8 Bar & Restaurant Security Measures You Should Implement Now

Even with the best planning, bars and restaurants can be incredibly hectic environments, meaning management teams and staff members may not always have the time to prioritize on-site security. However, with support from modern technologies and well-implemented policies, many essential processes can be optimized and automated to improve restaurant security.

To help bar/restaurant owners protect their employees and customers from common threats and criminal activity, below are eight restaurant security measures that you should implement now.

1. Access control systems

When thinking about improving physical security in bars or restaurants, access control systems are among the most important considerations. While traditional lock and key systems may keep some areas secure, keys can be easily lost, locks can often be broken into, and management teams may have limited control over who is able to access certain areas at different times.

By installing modern access systems that use key card or mobile credentials, many of these problems can be addressed. Staff can be issued personalized credentials allowing access to common areas and staff rooms, with high-security areas only accessible using management credentials. Business owners can also track credential use and adjust permissions remotely, ensuring that any suspicious behaviors are identified and addressed as quickly as possible.

2. Video security cameras

Video security cameras are another essential investment. Along with providing management teams with a reliable way to monitor key areas, research shows the mere presence of visible security cameras may cause 60% of criminals to reconsider targeting occupied properties.

Suitable cameras must be installed in key locations such as:

  • Entrances and exits
  • Kitchens
  • Dining rooms
  • Loading areas
  • Stock rooms
  • Cash counting areas

Business owners must also consider which type of cameras to use in certain areas. For example, dome camera systems are effective in open areas like dining rooms as they have wide angle lenses, while bullet cameras are great for outdoor spaces as they can record clear images at long range. If connected to a cloud-based management system, modern security cameras can also be viewed and adjusted remotely, allowing for 24/7 monitoring capabilities.

3. Commercial safes

In addition to the large volumes of cash that the average bar or restaurant must reliably secure, a variety of important documents, equipment, and valuable personal items will need to be kept secure in one way or another. The installation of access control systems will help to prevent unauthorized persons accessing these items, but commercial safes provide extra protection.

Multiple types of safes can be used to secure different items, common examples include:

  • Key cabinets: Small safe boxes used to store keys and key cards behind a secure combination lock, only those who know the code will be granted access.
  • Cash boxes: Compact and well-protected boxes with compartments designed to store cash. Some use keys and others use combination locks. When access is limited only to a small number of staff, the risk of internal theft can be limited.
  • Drop safes: Short-term cash storage boxes that allow staff to quickly deposit items without needing full access to the safe. Drop safes will typically be fitted with guards that prevent potential criminals from fishing out stored items from the deposit slot.
  • Fireproof safes: Incredibly strong reinforced safes designed to both withstand heat and prevent stored items from being affected by high temperatures. These safes are ideal for storing important documents like financial records, contracts, and legal papers.
Safety procedures

4. Automated alarm systems

If a security breach is to occur, the amount of time it takes staff to respond can have a great impact on the severity of the incident. By utilizing modern alarm systems connected via the Internet of Things (IoT), business owners can create automated alarm systems to improve response times.

Different IoT sensors can be used to warn staff of specific threats. For example, IoT motion sensors may activate alarms if movement is identified in private locations, while IoT noise sensors can be used to alert staff if sounds consistent with a break-in are detected. Alerts can also be sent to admins remotely to make sure the property is protected 24 hours a day.

5. Lighting considerations

Making sure both indoor and outdoor areas are well lit at all times can be a cost-effective way to deter criminality in bars and restaurants. All entrances and exits should be adequately lit with outdoor lighting installed to cover external parking lots and pathways leading to the property.

LED lights are advisable as these devices produce a much brighter light than incandescent bulbs, while motion-activated lighting is a good idea for outdoor areas to help staff notice when areas are in use. Research conducted by the New York City police department found that outdoor lighting alone may reduce the occurrence of serious crimes by as much as 60%.

6. Data security training

Credit card fraud and identity theft are big problems in the hospitality industry, meaning staff must be trained in how to spot and prevent these incidents. Staff training must cover how to identify skimming devices placed on POS terminals, and it should include security policies and best practices designed to ensure customer cards and POS terminals are always monitored.

It’s also important to verify the validity of all service technicians that may come to service POS terminals. Employees should be trained to request confirmation from a manager or the business owner before providing access to payment machines, with procedures in place to make sure all staff are aware of booked maintenance appointments to prevent tampering.

7. Cybersecurity solutions

As more bar and restaurant owners invest in internet-connected security, logistics management, and convenience technologies like delivery app services, the risks associated with cyber-attacks become more apparent. Teams must have plans and trusted systems in place to both detect and prevent sophisticated cyber criminals from hacking systems and stealing valuable data.

As many as 62% of restaurant customers are concerned that digital interactions may lead to fraud, meaning businesses should invest in cybersecurity solutions to mitigate these fears.

Cybersecurity best practices for restaurants include:

  • End-to-end encryption to make data unreadable to hackers
  • Anti-malware software installed on all POS systems
  • Security firewalls used to monitor internet traffic
  • Wi-Fi should be password protected and VPNs should be used
  • All software should be frequently reviewed and updated

8. Inventory management systems

Unfortunately, employee theft can be a major concern for restaurant owners, with research suggesting 75% of staff members have stolen from their employer at least once. Alongside previously mentioned security devices, utilizing smart inventory management software can help business owners keep a closer eye on their stock and better identify suspicious activity.

Modern software can track inventory levels in real-time to support manual stock checks with alerts programmed to warn admins of discrepancies. Inventory can also be automatically reordered through the platform to reduce the number of staff requiring access to the system.


All bar and restaurant owners want to maintain a safe and secure environment for their employees and customers, meaning physical security should always rank as a top priority. By installing key security features like access control systems and cameras, and by ensuring all staff are trained to identify and address common threats, bar and restaurant security can be measurably improved.


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