1. Security Cameras
You must be aware that privacy laws require you to inform employees and customers that there is a camera running. You should also include a contact person and their contact details for any requests. Furthermore, you must decide whether you're using the security cameras outdoors or indoors and whether the equipment you're planning to buy can withstand exposure to the elements.
Aside from that, you should also make sure that your camera system is adequate to cover all the areas you want to monitor in your restaurant. You should also make sure that it offers the image resolution and clarity you want. Other specifications to look for include whether the camera delivers visible images even in low light, as well as whether you need audio.
You might also need to know if the camera system you are buying is scalable or not. This feature will allow you to add more cameras if you need to as your business expands.
On the cloud, you are sending and storing footage off-site. Not only will you be able to view the footage even when physical access to your restaurant is impossible, but you will also be able to see it from anywhere with internet access and at any time. The problem is that somebody might be able to intercept your security footage while in transit.
The good news: There are now cameras that have built-in security features. They can detect motion and alert you if something moves around in your restaurant during times when the building should be empty.
Others have night vision capabilities that allow the camera to see and record even at night and when the lights are out, and some can encrypt your footage when transmitting it to the cloud.
2. Restaurant Point-of-Sale System
If they wish to split the bill, they can accurately do so. Sales tracking via POS make for quick and painless record-keeping, and it also allows you to generate reports on the fly. It can also keep track of trends and tell you which hours are the slowest for your restaurant, as well as which days are jam-packed and possibly under-staffed.
Plus, there are POS systems that alert you to potentially fraudulent activities that you should look into. For instance, having an excess of voided orders might be a red flag that requires further investigation.
Unlike in retail sales, where the process is a simple matter of what was sold getting deducted from inventory, restaurant inventory is much more complicated. It requires taking data from your point-of-sale system, and then listing the ingredients used for that particular dish before accurately updating inventory.
Another advantage of inventory tracking is that it can help to detect employee theft. You can also discover the causes of spoilage or loss. Additionally, you can load vendor information, delivery dates, and catering orders. This way, you have all the information you need in one place.
Make Employee Scheduling Easier
What’s more, you can post schedules online and even send shift reminders or changes to employees via their smartphones.
For example, you can connect your POS system to alert you when stocks for a particular ingredient are low, and even place an order for ingredients when they reach a certain threshold.
3. Fight Credit Card Fraud
Here's how you can use technology to fight that. Look for a service that will allow you to switch to EMV-compliant systems. The thing with chargebacks is that restaurant owners almost always have to take the loss. If a customer has a credit card that has an EMV chip and the restaurant uses a magnetic card swiper to run that, the customer can ask for chargeback within 18 months after eating. If they do, the restaurant has no recourse but to give back the money, because they have no way to prove that the customer did eat there.
An EMV-compatible solution should also integrate with your current systems, including your POS. This will help you get more out of your solution. You can eliminate chargebacks while also logging everything digitally, so you no longer have to keep logbooks and files in some backroom. That means you don’t have to spend valuable time trying to find transaction records when you need them.
4. Monitor All Potential Threats
Protect your networks, get anti-virus and anti-malware software, and train your employees to have a security mindset. Teach them how to detect a phishing attempt and what to do in the event of a data breach. More importantly, teach your employees how to use all tools such as the POS, the new EMV-compatible payment system, or the security cameras.
While you have everything in place for your restaurant's security, you should also make sure that newer and more advanced threats are being monitored. For this, you will need endpoint detection and response tools. These tools will monitor all network and endpoint events, analyze, and then report to you if there are potential issues that can put your business at risk.
These tools will also help to expand your security capabilities. Some EDR tools also allow you to encrypt data, manage devices and applications, and set user access and privileges. What should you look for in EDR tools? Filtering, advanced threat blocking, incident response features, and multiple threat protection are good places to start.
If you are still wondering how to make your operations easier and more secure, these four must-have technologies are an essential starting point for every restaurant.