Running a café or restaurant is an intense undertaking. Each day brings its own set of challenges, and the world of hospitality is far from predictable. One of the few places where you can bring some steadiness and certainty into your daily life as a hospitality business owner is with your security. 

Top-quality café or restaurant security cameras can help you combat everything from inappropriate employee behaviour to dine-and-dash attempts, decor and dinnerware theft, vandalism, break-ins, burglary, and more. Your restaurant security system can also be integrated with features like access control, making it easier to monitor who can enter the premises, where they can go, and at what times. 

If you’re thinking about installing a CCTV system in your restaurant or café, keep the following five factors in mind:

restaurant viewed from security camera
Photo: Dmitry Zvolskiy/Pexels

1. Should your security cameras be visible or hidden?

As with most things in life, there are benefits and drawbacks to each of these options. Visible security cameras have proven to be effective in deterring crime. However, if they’re not strategically installed by an expert, they can create an ominous atmosphere that may deter potential customers. No one wants to feel like they’re under constant scrutiny, especially when they’re trying to enjoy a meal or coffee break. 

Hidden security cameras solve this problem, and they’re also protected from being damaged or tampered with by customers or criminals. However, you lose the deterrent factor and will also have to check and ensure you comply with the relevant privacy laws

With professional installation from a skilled and certified security technician, you can get the best of both worlds with visible but unobtrusive restaurant security cameras that have been positioned so as to be tamper-proof.

2. How can you ensure your restaurant security cameras are tamper-proof?

Professional installation is your best bet for ensuring your security cameras are tamper-proof. A skilled technician will be able to determine the ideal placement for each camera, including the height and angle best for both capturing high-quality footage and preventing damage. They’ll run cables behind the wall or ceiling where possible, always focusing on minimising cable exposure. 

A security professional can also help you select the ideal cameras and casing for your establishment. Generally speaking, a strong, dome casing is ideal for the hospitality industry as it can withstand force while also preventing intruders from being able to hang anything over it to block the camera. 

Your café or restaurant security system can even come with additional tamper-proof features, including cameras that send a signal to the monitoring centre if someone attempts to access or disarm them. 

3. Which areas must be covered by restaurant CCTV cameras?

In general, you’ll want to cover:

  • All entry points to the premises
  • The cash register
  • The parking lot
  • The kitchen
  • The dining area
  • The stockroom
  • And the break area

It’s important to place cameras not just in the areas accessed by customers but also those only accessed by staff. In this way, your security system can also be used to ensure health and safety protocols are always being followed. You can even use your cameras to monitor stock levels.

4. How do you strategically place security cameras?

In addition to covering the key points listed above, you need to ensure that the cameras have a clear line of sight of everything you want to surveil. For example, if there’s a window in the break room that faces onto a quiet car park or back alley, you’ll want to have this covered as it may be a prime target for criminals seeking to gain access to the property. You’ll also need to ensure that it’s able to capture clear footage at any time of day or night. 

In terms of night vision, there are many more sophisticated options than most people realise. For example, Provision-ISR offers rainbow cameras that are capable of delivering high-quality, colour footage thanks to their CNV (Colour Night Vision) technology. Even in sub-optimal lighting conditions, these cameras can provide valuable visual details that contribute greatly to your chances of identifying key people and objects.

With the camera covering the cash register, it’s important that you have an angle that allows clear visibility when the till is in use. It’s no use having a camera in place if its line of sight is blocked when staff are using the register. 

Another factor to consider when placing cameras is the type of security camera you intend to use. ​​Generally speaking, restaurants and cafés are best served by the following camera types:

  • Bullet CCTV Cameras – The cameras you think of when you think security, bullet cameras are durable, weatherproof, and powerful deterrents against criminals, making them suitable for car parks and outdoor areas ;
  • Dome CCTV Cameras – Protected by a dome-shaped casing, these cameras are discreet, stylish, well-protected, and offer 360-degree rotation, making them ideal for covering multiple angles;
  • Network/IP CCTV Cameras – Ideal for business owners who are often away from the premises, these cameras allow for easy remote viewing;
  • Wireless CCTV Cameras – easy to install, stylish, and unobtrusive, wireless cameras offer a sleek finish, but you do need internet connectivity.

5. How can you ensure you get the best footage quality?

Placement and angles are only part of the story when it comes to the quality of your security camera footage. You also need to select cameras that have the right resolution and ensure the lighting in and around your premises is optimised for security. Lighting enhancements like LED or infrared illuminators can contribute greatly to the quality of your footage, particularly at night.  

A security technician is the ideal person to advise you on the best security cameras for restaurants and cafés. Having installed security systems in hospitality businesses all across Melbourne, BPoint’s certified technicians can devise a layout that will cover every angle and deliver high-quality footage that helps you protect your premises and take control of your day-to-day operations. 

If you’d like to learn more about the ideal approach to café and restaurant security, contact BPoint Security today. Our skilled technicians are always happy to answer questions and offer advice.