Security Cameras: Who has them? How do you use them?

I am having security cameras installed today. My guess is that is it something most have thought about if not actually done. It has been on my mind for about 5 years. (Yes, I know, a bit slow on the trigger) and it has gotten less expensive and more powerful since I first looked at it. The system we are doing will have two cameras (can be expanded to 4), motion activated (24/7 coverage), internet accessible and will hold a couple of weeks history. I will be able to touch a couple of things on my phone and see what is going on live.

I am wondering who has done this? How did it work? What issues did you have? How did your crew react?

I have 4 of them integrated with my POS. Love them. Employee’s know I have them, but for some reason they still do what teenagers do. So they kind of freak out when I call from home to get off there butt and to do some cleaning when there are no tickets hanging. It’s just nice to keep a eye on things when your not there. Couldn’t do without them now.

Been thinking about installing some, but not for the reason most people do. We have several areas of the store that are hard to see and would make life alot easier as i could put up displays so we don’t have to go running around. But if i were to do that i would also put a few around the employee area also and put it online.

I think these days, most people are “comfortable” seeing cameras around. Since they are everywhere now days, and anyone under 30 grew up with them in schools and the like.

They can be useful if your not in store every day or when you actually get to take a vacation!

I read a while ago that in the restaurant industry when cameras were put in that an average of 30% of employees quit, some were thieves which was a good-riddance issue (and some of thieves didn’t leave because they had a new challenge to play with) but a large number that they were losing were honest employees because those ones felt that their employer didn’t appreciate or trust them.
so with that info. . it is recommended that you use positives as how the camera will be able to protect them and the business. night time robberies, credit card frauds, customers behaving badly, etc and your only putting them in for the employees safety.

The guy we use for our restaurants does them all over the country, which is hard to find. He’ll give you a tutorial online you can view on your pc before he installs them so you can see the product before purchasing. Also does other services like data, phones, tv installs, etc. Company is called Galcon, ask for Clay 847-385-8532 if interested.

I have had them for a year now and I think they work great. I picked up the do it yourself box from Sams Club. Wired them in and have not had any issues. They are very helpful with discovering who is and asset and who is a liability from a work habit prospective.

They are going in as I type. One covers the cash drawer and the main part of the kitchen so it should be pretty easy to see what is going on and have a record of who was in and out of the cash drawer etc. The other covers the front pointing out so you can see the front counter area and who is coming in and out of the front door.

I have a number of cameras in the store. One on each door, one on each till, one on the oven/cut table, one on the make line, one on the area where the staff put their belongings while on shift and a few scattered in key areas of the store. The purpose for the ones scattered around the store is to monitor when staff need assistance while I am in my office. At least that is whet they are told.

I have a 2 camera system integrated with my pos system .

It has saved me a few times with discrepancies giving the right change back a few times.

Having it integrated with the pos is a life saver. When the drawer is short , it’s easy to pinpoint every sale in the pos…

Don’t be surprised if people quit …

I caught an employee taking cash and never ringing it up … If a customer is in a hurry and they’re paying exact change , they’re out the door before the employee even tries to ring it up.
(No audit in the pos)

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I have 11 cameras around the restaurant. about the same places @Daddio also on the extortion facing the doors to watch whats going on outside the shop. the most important places are the doors and tills so you can see cash going into pockets and product going out the door.

We have a 4 Camera setup. When we took over the business and started putting cameras up we had a few concerned employees 1 in particular(he was the first to go) that protested the installation and didnt see the need for them. I simply tell everyone that the cameras are for security purposes for the safety of the employees and the store. I can watch them from my computer or from my cell phone through an app. They are super helpful. If I’m at home and the shop is busy I wait until the rush has died before I call and bother the employees working. Or if I am at home taking a break I can see when I am needed back at the store or if I am needed at all. We once had our shop broken into a few years back and I watched the whole thing happen on camera it was a bit weird but it came in handy(it was after hours). An employee also had his hat stolen, we have had our tip jar stolen we watched it all on camera.

