This strategy helps restaurants stay profitable.

Two things are typically hard to come by in the restaurant industry: long-term employees and time. For those who have expanded successfully, multiple locations might be a sign of success, however they also make doing business even harder, with additional restaurants to staff, monitor, and secure.

Douglas Wong knows; as a kid in Hong Kong his parents owned two restaurants and a grocery store. He’s seen firsthand how owners can’t be onsite at all times and how good employees will often get snatched up by competitors.

“Entrepreneurs are always running around,” Wong says. “They have no time already. And they want to know how they can save time when they have to dive into something unexpected, like a robbery.”

Now Wong helps restaurant owners keep an eye on all their locations using intelligent video that integrates with point-of-sale (POS) systems. Wong manages vertical software applications at March Networks. The company’s intelligent video solution centralizes surveillance video and sales data in a software dashboard that is easily accessible on a computer or smartphone. Here are the top four ways restaurants are using intelligent video today to run their business more profitably.

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1. Security

Keeping restaurants safe and secure is perhaps the most obvious use for an intelligent video solution. The video system records what’s happening in all locations and can integrate with access control systems to notify owners about events like an alarm sounding or a door opening. It can also help in instances where an incident hasn’t actually occurred.

Wong gives the example of a false injury claim. It takes precious time away from running the business when restaurant owners have to give statements and search for evidence to refute a false claim, he says; they need to focus on sales and operations. With an intelligent video solution, however, they can easily pull up video footage of the exact date and time of the alleged incident to help disprove false claims and save potentially thousands of dollars in litigation.

2. Sales Performance

Imagine seeing sales skyrocket for a particular menu item on a particular day and not knowing why. An intelligent video system can provide valuable insights. Wong gives the example of a best-selling burger. A POS system can provide a report on sales numbers, but without any other data there’s nothing to conclude.

Meanwhile, a POS system integrated with intelligent video can show what the environment was like when that burger was climbing the sales chart—what promotion signs looked like, how long the line was, and how employees were performing. That allows operators to take an already good situation, duplicate it in other locations, and improve it to capitalize on sales.

3. Loss Prevention

Integrating POS data with an intelligent video system can also speed investigations and boost loss prevention capabilities. March Networks connects video with transactions and displays them accessibly in their dashboard. The system can automatically detect and send reports on all exceptions specified by an owner, such as providing a daily report on all voids over $4 or all employee discounts.

“You don’t even need to look for them, they’re just right there,” Wong says. “Click on the video and look at it right away. Any action would be in there and that’s evidence right there.”

4. Compliance

There’s more to monitor than just the register, of course. Restaurants have entire to-do lists of daily compliance tasks—mopping floors, keeping dining tables clean and back doors closed, ensuring promotional signage is displayed properly, and much more.

Intelligent video can help owners monitor all of these tasks at-a-glance by providing snapshot reports emailed at a set time each week. Owners can simply scan the reports, complete with still images from the video system, location, date/time, and other detail.  This makes it easy to see how well each restaurant is complying with corporate standards and where there is room for improvement.

For more in-depth reporting, owners can also take advantage of remote auditing services conducted by experienced auditors. These reports provide detailed information on a suspected issue, leaving owners free to focus on their day-to-day operations. If an issue is verified, it enables owners to act quickly before the problem is compounded and ends up eating into profits.

To learn more about March Networks and the intelligent video solutions it provides to more than 300 retail organizations worldwide, visit

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