Forgive us for stating the obvious but bar and nightclub owners and operators face security challenges each and every day. Even the most neighborly of neighborhood bars faces an ever-changing customer base, and that puts them at risk for theft and lawsuits. The high turnover rate of your employees isn’t shy about offering the same risks. Keeping all of that in mind, should you install and use a surveillance system?
Asking yourself other questions can help you make the decision, unless local ordinances require that you have a surveillance system installed.Are you losing money and can’t figure out why? Have people been skipping out on their checks? Do you have fights breaking out at your bar? Do you suspect you’re suffering from employee theft? Is your venue experiencing vandalism?
Fights, unfortunately, happen in bars and nightclubs. It’s why we employ security. The right security and staff training can stop some physical altercations before they start, but it’s doubtful that any nightlife venue has truly never had a fight on its premises. Security cameras placed in the right areas can help to discourage fights, if for no other reason than the risk of police reviewing your recorded footage and making arrests. Signs warning guests that they’re being recorded can further discourage violence, and in some areas they’re required by law. Lowering the violence that occurs in or around your bar also makes the local authorities and government officials happier. In fact, some cities have passed ordinances that require new alcohol licensees to install high-definition surveillance cameras inside their bars and nightclubs. Further, they need to keep the footage for 30 days.
Theft is another ugly part of running a bar or nightclub. Some people who come into your bar or nightclub have no intention of paying for their drinks or food, and some of them also intend to steal bottles and other items from you. Cameras can make them think twice before their dine and/or drink and dash or attempt to walk out with a stolen bottle or two. A number of your employees may also be itching to use their sticky fingers to empty your stock room and wallet. Whether it be through over serving, giving away drinks when not authorized to do so, taking home some of your inventory, or just padding their pay with your cash, employee theft is a reality of every business. Again, installing security cameras in the right places can help you combat thievery.
Seems pretty cut and dry, doesn’t it? Cameras protect you, your guests, your property, and your bottom line. Clearly nobody but criminals would be against you installing security cameras at your venue. Not so fast, Turbo. Some people, many of them fed up with the pervasiveness of cameras, find recording devices intrusive. While operators aren’t permitted to film private areas like bathrooms, some bar and nightclub patrons believe that the venue as a whole should be considered private and free from recording equipment. You’re going to have to deal with the fact that installing a security system may drive away certain guests, and not all of them are criminals.
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