Many quick-service restaurants use security camera systems to ensure the safety of their employees and customers. However, the process of installing or updating security systems can be complicated. For this reason, Chris Crawford, senior manager of the project management office at Envysion, gives some advice on what restaurants need to be aware of before updating or installing new technology.
Crawford’s team focuses on supporting customers through the implementation of new installs and additional updates of equipment to restaurants’ physical sites. There are three primary factors that Envysion suggests customers should consider when planning to install security cameras, Crawford says.
“The first factor is safety,” Crawford says. “Safety is primarily going to deal with the safety of restaurants’ employees or their patrons or their equipment. Being able to have eyes through cameras on targeted areas such as the entryway, backdoor, or kitchen/prep area is very valuable and important.”
The second factor is loss prevention. “Loss prevention deals with places where money is exchanged, product is stored, or time is captured,” Crawford says. “It involves the risk of theft, whether that be money itself, product, or time.” To prevent this type of security issue, cameras are placed near check-out counters in areas of the restaurant where food and other products are stored, and areas with outside door visibility.
“The third factor deals with operational concerns when it comes to designing camera placement,” Crawford says. This could include having eyes on the production line so managers can see how the flow of work is going, and how well employees are getting orders in and out. “Another camera could view spaces in which employees are working together,” Crawford says. “These could be spaces like food prep areas, the front line, and drive-thrus.”
To ensure the camera system is effective, there are several things operators should know before installation. “Good design is arguably the most important factor of new installation because we want to be able to capture the things the business is trying to optimize and their objectives,” Crawford says. For example, if a restaurant is trying to optimize safety, then cameras would be placed in areas where employees and customers can be easily viewed.
Other than these three factors, there are several other things to think about before upgrading and installing. This includes finding the correct technology for the brand’s specific goals, whether this be an Internet Protocol (IP) camera system or an analog camera system.
“Analog camera technology is older and out-of-date. In the past five years, there has been a movement to IP-based technologies,” Crawford says. IP camera systems tend to be better quality, less costly to maintain, and easier to upgrade. “Technicians tend to be more oriented and trained on IP technology rather than older analog technology.”
Therefore, Crawford suggests that quick-service restaurants invest in IP camera systems sooner rather than later. “It’s a matter of when you’re going to make that investment, especially when a restaurant is expanding. Moving into an IP-based system is definitely the way to go,” Crawford says.
When updating or installing cameras, it’s also important for restaurants to have an accurate floor plan. Envysion, which specializes in end-to-end Managed Video Software and Solutions helps in managing this process between the customer and the installer. “Using an accurate floor plan, we can build out a recommendation where cameras should be placed and then work with the installation companies for a more precise cost and time estimate for the install,” Crawford says.
Other factors, such as the type of ceiling material, square footage of the restaurant, height of camera installation, and location of the restaurant can also affect the installation price. To understand these features, technicians don’t need much. “The main thing we need is a lot of pictures of the site to be able to understand what type of cameras will be installed and how difficult the installation will be,” Crawford says. “Then we’ll be able to meet the restaurant’s top objectives.”
To find out more information about the process of security system installation, visit Envysion.
By Abby Winterburn