Top 10 Restaurant Security Tips


cashier at concession stand Restaurants handle a good deal of cash and credit card transactions every day. Without the proper security measures, a restaurant is at greater risk of theft or other security breaches. Although quick-service restaurants are typically more at risk than full-service establishments, awareness of the potential dangers is vital to preventing criminal incidents in your restaurant. Take the necessary precautions by following these guidelines:

Be Aware

Maintain a constant awareness of your restaurant and its daily activities. Be mindful of who is coming in, who is just hanging around the doors, and how guests are acting. Encourage employees to keep their wits about them, even in busy times, in order to spot any questionable behavior.

Deposit Cash Frequently

Cash registers fill quickly during busy shifts, especially at a quick-service restaurant with long lines of people waiting to order. Making frequent deposits into the safe (also known as cash drops) will help keep cash secure, along with fewer bills in the cash drawer.

Use Safe Bank Deposit Practices

A potential thief may watch restaurant managers for habitual behavior, especially when it comes to taking cash deposits to the bank. Try to vary your behavior by doing the following:

  • Vary the times you leave for the bank each day
  • Take different routes to the bank
  • Remove your restaurant uniform or cover up with a jacket
  • Make your cash deposit bag as inconspicuous as possible

Use a Time-delayed Safe.

Many safes have time-delay technology. This allows the safe to be opened only at certain times of the day, preventing robbers from retrieving the cash inside.

Install a Surveillance Program

Surveillance cameras can make a difference both inside and outside the restaurant building. When potential thieves see that their actions are being recorded, they might be less likely to try anything illegal. This can also help deter employee theft in the restaurant.

Do Not Accept Large Bills

Accepting large bills puts a cashier at risk, since a cash drawer full of $100 bills is more tempting to a robber than a cash drawer of $20s. As a policy, many quick-service restaurants do not to accept bills larger than $20. Although this can be irritating to some customers, it can help a restaurant’s security situation immensely. » More on What To Do if Your Restaurant is Robbed

Secure the Drive-thru

The drive-thru can be an easy target for a robber in a vehicle, or even on foot. Installation of bullet-proof glass and windows that close automatically between transactions is a helpful deterrent.

Never Open or Close Alone

The expression, “safety in numbers” applies here. Employees should always open and close the store in pairs, never alone. This should be a worker safety policy for all restaurants.

Prevent Employee Theft

Take precautions against internal theft by being present with your team, monitoring employee behaviors and limiting access to cash or information when necessary. » More on How to Prevent Employee Theft

Lock the Bathroom Doors

In quick-service restaurants, locking the bathroom doors and providing a key at the cashier station can be a way to keep bathrooms even safer from vandals and thieves who hide out in restrooms.


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