Under Surveillance

Under Surveillance

Learn how you can use surveillance cameras to protect and improve your business.

By Tracy Morin

We’ve all heard these stories in the news too many times before: A pizzeria gets broken into, robbed or vandalized; employees are assaulted or put in danger; money or supplies are lost through negligence or theft. When the authorities try to piece together the crime, the pizzeria owner admits he did not have surveillance installed in his shop—but his first thought will likely be, “It’s time to install some cameras so this doesn’t happen again.” Why wait until it’s too late?

Of course, safety benefits aren’t the only reason for installing cameras around your business: We spoke with pizzeria owners and restaurateurs who use surveillance successfully to not only protect their investments, but to improve customer service, quicken turnaround times and make sure their business is running smoothly at all times.

 

The Benefits

Employee monitoring. No one can deny that employees are much more conscious of their performance when they know they’re being monitored at work. By installing cameras and making employees aware that you check the footage, you can improve many facets of your operation. Check out these stories from operators to fully appreciate the wide variety of potential problems that can be handled or solved through the use of cameras:

 “After receiving a customer complaint about bad service, we reviewed film from that night and found that our employee had ignored the customer. We were able to talk to the employee about providing good service and had the video to back up the customer’s claims. We’ve even had to replay video on a few occasions to see if someone missed putting all of the ingredients into a batch of dough. Replaying a disorganized dinner rush can help you see from a different perspective and show how to make changes to make the shift run more efficiently. And, of course, cameras are a theft deterrent for employees. Because we have two locations, we can’t always be at both at the same time, so it’s nice to make sure that each store is running the way we want them to and that our customers are being taken care of.” –Paul and Debbie Gainor, Pizza Zone, Spring, TX

“I have been involved with the restaurant industry for a few decades, and I have seen way too many instances where an owner can’t figure out why his food cost or labor ratio is so high. This is often caused by employees stealing or messing around on the job. One of the biggest problems I have found is employees not sticking to the training and wanting to get creative with the preparation of core products. I also keep an eye on their food handling and sanitation standards, using surveillance to see what they’re doing for prep and cleaning.”