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I INNOVATION


on the door, so there is an obvious physical presence. But you need the right profi le: visible but not confrontational. Problems usually start with alcohol, so don’t serve too much of it. Train staff well and ensure that everything is monitored,” says Bender. “With the incident in Texas, part of the problem was the huge number of people on the property, and the venue not being prepared for that. Know if there is a big event coming to the area and don’t be caught by surprise. Call law enforcement early, if there is any sign of a problem,” he adds.


Invest early


means looking after everything from the car park to the lighting, from the exterior design to the back of the property. You need it to have a Disney-style quality, where everything is about the customer experience and the brand is refl ected in every aspect of the appearance and the service in the restaurant.” The values of a brand should permeate the people as much as it does the property, and the most effective tool in promoting security is not technology, but training. “The ability of employees to spot early signs of trouble and respond appropriately to them is crucial, as is their ability to communicate quickly and effectively with law enforcement and other emergency response personnel. Restaurant management should actively develop relationships with


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“Well-trained staff make a difference. You need a team on the floor, showing that someone is in charge of the restaurant”


community government leaders and other community groups, not least so they can stay aware of potential risks. “Well-trained staff make a big


difference,” says Bender. “Training is the most important thing. You need a management team visible on the fl oor, showing that someone is in charge of the restaurant.


“If it is a bar or entertainment venue, security personnel will be


The Twin Peaks brand has suff ered after nine deaths due to gang violence in its car park


Putting the right tools in place demands investment, and this should be made as early as possible – preferably in the design phase of new premises – although it is possible to install and update systems and training procedures at any stage. It is important to remember, however, that the potential dangers for which these steps prepare a restaurant are unlikely to occur.


“In the commercial world these events are so unlikely that it doesn’t come up on people’s agenda,” says Bentley. “You can’t really police for something like the incident in Texas or the recent 16-hour siege at the coffee shop in Sydney. The best thing may be simply to call the police at the fi rst sign of trouble. “If you have forewarning, there are things you can do. Stay informed and aware of events or protests that might be coming to your area so you can make a decision about whether or not to stay open. But remember how unlikely it is that a restaurant will be attacked. Sleep tight and don’t panic.”


For more go to foodserviceconsultant.org


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