How to Fix Gaps in Your Security Plan

Security should always be a top priority in your business. A good security plan can prevent theft, improve communication, and provide customers with an overall safer environment. Setting up a proper security plan can be difficult if you don’t have the proper expertise around you.

As a security expert with experience working in restaurant spaces, I have helped businesses create a safe and secure dining environment.

Here are a few tips to avoid often overlooked gaps in your security plan.

Hire the Right Number of People

A lack of security personnel is a common problem with restaurants and bars. Many of these spaces often do not hire any security guards to watch over the business.

This is a big mistake. You need some sort of security personnel to act as a deterrent against theft and acting out, especially in bars, which serve an abundance of alcohol. At the very least, you should have one security guard to watch over the front door to catch if someone is trying to leave the restaurant without paying. Even a small restaurant should have a security guard on each shift. If you own a bigger space, then you should have multiple security guards on staff and strategically place them throughout the establishment. This means security in plain clothes blending in to keep an eye out for any unruly patrons. Plainclothes security allows you to safely monitor your business without intimidating customers. The front entrance security guard should always be in uniform since he serves as a reminder that anyone looking to cause trouble should think otherwise.

If you are on a tight budget, I would recommend you hire a uniformed security guard to watch the entrance of your restaurant. At the end of the day, it is more important to have someone in uniform watching the main entrance and exit point of your establishment over security in plain clothes trying to catch people acting out, being overly drunk, or causing any other issues. Restaurant security’s main job is to serve as a deterrent, not be law enforcement.

Understanding When to Engage

Safety of staff and customers is always the main priority. This means it is important that your security team engages with individuals in a manner that prioritizes safety over property. A vast majority of restaurant security guards will be unarmed, which means their main job is to observe and report any potential crimes to the police.

Security should verbally engage with the customer in a polite but firm manner. Let the person causing the problems know that you saw the altercation and ask them to politely leave the area. If the person declines to leave, then it is time to alert the authorities. An unarmed security guard should never physically engage with someone since they have no way to adequately defend themselves. Physically escalating a situation can put your staff, security team, and customers in danger if the person you are dealing with is armed.

When an altercation occurs, it is always best to call the police. Don’t put your customers and your staff at risk for a person who may be belligerent and potentially harm people.

Have the Right Security System

bar security
(Photo by Scott Webb, Pexels)

Security cameras are often the only piece of physical evidence you have to prove a crime has been committed. That is why you must make sure you have the proper number of security cameras placed throughout the establishment.

You should have security cameras placed at all entrances, exits, cash registers, loading areas, parking lots, the front of the house, and in the kitchen. Placing cameras in these spots will ensure it is harder for a customer or employee to easily steal or cause issues. It is important that you have a trusted employee or a member of the security team keeping an eye on the security monitors.

You can install either digital or analog security cameras. I would personally recommend digital cameras since you can instantly store that footage in the cloud. However, analog cameras typically cost less.

Implement a Two-Way Radio System

I would recommend any restaurant invest in two-way radios for their staff and security team. Two-way radios are perfect for communicating in an emergency because you simply push a button to let someone know something is wrong.

Stew McClintic is the co-owner at, a two-way radio seller in Scottsdale, Arizona. He said that using two-way radio communication is much better in an emergency as opposed to communicating the situation via a loudspeaker.

“Communicating a security issue via an intercom can be really distracting to customers and in many circumstances, it is not a smart idea to let every customer know something is going on,” says McClintic. “Two-way radios give you more discrete communication over a private channel so your customers don’t have to hear about an issue you may be having.”

You really don’t want someone yelling, “we have a drunk guy acting out over on table 30,” over a loudspeaker.

McClintic said a restaurant could use either analog or digital radios. Analogs are slightly more cost-effective while having a shorter delay time between communication than digital radios. Digital radios are a better option if you are looking to establish more private lines. An earpiece is also recommended for more privacy and hands-free communication. Both analog and digital radios are simple to set up right out of the box.

Implementing the right security team and security plan is a vitally important step for your restaurant or bar space. The right security can keep staff and customers safe from harm as well as deter the theft of your property. Assemble the right team, create a good plan, and get the right equipment, and your restaurant will be safe and secure.


Bill Herzog is the CEO of LionHeart Security Services, a Tempe, Arizona-based provider of security solutions for commercial and residential properties. Herzog has over 25 years of experience in law enforcement and the commercial security industry.


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