Whether you own a restaurant, a retail store, an accountancy or any other business, if you have employees and customers, you can lose inventory. Not all loss can be accounted for. Not all loss can be prevented. However, theft on a larger scale is mostly preventable and that’s what this article is all about!
According to Loss Prevention Media one sure way to limit your losses is to remove the opportunity for malicious loss
Individuals typically consider four questions before embarking on an act of theft.
First, what is the risk of being caught?
Second, how easy will it be to carry out the act?
Third, is the likely reward worthwhile?
Four, if I do get caught, what is the likely punishment?
Once we have a better understanding of how and why theft takes place, we can go about putting systems in place to prevent theft from happening.
I would think you’d agree with me that preventing theft is better than catching a thief in the act.
Therefore the first tips deal with prevention:
The next tips deal with catching a thief in the act of stealing (in case your ‘warning signs’ didn’t work)
Not all theft can be prevented.
Not all thieves can be caught.
However, having a clear plan in place on how to handle situations as they occur will help tremendously. Investing a bit of money into your business for a security system, surveillance cameras and loss prevention employees might in the end, save you money, and time and lots of headaches along the way.
🔴 If you are a business owner with a restaurant, there are some very specific challenges you deal with, least of all security and safety of your staff and location.
🔴 If you offer outdoor seating at your restaurant, that restaurant patio will come with its own security and safety issues (as you might already know if you own such a venture).
🔴 If you are new to owning a restaurant, or need to fix some ongoing safety and security issues, and are interested in adding a patio, read on!
Staff and customer safety should be most important, so let us start with potential restaurant patio safety concerns. Here are some safety concerns to consider.
If you allow smoking on your restaurant patio, be prepared for potential fire safety issues. You will need to provide portable ashtrays and have a fire safety plan in place for your employees and review this plan often, especially with newly hired help. Also, have a fire extinguisher on hand and its location clearly marked.
These heaters are great for extending your outdoor seating season. They are also a great attraction to (young) children yet they are so dangerous as they can burn someone so quickly! Review the location of each heater and make sure your staff is fully aware and trained to avoid hitting these hot heaters while serving your customers. Having a designated ‘heater patrol’ staff member for each shift will prevent accidents like accidental overheating or leaving these heaters on overnight.
Not all furniture that states it is ‘Indoor/Outdoor’ furniture is suited for outdoor use. Metal furniture can heat up in the sun and cause burns. The glare off of glass table tops can also burn customers, or if the glass breaks it can cause a big problem for your customers and staff alike. Cushions that aren’t water repellant or aren’t meant to use outside can produce mold and mildew and untreated wood furniture like picnic tables that aren’t finished, can cause splinters. Just be cautious as you pick the outdoor furniture for your patio and be diligent as to keeping it clean and functional.
Certain plants and trees are poisonous. Make sure to speak with a master gardener who is familiar with your local flora and can steer you towards the right plants, trees and shrubs to plant near and on your patio. Even common house plants can be poisonous and have poisonous leaves. It would only take a minute for a child, or a pet, to eat these and get sick.
As far as safety is concerned, allowing dogs on your outdoor seating area, your restaurant patio, can land you in a precarious situation. The most important thing to remember is to have a pet policy in place and train your staff to adhere to this policy, no matter what you decide – to allow or to disallow. If you do allow dogs on your outdoor seating area, have water dishes handy and even some dog-friendly treats on the menu. Be aware that trained service animals should never be denied access to your restaurant.
If you patio is near a road, or near water, make sure to have adequate fencing or any type of barrier in place, as well as clearly marked warning signs. Parents with small children should be made aware of the dangers of the traffic and/or water nearby as to keep a close eye on them.
Now that you understand some of the restaurant patio safety concerns, let’s look at the security issues.
The main security issue of an outdoor seating area or restaurant patio is theft. This can mean people leaving without paying, or theft of cash and furniture. A close second security issue is personal safety.
Here are some deterrents and equipment to help you keep your restaurant patio, and your outdoor staff, secure at all times.
Security cameras trained on your personnel can keep them safe from harm, but it can also help you keep your business secure as you can monitor your staff at the cash register, the bar, the kitchen etc. preventing mistakes and theft.
Security cameras on the patio can help monitor your outdoor area for theft and vandalism during off hours, when the restaurant is closed. Tie the cameras into your security system and you should be able to monitor this area in real time, for example using the Honeywell Total Connect™ app.
