Many businesses are warming up to the idea of security cameras, as owners have experienced losses of many kinds. However there are few businesses that have as much need as restaurants and bars. These businesses are already under siege with losses in an industry with small margins. Traditionally, the food service industry has been a difficult market, even though everyone needs to eat. This is because of the fact that there is extreme competition, low margins, high advertising costs, low wage employees looking to line their pockets, fraudulent lawsuits (slip and falls and food related). Everywhere a restaurant owner turns, his profits are flying out the windows. This is the reason that restaurants come and go like the seasons. However, there is hope.
When selecting a camera system, you must look at it about like purchasing a car, not like buying a soda. What I mean, is that if you look at a security camera system as a commodity, then a low priced, low featured system is all that you will get. Don't get me wrong, there is some benefit to this type of system, but it is limited. These pre-packaged systems found at many retailers or online deliver a handful of cameras, cables and a recorder of some kind that will even profess remote access from your iPhone in many instances. While these systems were built to mimic many of the features of a well designed system, they fall short.
With these budget systems, you will be able to record, playback and maybe even view remotely (maybe). I will analogize this back to purchasing a car. A pre-packaged security camera system is like purchasing a late 80's manual transmission Ford Festiva, no slight against the manufacturer, but this was definitely not a luxury vehicle. If you are looking for something just to get you around town, and take a lot of work to get there, then this might be the car for you. A quality system could be likened to a BMW or Mercedes, delivering far superior means of getting around, much better luxury and a lot less work. You may even drive these cars around just for the sport of it. While yes, any camera system will be able to record and playback, how well it does it will determine how often you will actually use it. Unfortunately, the first time many owners try to play back the video, they find that it takes hours to try to spot an event if they don't know the exact time it occurred. Also they find that these systems rarely record all of the video they need because they are either recording too much (filling up too fast) or not enough. After that first experience with their system, they often stop using the cameras unless something major happens.
A more advanced and feature-rich option is our AVM (Advanced Video Management) system, which provides many features, but in the way of recording alone for comparison: it offers instant access to scan through hours, days or even weeks of video at a time, visually, to find the event you are looking for in a matter of seconds. With this high level visual access to your video, you will find yourself taking the cameras for a spin proudly to get much more information about your business, your employees and your customers than you ever dreamed possible. For instance, instead of dreading looking at the video and saving it for when you find your meat count coming up low, you will find yourself scanning through the last few weeks to see how customers are flowing into and out of the restaurant, how employees are interacting (or hiding) from your clients, and even take notice of your best and most active bartender all in a matter of seconds. This can lead you to change staffing, readjust schedules or perhaps even take note that the lunch rush seems to all be coming in around the same time wearing similar uniforms so you can perhaps invoke some specials to keep loyal clients from that company or expand the idea to another.
Video security systems are about information, actionable information. In some cases, that is facial recognition to prosecute a crime, but as many of our clients have found, the majority of the time it is information that helps you make and keep your business successful. We have had clients keep good employees that they were about to fire, because they reviewed the video and found that their suspicions or impressions were incorrect, and others that have been able to weed out employees because they found elaborate methods of stealing from their coffers. However, what makes us most proud, are the clients who call us to tell us how they were able to use their restaurant cameras in a way that helped them expand their business, by tracking customer flow, traffic past the restaurant and much more.
Choose your restaurant camera system wisely, your busines may depend on it more than you can imagine.Learn more about our restaurant security camera systems