Swapping out CCTV for Online Surveillance

According to Fortune Small Business, an online magazine, many small businesses are abandoning closed-circuit TV systems in favor of online video surveillance.

Restaurant owner Ryan Elmore assumed his employees continued to work hard after he left work, but after installing cameras and using an online service to monitor his restaurant, he discovered the restaurant manager on duty left a few minutes after him, servers sat at tables and gave free meals to friends, and cooks took multiple cigarette breaks every hour and cut corners on Elmore’s signature dish. Now, employees at Elmore’s Pepper Jack’s Neighborhood Grill know Elmore can log in online, view a receipt and call up a video of the transaction. Elmore can remotely see whether employees cleaned the restaurant, if a customer’s order arrives at a table late, or if employees are helping themselves to meals.

Elmore started using the service when a pizza chain he bought had it installed. He installed the service at Pepper Jack’s and immediately started seeing results. Elmore noticed when the restaurant was overstaffed, allowing him to adjust schedules and cut labor costs. Food costs also dropped when servers stopped giving free food to friends. For an annual operating cost of $1,920, Elmore was able to cut operating costs by $100,000. Elmore said he felt guilty at first for not trusting employees, but the results eliminated any concerns.

“As an operator, I want to know where every dollar is going,” he said.

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