We have found that most outdoor seating areas do not have a point of sale area; those are mostly left inside for obvious security reasons. However, your staff does work outside and their safety and security is important enough that you should consider adding panic buttons in strategic areas (easy to reach, easy to disguise) on your patio in case of an assault, fight, theft, or robbery. Training your staff will be important for these panic buttons to be effective.
Lights add a layer of security – no criminal wants to be in the spotlight! We suggest you instal motion-sensitive floodlights on your patio to trigger when trespassers enter the private patio area during off hours.
Enjoy your summer – enjoy your outdoor seating, but above all, enjoy a thriving business without safety or security issues!
We know how much time, money, sweat an yes, tears it takes to start a business – we are business owners ourselves.
When creating your business plan, we are confident you created a working budget based upon projected sales and services rendered.
Whether you have a storefront, a large retail store, a restaurant or an industrial park location, security and safety should be high on your list of priorities – for yourself and your employees!
If we could wave a magic wand, we would grant EVERY SINGLE BUSINESS OWNER a state-of-the-art security system with cameras. From experience with working with many, many, many local Myrtle Beach and Maryland business owners, we know that security systems and cameras can help with staff turnover, theft prevention, training and much much more.
All of these issues cost money – so by having a security system in place, you can actually safe money!
When you are ready for a security system for your business, you’ll want to work with the best company!
Make sure the security company you are going to work with is
(If you are already close to choosing a company, we suggest you do 3, 4 and 5 immediately!)
If, when you call this company, you are being treated rudely, they are not the company to go with.
If, when you call this company, you can not get any answers via phone, they are not the company to go with.
If, when you call this company, they just want to sell, sell, sell, they are not the company to go with.
If, when you call this company, they do not offer the services you request but they want to sell you something you do not need, they are not the company to go with.
If, when you visit this company, you are treated with disrespect, they are not the company to go with.
If, when you visit this company, you find their showroom lacking and their staff disinterested in you, they are not the company to go with.
If, when you visit this company, you find staff lacking in knowledge, they are not the company to go with.
BUT… if you love what you hear when you call, if you like the responsiveness of their staff, if you like what they offer – you are on the right track!
There is no better ‘judge’ than a fellow business owner when it comes to selecting the right security company. Next time you network at the Chamber or any other networking event, ask around!
Make sure to ask specific questions like
You’ll know by their answers whether you’d like to work with this company, too!
Once you have a few names of security companies, check out their online presence.[If they have no online presence at all – that’s a red flag!]
NOTE: Not every single online review has to be a positive, 5 star review. What you are looking for is a responsive company who takes customer service seriously, offline as well as online!
When you are just about ready to go and sign a contract for services, place a call to the Better Business Bureau if possible. It can’t hurt and sometimes it helps prevent you from making a huge mistake!
Last but not least, a lot of information can be gained from driving to (or by) the location of the security company you want to work with!
If all the answers are YES – you are most likely dealing with a reputable and established security business!
If you are local to Maryland or the Grand Strand/Myrtle beach area and in need of a security system for your business (or home), we invite you to come meet us, talk to us and work with us!
We at Strand Security, as business owners, know first-hand that opening a business is no small feat. When you open a business, it is like gaining a new family member; you want to protect it and nurture it and watch it grow. Whether it is a security company like ours, or a restaurant; the concerns we have are very similar. We at Strand Security would like to share some industry-specific tips for security systems for restaurants, as many of our customers here in the Myrtle Beach area are restaurant owners. We know there is huge competition in the restaurant industry in Myrtle Beach. Therefore, protecting every aspect of the business is important.
Having a security system, including cameras helps prevent (or catch in the act)
● Employee theft
● Customer behavior
● Suspicious Activity
Running a restaurant is complicated!
You have staff including waiters, cooks, managers, bartenders and more.
How many staff members handle cash and credit cards? Every waiter and bartender are constantly handling your money, right?
Unfortunately, it is far too easy for money to be stolen in the restaurant business. Annual revenue loss due to employee theft can shut down a small business. That is why we highly recommend installing security cameras as a precautionary measure.
