By Brian Anderson, Society Insurance
Security is a top priority for any pizza restaurant. Criminals like to exploit weaknesses to get the goods they’re after. Certain vulnerabilities lead a pizza shop open to crime, but with a few specific safety measures, pizzeria owners can implement procedures that reduce liabilities and mitigate the chance of a robbery.
Enact smart money management
Debit and credit card payments are popular payment choices, but plenty of your customers still use cash. An influx of money during operating hours makes your pizzeria an easy target, so keep it safe by assessing these vulnerabilities:
- Dough on-hand: Keep cash in the registers to a minimum and invest in a drop-safe. Employees should make frequent deposits to the drop-safe throughout the day to minimize the amount of cash available at any given time. This is an especially good practice during evening and late-night hours when robberies tend to be more frequent.
- Moving money: Transferring money to the bank can make your business susceptible to attempted theft. Make trips at varied times and through alternate routes of travel to avoid a predictable pattern. If criminals uncover a schedule, it’s easier for them to attempt a heist on your hard-earned profits.
Increase building security measures
Deter criminals from targeting your pizzeria by amping up your external and internal efforts. Start inspecting the premises from the outside and work your way in:
- Landscaping: Foliage offers the perfect place for criminals to hide until there’s a clear opportunity to make a move. Plant growth that is more than three feet high near entrances offers the perfect cover, so keep shrubs and trees well-trimmed.
- Lighting: Illuminate potential hiding hazards with motion-detection lighting systems and/or bright exterior lighting controlled by a timer system.
- Surveillance: Security cameras should focus on the parking lot, back door and other vulnerable exterior locations. Their presence can deter crime, but they also provide helpful information if the unthinkable happens.
- Alarm systems: Activate a centrally monitored alarm system. Off-site alarm companies notify key staff and law enforcement quickly if someone attempts to breach the building.
- Closing protocol: Staff should follow a detailed checklist to ensure the building is as secure as possible while they’re finishing nightly responsibilities. The checklist should include locking all doors once customers have left, checking bathrooms for “stay-behinds,” and not allowing anyone back in the building after hours.
Enhance in-house employee safety
A few simple procedures can help keep employees safe while on the clock. Review and implement these suggested protocols for ongoing security:
- Train regularly: Continual safety training is a must. It will keep new and veteran employees in-the-know about the steps to follow to prevent criminal activity—and the actions to follow in case an incident occurs.
- Schedule smartly: Single employees are seen as more vulnerable targets for a robbery, so no one should ever be alone in the building. There should be a “buddy system” in place during opening and closing procedures to check for security-related problems and ensure employees get to their vehicle or ride safely at the end of the day.
Protect your pizza delivery drivers
Even though much of a delivery driver’s work is done outside of the establishment, it’s still the employer’s responsibility to maintain safe working conditions. Consider these options to help protect your drivers:
- Limit cash: Restrict the amount of money that drivers carry or keep in the vehicle. All money should be hidden from sight when in the car.
- Use cameras: Provide your delivery drivers with in-car surveillance cameras to record delivery activities.
- Refrain from late nights: Late night deliveries can be more hazardous, so cap the time customers can call for a pie.
- Park close and in well-lit areas: Drivers should park as close to the door as possible. If that’s not an option, park under a streetlight for maximum visibility.
- Deter hotel room deliveries: Drivers should only deliver to the lobby or main desk. Proceeding to an individual room increases the likelihood of risky behavior and puts the driver in a risky position without witnesses.
Crime can happen anytime and anywhere, but a few preventive measures can reduce the likelihood of a robbery attempt on your pizzeria. When you put security first, both you and your employees will feel more at ease while on the job.
Brian Anderson is a risk control representative for Society Insurance. He obtained his bachelors degree in Occupational & Environmental Safety and Health from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. He has been in risk control since 2010. Brian is also a lieutenant on his local fire department, where he has been an active member since 2005. He currently holds many certifications in firefighting, fire prevention and emergency management. For more information, call 888-5-SOCIETY or visit societyinsurance.com.