Surveillance systems are a must-have for restaurants and bars today.  Investing in modern surveillance and security systems can save money and hassle down the road.  Video footage can help to prove what did or did not happen when unfortunate events or allegations of misdeeds arise. 

The most common reasons for having a security camera in a restaurant, bar, or tavern include cases of slips and falls, claims of over-serving, claims of assault or battery, and protection of employees and staff. With security cameras in place, false claims of over-serving, slips and falls and any quarrel can be monitored and saved for investigating agencies. This provides protection to restaurant staff and owners from potential legal action and loss of license.

Having video surveillance in place can be an effective deterrent, as patrons are less likely to engage in negative and potentially criminal behavior when they know that their actions are being recorded.  Positioning surveillance systems throughout the premises makes it easy to keep an eye on problem patrons while also maintaining an accurate record of events. This can come in handy during worst-case scenarios, like fights and other violence.

Lighting is a key factor in providing safety and security.  While restaurants and bars may wish to have somewhat dim lighting for ambiance, it should not be so dim as to hinder safety or prevent employees, patrons, and security cameras from having a clear view of the entire premises.  Both the interior and the exterior of your building should be illuminated, including any parking lot space. 

The use of day/night and infrared cameras can help to compensate for darkness and low light problems. These cameras also become crucial when burglaries occur during closing hours. In low light, identification of a perpetrator can be difficult. IP and mega security cameras serve the purpose of facial recognition in court cases, as criminals can be recognized without any question.

The newest security camera systems can send an alert, such as an email, when a repeat offender comes back into the restaurant. In addition, these systems can send alerts via text or email if a trespasser approaches the location at a non-business hour. New cameras can automatically zoom in and focus. Plus, the clarity and quality on the latest cameras are far superior to previous camera models.

Make sure your surveillance system does the following:

  • Provides recording capability: In addition to live camera feeds, make sure you have high quality recording capability that can provide evidence for past transactions and events. If you have installed a security camera in the area where most cash handling is done, then an ordinary security camera is of no use. Use a camera with the latest IP or megapixel technology in order to capture images sharply.
  • Provides strategic coverage: Ensure that the most vulnerable and highest risk locations are clearly visible on security camera views, including cash registers, entrances and exits, and outdoor/parking lot areas.  Consider PTZ (pan, tilt, zoom) cameras where the limited field of view provided by a stationary camera may not be adequate.  PTZ cameras can be controlled remotely to pan across a wider field of view. 
  • Provides remote monitoring capability: Remote accessibility via computer, tablet, or smartphone is a standard capability now so why not let technology work for you?
  • Provides flexibility: Wireless surveillance systems are small, lightweight, and easy to reconfigure so that keeping up with changing demands involves less time and effort.
  • Provides seamless integration: Consider integration of video surveillance with other systems such as burglar and fire alarms.

In the end, having the best available surveillance in place will help more than it will hurt.  With affordable solutions widely available, there is no reason to put off installing a surveillance system to help safeguard your business.