Security is now as expected a part of the infrastructure and all that surrounds us on an everyday basis as is public lighting. Over decades whether relectantly, begrudgingly, naively or embracingly, we’ve accepted it. Insurance companies offer bar and restaurant owners reduced premiums and other financial incentives for having a video surveillance system installed. Venue CCTV footage can prove crucial in cases of theft, assault, vandalism or fire. It can also provide useful evidence for workers’ compensation cases and incidences of harassment, or false accusations against staff. An IP surveillance system allows easy access, real-time access to digital imagery via phone or computer. Remote access reduces the incidents of false alarms, as well as providing general peace of mind.
Bars and restaurants are at particular risk of theft because of a constant flow of patrons coupled with high employee turnover. Whether it be a local pub, bar, chain restaurant or boutique café, properly installed bar or system benefits customers, employees and business owners alike.
We didn’t always feel this way, though. Initially there was common concern by many in hospitality about the legalities of having people under almost constant surveillance during their leisure time. Most certainly it was legislated that hidden cameras, audio cameras, bathroom, break room and locker room cameras are unlawful, as is any area that would be reasonably considered private.
Certainly security needs are dependent on a number of factors, and what works very well for one restaurant for instance, will often not suit another. System tweaks and adjustments to get the most out of CCTV installation can be as different as layouts and staff numbers.
Sometimes, overworked, underpaid and underappreciated employees feel they can eat or drink without agreement or consequence. Often, the idea of stealing from their employer whether it be food or money, is discouraged by the presence of the cameras, and security footage absolutely determines fact from rumour. Should a patron decide to do a runner, it’s highly useful to police for positive identification.
Seek out a hospitality specialist and they’ll tell you that despite the relatively low wages, one of the biggest operating costs is staff: cooks, dishwashers, servers, bar staff, baristas. Cameras can have managers understand how to better motivate, organise and budget after usefully observing the logistics of the areas being monitored.
For the most part security systems are considered essential. Burglary, hold-ups and break-ins happen where there is cash, and sometimes very large amounts. CCTV reduces the likelihood of being targeted. Some neighbourhoods consider it’s a positive contribution to overall community safety.
Everyone likes to feel protected, even if it’s just because of a lens. Most people too, are interested in the safety of those around them. For bars, restaurants and cafés, the installation of CCTV security cameras by an electrician or qualified tradie is like having one staff member for every patron, just keeping a friendly eye on them.