Covid-19 has thrown a big curveball when it comes to the way we all dine out. As restrictions ease across the country, the hospitality industry has had to cap its numbers for dine-in customers. So for many restaurants, the only alternative to boosting their patron numbers is through outdoor dining. Once you have arranged an outdoor dining area, how will you secure your outdoor furniture when you close for each day?
Ask yourself these questions:
- Does the furniture stay outside overnight? Or do they need to be moved inside?
- What does your security look like when it comes to monitoring these items outside of peak periods?
- How much space do you have available for outdoor dining?
- How many wait staff will be supervising this area?
Let's find out how you can boost your restaurant's outdoor security with these five simple tips.
1. Surveillance camera
Security cameras are great for use during business hours of the restaurant and after. Cameras track and record unruly behaviour, suspicious activity and act as a watchman over the property. Look for commercial cameras that offer continuous monitoring and recording. Get the professionals to install hardwired cameras for your business. This way, you don't have to worry about internet connectivity, battery levels or messy wires. Add signs to your property too. They may not entirely deter trespassers; they will deter those looking for an easy win. Before installing security cameras, consider what you want to capture, such as the entrances to your business, the outdoor dining area and your POS (Point of sale).
Combining this with powerful motion-sensor floodlights for nighttime surveillance can lessen the chances for theft and can improve your restaurant's alarm system.
2. Bolt down heavy and bulky items
The easiest way to secure large items and patio furniture is to bolt them to the ground. That includes umbrella bases, large tables and wooden benches. But first, you will need to check with your local council for any regulations that can apply to your area.
- What furniture can you leave outside?
- How can you secure the furniture?
- Does the furniture need moving every day?
- What is my boundary line?
- Are there any rules I need to follow from my local council?
- Do I have permanent access to this space for outdoor dining? Or is it temporary?
Once you have the approval, use heavy-duty long screws to bolt items down. If you have created a boundary with bollards or fencing, you can consider getting these bolted to the ground too.
3. Chain and padlocks
What if you can't bolt down your furniture? Chairs are one of those items that fall into this category. One option is to chain a stack of chairs together and then to an immovable object such as a pole. You may need a few chains or steel cables, depending on how you wish to secure them together. This choice is undoubtedly helpful if you can't store your stack of chairs inside your premises.
4. Enclose your outdoor dining area
Enclosing your dining area provides a clear boundary between your restaurant and the next. By roping the area off, your furniture is more likely to stay where they are and has less of a chance of being moved away by customers or a passerby. You can opt for a permanent solution with a steel barricade or plexiglass partition, depending on council regulations.
For more information on COVIDSafe regulations for your state or territory, check out this resource from Safe Work Australia. For all your locking solutions, check out our commercial security products on the Secure Your World website.