Fast food establishments and takeaways can be particularly vulnerable to burglary, robbery and theft or even physical violence.
Such incidents can be emotionally challenging for the business owner, not to mention the obvious financial implications.
Whist an effective Takeaway Insurance policy can protect the business against these incidents, by taking the appropriate preventative measures you can significantly reduce your risk.
Looking After Your Cash
Most takeaways will typically accumulate a significant amount of cash through the working day or evening, which will, sadly, make them attractive targets for crime, as criminals look for establishments with late-night hours and easy entry or escape.
If you are running a fast food restaurant, both you and your employees need to be adequately prepared to deal with takeaway crime. If you have not provided adequate training and one of your employees suffers injury, for example in a robbery, you could be held liable and subject to an Employers Liability claim under your business insurance.
How To Prevent Theft
Prevention is better than cure and the best way to deal with the threat of theft is by taking preventive measures. These are some typical ways to discourage thieves from attempting their crime:
- Greet and make eye contact with every person that enters.
- If you see suspicious behaviour in any area, courteously ask the person if they need assistance.
- Always show that you are alert and aware of all customer activity by good visibility and not leaving the counter unattended.
- During daily operations, cash registers should be inspected regularly to prevent cash build-up above the minimum amount needed.
- Never leave the rear kitchen door leading to the rubbish or waste containers propped open - Always keep back doors locked, taking care not to obstruct any fire exits.
- Encourage staff to be vigilant and report any strange behaviour to yourself or their manager, such as someone loitering outside the premises or persons appearing to watch the store.
General Good Practice Guidelines
- If you, or a member of your team, witness someone attempting to steal something, do not run after the person or try to intervene. Attacking the person could mean harm to you or your employees.
- In the event of a robbery, do exactly as the intruder commands. Try to speak calmly and slowly to intruders, and don’t make sudden or unexpected moves.
- Study the suspect (or suspects) carefully, making a mental note of facial features, height, clothing, as well as listening for any names used etc.
- Do not follow the thief outside. The possibility of causing harm to innocent bystanders can escalate considerably in this situation.
- Call the police and implement an emergency contact procedure for staff so that they are fully prepared should an incident occur while you are away from the property.
- If an intruder threatens you, or a member of your team, it is much simpler to comply with all of his or her demands than putting human well-being at risk for the sake of a day’s takings.
- Fit a panic alarm – Another security option, particularly if have a volume of late-night trade, is fitting an under counter panic alarm. This will link directly to your security or alarm company, making them aware that an incident is taking place without raising the intruder's suspicions.
Fast Food Delivery
Delivery drivers can also be an easy target as criminals will be aware that the driver is likely to be carrying cash. Best practice is to develop a training and risk assessment plan for drivers and any new staff, this should include:
- How to deal with a robbery or criminal attack
- Procedures when delivering to a non-domestic address
- Review of any address / crime hotspots
- Vehicle security during deliveries
Know Who to Contact
It’s important that key numbers are close at hand, both for the Takeaway owner as well as employees.
- The phone numbers of local authorities should be listed near all phones on the premises for quick access.
- The emergency Insurance claims report line – this is of particular importance if the property has been damaged and is not secure.
- Call the police as soon as possible, preserving any evidence left at the scene by the suspects, such as objects handled, etc.
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