Recently in stalled a 12 camera system, already saved me approx 1,000. We had a delivery of 4 pallets of true refers, one had a large box on top, driver insisted i sign for a complete delivery of 5 pallets. I signed unfortunately, called Katom for missing items and was told they were delivered and you signed for them, driver said he delivered 5 pallets … copied files onto flash drive of security footage -time stamped -clearly showed 4 pallet delivery and now i have 1k credit but i want my funds back, hope to open next week and have to purchase in Denver. Not even open yet and the cameras almost paid for themselves !

Stuff like this is exactly why cameras should be present!

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I have had customers claim their pizza was made wrong when I was the one that made it. I simply say let me review the video to see how your order was made and usually they drop the accusations.

That sounds like the absolute worst way to make use of video. If you record calls, do you offer to play back a call when someone says “no, I said pepperoni”? (being in the business, I get it though - in my head I’d really love to show video and play calls for customers)

I have a different take on cameras. One that took me a few years and a lot of stress to come to.

IMO, having and using cameras takes a while to master. At first, you will feel like you have to watch the cameras 24x7. You will be furious for weeks as your pretty little picture of what happens when you are not there comes to real life. You might fire people, you’ll get a little high on playing Perry Mason - spending 3 hours to finally nab the employee who has been stealing a 20oz soda once every 2 weeks.

Every single time you look at the cameras you will see something that you think you need to do something about.

Having cameras pointing at the cash drawer doesn’t suddenly make it simple to figure out why the drawer is short. 80% of the time, after spending hours watching video, you won’t have your answer. 19% of the time, you will think you have your answer, but not enough evidence to bring charges.

After about a month, you will start wondering what the hell you are doing. Why you are spending hours of your time away from the shop trying to catch some kid not working 100% of the time. Why you are spending hours of your time to save $5.

Don’t get me wrong - we have cameras in all of our stores. But I only look when I really need to - and for something really, really important - like a massive shortage, or a robbery - or to verify something important that I already know. Otherwise, randomly watching video is the perfect way to increase stress, ruin your family life and accomplish nothing.

One other thing - there seems to be a rule on how many days worth of video you should keep. No matter how much video you keep, the video you need to see will have been erased just yesterday… :slight_smile:

I agree with Registered Guest, our cameras don’t get watched very often and they probably get watched more to see something funny that happened as opposed to something bad. Police officer backs over the curb and we have to get 6 people to lift his car back over, sure we still watch that commonly. Drunk customers, clumsy employees, bad drivers in the parking lot, all worth a laugh. It also allows us to subtly remind everyone that cameras are there. We have fired a few people for stealing but only a few that I can think of. Our video has been used both by police as well as defense in come criminal cases that have happened at our building. Unfortunately, the only smash and grab we have had since having cameras installed the guy pulled his hoodie down so far over his face he wasn’t identifiable. But he did get caught breaking in somewhere else a couple months later. I don’t know of a single person who has quit because we have cameras but if someone did, good riddance. They are there for everyones protection, not to make sure my cash drawer matches up with the paperwork.

In general this is true. The customers in these cases were known chronic complainers which is why I had made the pizza myself. My staff had been scammed too many times by them.

I have had them since I started, so 8 years. At the beginning I would watch them at home, which makes it bad since you never actually get away from the store. Learned to get over that. They are handy because you have record of everything. Customer claims they paid with a 100 etc.
Hardly ever watch them now, but employees know they are there and if I ever want to audit something its right there.

Worked well at my store, I saw some other posts where cameras were placed outside too. I strongly recommend doing that too.

The other day customer complained she got short changed and my cashier swore she gave the customer the missing $10. Sure enough the customer was correct and we were able to correct the mistake thanks to the cameras. Now I know to keep a closer eye on our cashier. I believe the more cameras the better. Good employees have no problem. Troublemakers hate them and eventually will get weeded out since they can’t easily get away with mischievous deeds.