Some bars and restaurants are eager to ignite an exciting atmosphere by mixing liquor with fire. Whether it’s setting shots ablaze or pouring flaming liquor cascades, each method has one thing in common: severe risk.
People don’t go out to eat just to eat. Read that sentence again. And again. Of course they come to your restaurant for great food, but they are also looking for a great dining experience. Your customers come to celebrate, connect with friends, do business, escape. Whatever the reason, their overall experience can depend on their server. Your server. (more…)
No one has ever said that running a restaurant is easy. It seems even more difficult if you are an independent operator. Consumer’s tastes are changing, with more dining concepts available than ever before. New technology keeps popping up, but staffing challenges never go away. And then there’s the chains, which seem to get harder to fight against. Indeed, The NPD Group’s Fall 2015 Recount showed independent unit counts declined -2%, while the chains grew +1% from the year before.
With the chains gaining ground in overall units, how can the independent compete? Fortunately, there are weapons at your disposal. Check out these five tips: (more…)
Businesses in the hospitality industry (bars, restaurants, hotels) provide a fun and relaxed atmosphere for clientele to briefly escape their everyday routines. While these establishments look for ways to distinguish themselves from the competition, they often share one common feature: a bar. Alcohol service, the commercial sale of alcohol, creates unique risks and exposures which business owners must not only address by having specific guidelines in place; they must also strictly enforce.
The Problem (more…)
Restaurants and bars can be targets for robbery, burglary and theft. These service businesses may accumulate a large amount of cash during daily operations, which make them attractive targets for criminal activity. Coupled with odd hours of operation and so many people moving in and out of the building, restaurants and bars are perceived as an easy target to criminals. Don’t make it easy for them; implement preventive measures to deter criminal activity and reduce liabilities.
Read, “Protecting Your Employees from Assault” for more information on measures aimed at violence prevention in your restaurant or bar.
Prevent Crimes at Your Restaurant or Bar with These 5 Tips
1. Enact smart money management.
Even though debit and credit card payments are popular payment choices, restaurants and bars still ring up a fair number of cash transactions. The accumulation of cash during operating hours makes your establishment an easy target, so prevent crimes by keeping it safe. Assess these vulnerabilities:
Cash on-hand: Invest in a drop safe and keep cash in the registers to a minimum. 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 the 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 makes it easier for them to attempt a heist on your hard-earned profits.
Safe standards: The number of people who have access to the safe should be limited as much as possible to minimize the risk of disappearing dollars. When an employee terminates or is terminated, the combination to the safe needs to be changed so that there isn’t a chance he or she can return to the building and steal money or divulge the combination to other people. Additional rules of thumb include ensuring that the safe combination is not written anywhere in the proximity to the safe, and the combination is always scrambled upon closure.
2. Evaluate your environmental design.
Prevent crimes by deterring crooks from targeting your establishment. Bolster external crime prevention efforts. Consider addressing the following elements:
Landscaping: Foliage offers the perfect places for criminals to hide until there’s a clear opportunity to make a move. Plant growth that is more than three feet high near doors 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 that are on a timer system. A well-lit facade makes for an unattractive building to try and burglarize.
Trash containers: Exterior dumpsters should be located in a locked enclosure to minimize the likelihood of people hiding in the trash receptacle.
Surveillance: Security cameras should focus on the parking lot, back door and other vulnerable exterior locations. Their presence can deter crime—but provide helpful information to the authorities if the unthinkable happens.
Roof access: Exterior ladders on the side of the building need to be secured and not provide access to the roof.
3. Invest in internal video monitoring.
Video surveillance isn’t just for the outdoors. Installing cameras inside is another piece of the security puzzle to help prevent crimes and suspicious activity.
Install the right cameras: Different camera systems boast distinct benefits, making them ideal for specific situations. For example, dome cameras house a small camera inside a dome-shaped enclosure and are typically installed in areas that get dirty, whereas a bullet camera is small, narrow and includes an infrared illuminator, which is ideal for low-light areas. Make sure you understand the available camera options and which will work best for your business setting.
Remember: Best practice for saving video is to record at least 30 days’ worth of footage, so make sure your surveillance selection can accommodate that.
Place the eye in the sky: Cameras should be placed in all cash handling areas (e.g., near cash registers and the back office), at entrances and exits, and in storage areas, work/prep areas and break rooms so staff and customers are aware they are being recorded.
Prepare staff: Appropriate employees need to be trained in the use of the video system, including activating it, reviewing the footage, and saving copies of the incident video to a thumb drive, DVD or other media.
4. Review building security.
Most spills that occur in restaurants are not large and do not require a massive response, however, a spill of any kind can lead to a slip and fall injury if it is not handled appropriately. Spill clean-up is something to discuss with your staff before a spill ever occurs and a standard spill clean-up plan should be a part of routine staff training. A spill clean-up plan helps ensure that your staff knows exactly how to handle a spill, which will result in consistent responses to any spill. A quick and orderly response to a spill in your restaurant will not only control the situation, but will show your guests just how professional your staff is. (more…)
Play with fire and you’ll get burned. Work with fire and the risk remains. No industry accounts for more burn injuries than the restaurant business, which suffers over one-third of all reported workplace burns — more than 12,000 a year.
A serious burn can put a valued employee out of commission and cause related financial issues to flare up, seriously hurting your business.
With the right recipe for safety, however, you can put out this risk and keep your employees safe. (more…)
A high level of knowledge and understanding regarding industry-specific safety issues and loss trends makes a big difference in reducing workers compensation losses.
In this video, Rhonda McCreedy of DeRosa Corporation, Wauwatosa, Wis., and Chris Halverson of M3 Insurance Solutions, Waukesha, Wis., discuss Society Insurance’s proactive approach to risk control and loss prevention in the restaurant and bar business. (more…)
The use of commercial cooking equipment generates grease laden vapors. Commercial grade metal baffle filters should be installed in the kitchen hood above the cooking line to capture this grease before it enters the exhaust system. Grease is highly combustible and poses a fire hazard if allowed to accumulate, so it is important that these filters be cleaned on a regular basis.
When do I clean my Grease Filter? (more…)
During the holidays many people want to celebrate with family and friends, and alcohol is often a part of that celebration. However, people can often get caught up in the excitement and consume too much. So it is important to be even more vigilant when serving alcohol during this time of year.
Here are some things you can do to make sure you are serving alcohol responsibly: (more…)