There needs to be a more coordinated security effort at food service and restaurant operations, according to a study from Frost & Sullivan. One of the greatest threats in restaurants is theft and fraud caused by lack of interaction between security systems and point of sale (POS) systems.
Security Magazine received an advance copy of the white paper, Security Solutions for the Foodservice Industry. Go to for more information.
According to the study, employee theft is the most common problem in the food service business. Methods of theft include:
  • Voiding transactions with/without the customers’ present,
  • Fraudulent overrides on transactions, and
  • Opening cash registers without transactions.
Increased interaction and integration of security and POS systems reduces the impact of employee theft in today’s tough economic conditions. Technology addresses another challenge by enabling property management for restaurant owners. This includes the restaurant and adjoining parking lots. Robberies, vandalism and break-ins are common in restaurants and lead to considerable monetary losses. Video surveillance is an increasingly essential tool to act as a deterrent and capture information related to vandalism, graffiti, burglary and vagrancy.
Another challenge is managing occupancy levels in restaurants. This challenge can be addressed with occupancy sensors to ensure that the property maintains fire codes and occupancy levels are lower than regulated.
Stated in the Frost & Sullivan study, security systems can go beyond physical protection. Managing and controlling food quality is essential in the foodservice industry. In order to avoid food spoilage and health code violations, business owners install security systems that will help them adhere to required codes. The key challenges afflicting business owners are food spoilage and shrinkage. Temperature sensors integrated with video surveillance systems are a good tool to ensure that refrigerators and freezers are performing at optimal temperatures at all times to maintain the quality of food and prevent the growth of food-based pathogens.
According to the study, shrinkage takes various forms but is caused most often by employee or customer theft of flatware, glasses, food and alcohol. Video surveillance can help managers ensure that assets and inventory are controlled and reduce shrinkage-related losses.