Hopefully, you do not need to use the security cameras to catch your employees in acts of defiance. But when it comes down to it, it is better to be safe than sorry. You will also have proof which will help you should you need to fire someone. One more benefit; when people know they are being watched, they are less likely to act on impulses.
Just like you need to monitor your staff, you will also want to monitor your serving area and your customers.
Who knows what is lurking outside after the lights are turned off and the doors are locked, right? Parking lots are scary places.
You and your closing staff will feel more secure knowing there are cameras at every angle on the outside of your restaurant, as well as an alarm system.
Did you know you can watch your employees and customers from the comfort of your home if you have Honeywell Total Connect™? You can monitor your business, your employees and your customers on your favorite device, wherever you are.
If security systems are put in place, you will protect your investment, your employees, customers and your overall sense of well-being.
If you are like most people, you love seafood and if you love seafood, you especially love and appreciate the taste of fresh caught seafood. Did you know that Murrells Inlet (just south of Myrtle Beach) is the ‘seafood capital of South Carolina’?
One of Strand Security’s customers is Graham’s Landing.
If you’re familiar with our blog, you know that we just love to visit our customers and that we eat at, and support, all of our customers’ restaurants.
This week, Heather of Strand Security Systems went to eat lunch at Graham’s landing. She was lucky enough to sit on the deck overlooking the marsh and inlet and scored an interview with Graham of Graham’s Landing.
Heather: ‘Hi, I am Heather with Strand Security in Murrells Inlet and I am here with Graham at Graham’s Landing and I just had Salmon. Graham is getting ready to tell us a little about his specials this summer.’
Graham: ‘Every weekend we have smoked prime rib; Thursday, Friday, Saturday. We usually get a fresh fish in every couple of days. Hogfish, Trigger, Grouper, Mahi. And then Happy Hour every day from 4 PM – 7 PM, anywhere in the restaurant. In the far southend of Murrells Inlet.’
Heather: ‘I know where I’m eating!’
Click on each link to see the menu at Graham’s Landing
Whether you are in the Myrtle Beach area on vacation, or you are a local resident, may we assume you’ve got to eat? As a local B2B as well as B2C business, we see many businesses, inside and out, on a weekly basis. We visit current and new clients and work in their shops, restaurants, attractions and warehouses.
We see it all. New construction and remodels. Start ups and established businesses. We do new installations, updates and upgrades and while we are visiting, our senses are often inundated with the best views and smells!
We’ve been highlighting our current customers on our Facebook Page and we are excited to add our clients to our new blog as well! We’ll be doing this monthly; we are so excited!
Today, we’ll be sharing three local treasures with you, all Strand Security customers and all locally owned and locally operated, just like our business is. So if you are looking for a (new) place to eat in the Myrtle beach area, let us recommend a place for
for you and your loved ones!
Our Senior Sales Representative Corina, has been raving about this place forever. Bagel Cafe in Litchfield is her favorite place to go eat breakfast and we don’t blame her! Look at these yummy treats!
Debbie, owner of Bagel Cafe told us “We’ve had a few security issues and Chuck (Strand Security) was right there and very accommodating. They are excellent on service!”
Before you go, check out their menu online and ‘like’ them on Facebook! Then once you’ve eaten there, let us know how awesome your bagel (or other yummy treat) was.
Up next, we’d like to share anther local gem to go check out for lunch (or dinner!). Pastaria 811 in Pawleys Island offers both authentic Italian lunch and dinner to their patrons and has been for over 18 years! We’ve been lucky enough to eat both meals there and everything is so good, we really can’t recommend one favorite dish.
According to David, owner of Pastaria 811 they have been a Strand Security Systems customer for four years and they like our company much better than the previous company! “Strand is very reliable” says David.
If interested in checking out Pastaria 811, find their menu here.
So where will we send you to dinner? How about some pizza? In Surfside Beach, you’ll find this lovely family-owned pizza place! Lazer’s Pizza sits right on business 17 and customers rave about the italian subs, calzones and of course, the pizza.
We appreciate any and all feedback from our Strand Security customers; and we are especially pleased to hear that we’ve answered the phone each and every time they’ve called us! Customer service is paramount!
We are happy to come to your place of business, or home, to give you an estimate on security as well. We take it seriously and we also strive to give the best customer service, always.
Keep an eye on this blog as we’ll be featuring other Myrtle Beach businesses in the months to come, including an oyster bar, a bowling alley and more!