Smarter Security Systems For Restaurants

It’s not a question of if, it’s a question of when.

In the UK’s Commercial Victimisation Survey, pubs, clubs and bars reported 7,162 incidents per 1,000 premises. Restaurants got off easy by comparison, at just 4,394 incidents per 1,000 premises.

That’s just shy of 4.4 incidents per restaurant every year.

We scoured the data from a comprehensive government survey, and came up with our top 3 measures for cutting down on incidents of crime in the restaurant industry.

(And yeah, security’s #1. But that’s just a fortunate conclusion—the data speaks for itself.)


1. Install an alarm system.

Despite the staggering number of incidents of crime, and the powerful effect of even a few simple security measures, just 78% of businesses in the food sector have taking precautions like installing security lighting and CCTV.

As you’ll see in the chart below, even a simple notice alerting intruders to the presence of an alarm system was shown to be a deterrent.


Impact of a Security System on Incidents of Crime

chart 1

Installing burglar alarm offered the biggest return on investment for restaurant owners. Premises with a working alarm showed 4332 fewer incidents of crime.

Not a bad investment, considering the potential cost of just one incident of burglary.


The High Cost of Restaurant Burglaries

As you’ll see in the following table, burglary is the highest-cost crime on food premises, averaging £360 per incident. Theft by employees runs a close second.

chart 2


2. Cut down on employee theft

Once you’ve addressed the threat of burglaries, employee theft is another place where a few simple security measures can create a big impact.

Cash is by far the most commonly stolen item in retail premises, restaurants and bars. One survey found that, on average, employees stole more than 5x what the average shoplifter had stolen.

These simple measures can drastically reduce employee theft.

  • Install surveillance cameras, and make sure employees know about them.
  • Consider the most common items stolen (see the data below), and have your security system designed around those items.
  • Set up a tip line (ex. a lock box or confidential email), so employees can anonymously report suspicious behaviour


Worried about employee theft the restaurant biz? Keep a close eye on these items.

Most common stolen items in food services

chart 3


3. Use security cameras

The majority of non-theft crimes take place after 6pm, while theft is evenly spread throughout the day.

That means a significant amount of the theft taking place on your restaurant’s premises happens in broad daylight, and could easily be caught on a well-placed camera.

chart 4


To make sure your security cameras are doing their job, double-check each of the following:

  • Is it providing an HD image? Analog cameras can’t always capture enough to provide solid proof, especially in cash-handling areas.
  • Does it work in the dark? Nightclubs and outdoor areas are often poorly lit, so cameras need to accommodate for the darkness.
  • Are you monitoring areas where inventory is kept? Stock rooms, loading docks and liquor coolers are high-value areas that should be more heavily monitored.
  • Are you monitoring service areas? Focus on areas where beverages can be given for free and cash tips can be easily pocketed.
  • Is anyone monitoring your video feed? Video footage is worth nothing if it isn’t be actively monitored by someone trained to spot anomalies.
  • What happens when there’s a security breach? Verisure’s physical network of trained guards are on call 24/7 to respond to events.


Are you one of England’s most vulnerable restaurant owners?

According to a government report, East of England and Wales are the areas most heavily hit in the accommodation and food service industry.

East of England had the worst crime rate, at a whopping 7,362 incidents per 1,000 premises, while London topped the charts for non-theft crime incidents, at 5,365 crimes per 1,000 premises.

Fortunately there’s a simple, cost-effective solution. A professional-installed, professionally monitored restaurant security system.

Verisure’s security systems provide camera surveillance, SOS button technology, and more. We have a physical security network of guards all across the UK, and response is included in your monthly fee.

Once your new system is installed, your job is done. We take over the monitoring, and ensure your premises are safe, whether you’re there to watch over the place or not.