“Local restaurant robbed at gunpoint.”
All too often, we hear these types of headlines on the nightly news. Restaurants are frequent targets, likely due to the early morning and late-night hours kept by such establishments. The ease of public access also puts restaurants at an increased risk.
Training your team how to react in a robbery situation is key, but it’s a topic that’s frequently overlooked. Here’s what restaurant operators need to know to best prepare their employees.
Robberies by the numbers
According to the FBI, there were nearly 284,000 robberies in the United States in 2014, with the average dollar value of property stolen landing at $1,227. Firearms were used in more than 40 percent of robberies, surpassed only by strong-arm tactics.
Unfortunately, data regarding the number of restaurant robberies is scarce. However, more than 52,000 of the robberies occurring in 2014 were classified as miscellaneous, which according to the FBI data, is how restaurants crimes are categorized.
Regardless of these numbers, a quick look at the news shows the importance of proper safety training. In less than one month, there have been eight Subway robberies reported throughout Kansas and Missouri. In 2014, a string of robberies targeting Asian restaurants occurred across eastern North Carolina, in which restaurant workers and their children were followed home, physically assaulted, and the nightly deposit stolen.
Robbery training and education
Each restaurant should have a written policy and procedure for robberies. In addition, consistent training and education – typically on a yearly basis – is critical too.
A robbery response plan is an excellent starting place for owners and operators, since it covers preventative measures as well as what to do during and after a robbery.
There are several measures that can be taken to minimize security risks as well as the risks to your employees.