Security health check
In the festive run up, it’s not just your customers, food and decorations you need to think about.
Security is paramount, and, to some degree, just as important as your menu. But more often than not it slips down your ‘to do’ list with severe repercussions.
This is the busiest time of the year, and the high customer turnover and increased cash can turn your premises into an easy target.
“Christmas brings with it an increased likelihood of your establishment experiencing theft or a burglary,” explains Matt Jones, head of security for a group of pubs and restaurants in Stoke on Trent. “Your takings are at their highest at this time of year, as is your footfall. Your staff are also at their busiest meaning criminals can strike unnoticed. Despite being rushed off your feet, try and take the time to be vigilant and do all you can to prevent crime.”
There are lots of ways you can keep your festive period fruitful, not frightening. To help, we asked Dr Steffan George, development director at The Master Locksmiths Association (MLA), the UK’s leading locksmith trade association, for some security tips:
Deter the thieves
- Good customer service is a key deterrent in fighting crime. Criminals like to remain under the radar, not be put into the spotlight by friendly staff.
- Set cash limits for your tills and once they reach that amount remove the money and park it somewhere safe, or bank it.
- Alternate your trips to the bank to stop a pattern forming that thieves can recognise.
- Make sure sensitive data, personnel and financial information, is not left behind the bar or reception where it can be seen – and possibly snatched.
- If you employ temporary staff make sure you obtain references.
- Don’t give out too many keys to your premises. Use one master key or look into a restricted system where keys can’t be copied or replaced without proof of ownership.
- Make regular patrols around your premises, including toilets.
- Check all windows and doors, gates and fences in and around your premises for faults, broken locks, weak frames and damage. Replace or fix any that show signs of wear and tear.
- CCTV and alarms will not only deter a criminal but come in to their own to alert you to a break-in or identify a perpetrator.
- Consider external lighting – not just for safety but to create a welcoming and safe environment for staff and customers.