The summer is a time for braziers, barbecues, dining outside, and outdoor activities. But before you find a location, test the food items and set up any equipment, you are likely to run into security snags that will make your job far more difficult. This brief guide will help you secure your business premises and protect your customers from potential threats.
Since making sure every guest has a safe and enjoyable time at your restaurant is paramount, these are some challenges you need to address before you set up shop.
Controlling people can be a real nightmare, especially during peak dinner hours, if you are not equipped to handle thousands of patrons trying to access your venue, seats, and restrooms. But, you can minimise the chaos by planning your security well.
Crowd control is already quite difficult in outdoor dining set up but it is even more challenging when you are greeted by troublesome guests who want to ruin the fun for everyone. Not only can bad guests stir up problems with the local authorities but also disrupt your venue’s security.
Cost-effective, proactive measures
Outdoor dining is something that can add more than just aesthetics to your scene. It can bring in happy customers, all willing to spend more cash and time on your venue. But if done incorrectly, the security logistics involved in setting up an outdoor dining venue can be quite expensive.
Outdoor dining venue security tips
Here is everything you can do to help yourself prepare and implement full facility security and risk assessment to keep your premises and guests safe.
Gauge the scale of the potential threat
As a restaurant owner, you need to make important decisions about seating capacity, layout and ways to control entry. So, why not pay attention to the potential risks before there is an incident?
Ask yourself – What is the worse thing that could happen while people are dining outdoor? Now, narrow your list down to the things that you can proactively control.
Consider both the minor slip-ups, such as your customers tripping and breaking your valuable liquor bottles and crockery; and the major ones, such as fire hazards. Then, speak to a security expert to install a fully customised integrated security system.
Set up video and audio surveillance
Video and audio surveillance systems are essential tools to enhance a business’ security and make customers feel more at ease when hosting outdoor dining. They will also help you know if someone makes a covert move on your premises.
Naturally, the costs for the surveillance setup can vary based on what you need to monitor and at what quality level. For instance, cameras with built-in night vision can record everything even in the dark without any problem but can cost you more than the standard variants.
Additionally, a 24/7 surveillance system will let you check in on the feed any time, even when you are away from the site.
Install a security gate system
Security gates are the most common way to control access to your venue. They help you protect your employees and equipment, prevent theft and vandalism, define property boundaries, and maintain a safe dining experience for your customers.
Besides, if you get an integrated security system, you will also enjoy centralised access control, so you can regulate all your devices from a single place.
Invest in fire safety equipment
Restaurants offer the perfect opportunity for a fire hazard. With the rising flames and nearly every appliance designed to serve hot food, things can get fired up… quite literally!
So, fire safety should be at the forefront of your plan because no restaurant is complete without proper fire alarms and extinguishers. And while you are at it, run a risk assessment to ensure your venue is fire and safety compliant.
Train staff to spot any suspicious activity
In the rush to get out and serve hungry customers, the waitstaff tends to ignore security measures. You don’t just need to mitigate the risk of being ripped off but also secure your venue against suspicious activity.
So, you would want to make sure that your employees are properly trained to recognise and report suspicious behaviour. Also, you must arrange for ways for them to inform you about such activities anonymously to ensure their safety.
Finally, planning your evacuation routes can also help you better manage the crowd in case there is an emergency.
Make a list of dos and don’ts
Just because you are in the open, doesn’t mean you don’t need rules. Make a list of dos and don’ts. What is allowed in your outdoor dining venue?
Can people smoke? Can customers bring their pets along? If yes, include solutions for them in your security system. For example, smoking can cause fire hazards and pets, especially untrained, can cause some serious chaos.
So, you not only need to have fire alarms but also a dedicated area with working CCTV for the additional safety of your customers’ pets.
Know your panic buttons
Setting up an outdoor dining venue involves building structures for your staff to manage potential assaults, riots, and theft issues seamlessly.
Panic buttons can help alert the entire staff, so you can get ahead of the crises. They also help quickly trigger security devices such as surveillance cameras and motion sensors and keep your business safe.
Outdoor security really matters
Arranging the security logistics for an outdoor dining venue can require a ton of strategic planning, which can prove to be expensive. Since cost-effective proactive measures make for a better financial choice, you can consider leasing your security system.
A fantastic way to acquire high-quality security, leasing will allow you to access all the latest gadgets at the most reasonable prices.
Lee Security offers competitive rates to reduce your upfront cost, so you don’t have to compromise on your customers’ safety. Speak to our security experts to secure your dining venue right away.