Better business control, safety, loss prevention
and security will be your gains by adding a Closed Circuit TV system (CCTV)
to your restaurant. With ease of operation, unique features, no tapes to change
and low cost; CCTV is now a must have for most restaurants. There are four
main parts that make up a CCTV system: An (LCD) viewing monitor, a DVR (Digital
Video Recorder), cameras, and a matrix camera switching system. Today’s
standalone products usually have the switching system built into the DVR to
save installation space.
The equipment features I recommend are:
Motion alarm detection: If someone trips the motion sensing camera area,
the DVR automatically takes a picture of the incident and emails it to a list
Remote viewing via the Internet: This feature allows you to watch
your restaurant from anywhere in the world. This is also great for multi-unit
managers allowing them to monitor more locations in a day without the travel.
Digital information retrieval: This allows you to sync your POS transactions
with the video recordings, so you can see both at the same time.
View and record: This allows you to review an incident and still be
recording in real-time- all at the same time.
Built in DVD recorder: for back-up archiving.
Good camera placement is critical. These are my recommendations and applications.
The front door: Security, safety and traffic control.
The rear door: Security, verification and loss prevention.
The liquor room: Inventory and loss prevention.
Front door of the office/counting room: Security and loss prevention.
The bar area: Traffic and staff monitoring.
The main dining room: Traffic and staff monitoring.
The kitchen: Loss prevention, staff monitoring.
The parking lot: Safety and security.
POS terminals: Loss prevention and transaction verifications.
Most DVRs can handle up to 16 cameras. This is usually enough for most restaurants.
Larger systems that are PC based can have an unlimited number of cameras,
but can be costly. Combination cameras for night and day are good for restaurants
because many restaurants change the lighting mood at different times of the
day and need cameras with low light sensitivity. Cameras should be placed high
when possible to prevent vandalism, and if that is not possible, order cameras
with security housings. Outdoor cameras may need heating and fan elements in
them including a rain blower to receive clear images during poor weather conditions.
Another application of a CCTV system is using live camera feeds as a marketing
tool on your website.
Steven Rosstad is the president of Steven Rosstad Audio + Video Consulting.
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