as investigate any potential restaurant crimes.

Alarm Systems

Installing an alarm system is one of the most effective ways to secure a restaurant. Alarm systems can be used to protect restaurant exteriors and interiors from intruders, as well as alert restaurant staff and management to any potential threats. Additionally, restaurant alarm systems can be used to notify restaurant staff of environmental threats, such as a fire or gas leak.

Whether you're opening your restaurant or looking to update an existing restaurant security system, there are many restaurant security options available that will help keep your restaurant and its patrons safe from threats large and small. By assessing your restaurant's needs and choosing restaurant security systems that are right for you, restaurant managers and owners can rest easy knowing their restaurant is well protected.