Security Cameras Protect Customers and Restaurants in the Food Services Industry

The safety of its employees and customers is a top priority of any quick-service restaurant (QSR). Workplace accidents result in lost productivity and steep injury costs, directly impacting the success of employees and overall profit margins. Smart restaurants will implement safety programs to engage employees and reduce the frequency of accidents.

Although the goal is to reduce the likelihood that accidents will occur, it is not something that can be completely avoided. Security cameras and video surveillance equipment allow restaurant managers to monitor all areas of the store. In some cases, managers may see areas that are potentially dangerous and can resolve the issue before an incident occurs. In the event that an accident does occur, video cameras can be used to show evidence of the situation as well as footage before and after the accident.

However, all restaurants face the possibility of a fraudulent lawsuit. Not only are these types of lawsuits costly and time consuming, but they can significantly affect a company’s livelihood. While insurance may cover the company, clear charges and prevent court trials, the company still suffers as the result of considerable legal effort and expense. It is also quite likely that the company’s insurance premiums will rise. A proactive fraud risk management system is a must.

The Coalition Against Insurance Fraud (CAIF) estimates that the cost of fraud is as high as $80 billion each year in the U.S. This makes insurance fraud the second largest economic crime in the U.S. after tax evasion, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB).  While there are many kinds fraudulent lawsuits restaurants can face, one of the most common, and of greatest concern to QSRs, is the slip-and-fall fraudulent claim.

According to CNA Insurance, 57 percent of all food service general liability insurance claims are slip-and-fall accidents. In 2004, the National Floor Safety Institute estimated that it cost $50,000 to defend a slip–and-fall lawsuit. One of the most effective ways to prove or disprove these cases is through security cameras and video surveillance equipment. An effective fraud prevention program can increase pressures and incentives to act honestly by emphasizing a “perception of detection.”

There have been numerous incidents where customers have claimed they slipped and fell, only to discover video cameras caught them purposefully knocking things off the shelves and/or pouring liquids on the floor. This footage can sometimes negate lawsuits being filed, saving restaurants and supermarkets millions of dollars in settlement fees, and send culprits to jail on fraud and attempted theft charges.

There is no denying that a security system is a must in any QSR. Most insurance companies require restaurants to have video cameras in place in order to prevent high premiums. However, there is a huge range in camera quality and functionality. In order to protect your restaurant from damaging lawsuits, select equipment known for excellent image quality – including cameras that work in all lighting conditions, from bright sun to low-lit, nighttime drive-thrus. Panasonic offers a range of video surveillance products that are ideal for the food services market, including fixed network dome cameras.

Later this month, we’ll be discussing how restaurants can maximize their security camera investments by leveraging solutions for employee training and digital signage promotions.