Quick service restaurant and franchise owners know the power of automation in managing high-volume, rapid service locations. They’re rolling out options like mobile pay and ordering, simplifying point-of-sales systems and improving supplier and vendor management. Despite these changes, there is one area where QSR and franchise automation often lags: security.
As there is no immediate ROI on security updates, they may take a backseat to other priorities. But the importance of a solid security system—not only for the restaurant itself but for employees and customers—cannot be overstated. The good news is that it’s possible for operators to automate security cost effectively with the help of an experienced integrator.
Considerations in Restaurant Security Systems
QSRs and franchises face some unique challenges in managing security. They don’t want to make customers feel unwelcome or affect the ambiance by placing security guards at the door or installing large cameras everywhere, but they also want to minimize risks. Balancing security needs becomes even more challenging due to industry-specific issues like:
- Disparate systems. Many QSRs and franchises operate as chains, often with dozens of locations. Without a unified plan, the security setup will vary from space to space. Infrastructure isolation makes it difficult to keep track of needed upgrades and maintenance. It’s also hard to assign a point of contact for dealing with issues, as employees frequently change locations and systems may be different per location.
- Liability. Vandalism in the parking lot or an assault in the bar can lead to lawsuits that cost businesses thousands. There’s also the risk to the long-term reputation of the restaurant, as no customers want to spend time in a location where they don’t feel safe.
- Cash transactions. While most franchise locations do a lot of debit and credit business, many customers use cash to cover tips or even their entire bill. Having cash on hand makes QSRs and franchises an appealing target for petty theft.
The problem is that restaurant security systems may not have a central hub to manage all the needed devices and programs. Over time, this will make the system less effective. Updating restaurant security should center on creating one cohesive infrastructure, whether the system serves five locations or 50. This not only offers ease of access for security departments but also ensures that each device is working optimally and for as long a lifespan as possible.
Automating Restaurant Security Systems With Integration
Security system integration allows QSRs and franchises to automate specific security processes across the entire organizational infrastructure. By working with an experienced security integrator to connect surveillance, access control, intrusion detection, and communications systems, operators can:
- Manage devices in real time. A cohesive system connects to intuitive software capable of managing all the components. Users can log in and see maintenance alerts, determine where they’re coming from and send service tickets all from one centralized program.
- Deter criminals while relaxing visitors. Strategically placed surveillance cameras show potential intruders that security is a priority. Meanwhile, smaller, less conspicuous devices work to monitor an entire location without intruding on ambiance. Also, IP cameras and CCTV devices can connect to intrusion protection to verify incidents and minimize false alarms.
- Automate opening and closing. Operators can automate their opening and closing routines by leveraging access control systems and magnetic locks. Managers won’t have to be there to ensure other employees can access the site or be the last to lock up, which limits inconvenience when someone’s out or at another location.
- Store and tag surveillance data. Locations collect a lot of data on their surveillance devices. Without proper categorizing, that data is unwieldy and unusable. With a cohesive system, it’s possible to tag data with locations, dates, times and even involved employees automatically. This streamlines investigations in the event of an incident.
Security system integration offers many more benefits in managing restaurant security systems. One of the biggest for QSRs and franchises is scalability. Operators can easily add or subtract systems as their franchise grows and simplify system management in times of high turnover. Automating restaurant security is the solution for protecting assets while allowing staff to concentrate on providing top-notch dining, and allowing customers to enjoy their dining experience.