Securing Your Location
Whilst it is something that none of us wish for, break-ins and theft are a factor that we need to consider when planning and operating a business. Many fool themselves into believing that “it won’t happen to me” and, whilst the chances are slim if it does happen they’ll be berating themselves as they sweep up the pieces of a business they can’t recover. Don’t let thieves strip you and your employees of your livelihoods and all your hard work, think about the worst that can happen and plan for it by taking the following into consideration.
Locks on your doors are something that you already have -and may now be thinking about strengthening- but there’re many other ways of deterring would be criminals. There’re special coatings you can get for your windows which can prevent the glass breaking straight through and hold out would-be criminals for a few minutes.
Thick, sturdy doors on your safe room and liquor room can really help to slow down and even deter criminals who have entered your building and know they’re operating on limited time.
You should have a safe that is heavy and cumbersome and, if possible, bolted to the floor. Some people have an extra lockbox bolted to the inside of their safe where most the large amounts of cash are stored.
If you have a lot of valuable stock behind your bar, for example: rare whiskies; you should consider either placing it in your liquor room at the end of every night or having lockable cages built that fit over the front of your bar. These deterrents, especially the second, can deter the opportunist criminal who could spot these products in your locations and perform a quick smash and grab.
Surveillance and Alarms
These technologies serve as a frontline, visual deterrents for any criminals looking to break into your venue. Put cameras in discreet yet visible locations, and have an alarm system which is set by the last person who leaves the location every night.
In today’s world we have smart alarm and surveillance systems which can be accessed from your smart phone or computer anytime, anywhere. If the technology is there, then use it! These smart systems can alert you and the authorities in the event of a break-in, meaning an even faster response time. They can even be programmed to alert you if the alarm has not been turned on by a certain time. In this case you can often remotely activate it yourself; after quickly checking that there is no one still working inside your location of course.
No business should be without insurance, especially a bar or restaurant where there’s often tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of yens worth of stock and cash sitting inside. Remember, it’s not just the stock and cash that are of value to you, anything in your location can be broken and need replacing: windows, floors, doors, bar tops, POS systems; you name it and it can be damaged by heavy handed criminals looking to quickly make away with valuables.
Comprehensive coverage is essential, and even a failed break-in, where the thieves actually make off with nothing, can still be extremely costly. When assessing the losses from a break-in make sure to take everything into account, not just the lost product and cash, but also the damage done to your location along with the lost days of business to come.
Part of all of this is ensuring that you have the right insurance. Make sure that, along with the losses, it covers damages from a break-in. There’s also the amount of deductible to consider and as to whether it is worth making a claim or not because you could end up paying more out of pocket than you end up getting in return.
Always have a financial backup to cover you in the event that something happens to your business; whether it be a break-in a broken grill or another piece of equipment. This can not only be used to pay your deductible but it can also be used to pay your now out of work employees some compensation; although this is not necessary as you don’t owe it to them, but they will heartily thank you for supporting them during this time.
Although this is not a nice topic to think about and discuss it is necessary for the physical and financial security of your business, as well as the financial security of you and your employees. Review the points above in relation to your venue and your plans for any mishaps and make any adjustments you feel necessary. Take a close look at your location from a thief’s point of of view and figure out where there might be a hole in your protection. If it does happen to you you’ll be thanking yourself.