Video surveillance can improve operational efficiency—and provide brand protection.

Risks to a brand’s reputation are everywhere, especially in the wake of the pandemic. Customers are more aware of security and hygiene issues than ever before, even as the restaurant industry’s labor shortage has made it harder for many brands to train new employees fast enough. 

When Chris Magana, director of risk management at WKS Restaurant Group, decided to integrate security cameras with Envysion’s managed video solution across his group’s restaurants, he wanted his teams to understand that it was more than a theft deterrent. “It was a big goal to get my teams on board with the idea that the Envysion platform is about more than catching people stealing or doing the wrong thing,” he says. “We wanted to use it to better control how we take care of our guests and better instill a safety culture in our restaurants.”

WKS has more than 300 restaurants across five different concepts, and Magana implemented audits of their operational practices using Envysion’s managed video solution. Each quarter, the group chose a concept to focus on and targeted 80 restaurants for review. “Out of a quarter where we had 80 restaurants being audited, we would have anywhere from a 25 –35 percent hit rate on identifying behaviors that we wanted to address,” Magana says. “We were able to use Envysion’s software as a teaching tool, not to punish anyone but to provide actionable insights to management. We were able to proactively identify behaviors and trends, even down to the level of a particular daypart. Maybe your morning crew did great, but maybe you had a weaker staff at night, and that’s where you started to see those opportunities for improvement. We were able to help the general manager and the district manager better facilitate and run their restaurants.”

Behavioral audits reviewed specific behaviors like adherence to dress code as well as state and county COVID-19 protocols. “We were able to correct behaviors in real time during the height of the mask mandates and coach throughout our restaurants,” Magana says. “We were also able to improve our drive-thru times by ensuring the prep work was done ahead of time, and that we had enough people deployed to certain stations to ensure our guests were being served quickly and effectively.”

Safety audits looked for situations that could lead to workers’ compensation claims, such as lingering spills on the floor or blocked emergency exits. “We were really able to hone in on behaviors and oversights that were leading to opportunities within our restaurants,” Magana says. “We used these audits as training for the entire enterprise.”

In the end, it’s about brand protection. “We have five different brand images we want to protect, but ultimately, they all fall under the one franchise logo of WKS, which stands for ‘We Know Success,’” Magana says. “We want to be better than what we were yesterday. Envysion helps us see how we as leaders can do better to truly understand the needs of our employees and the business.” 

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