In a recent crime spree in the coastal town of Santa Cruz, California, an armed robber held up two restaurants at gun point. One restaurant owner was killed while his family and employees looked on in terror. There is no sure way to prevent this type of crime, but there are precautionary steps you can take to keep you and your employees from becoming unnecessary casualties:
Be smart about security
There are some common sense precautions you should take to keep your business and employees safe. Everyone should be trained on proper opening & closing procedures, cash handling, and security measures. Spot check to make sure these protocols are being practiced.
Cooperate and keep it short
The longer the robbery takes, the more nervous the robber becomes. Comply with any demands without hesitation. You decrease your chances of injury by calmly doing exactly what the robber demands, as soon as possible.
Tell the robber if there is someone in the back room or restroom that could unknowingly come out and surprise him. If you must reach into a pocket, purse or other hidden area to meet a robber's demand, tell him what you're doing.
Try to get a good physical description of the robber, including eye color, height, weight, scars, tattoos, and other hard-to-disguise characteristics. If possible, look out for any vehicle that may have been used in the robbery. Write the information down as soon as possible.
Avoid touching anything the robber has touched.
It's best not to talk with reporters, but if you do, avoid giving details, especially about the amount of cash lost. Discuss what happened with your employees and bring any fears or concerns out into the open. Ask them for suggestions on how to tighten security to prevent further robberies.
Remember...There's no need to be a hero. No amount of money can replace someone's life.
Bill Main is a nationally-recognized author, consultant and speaker. His company, Bill Main & Associates, specializes in strategic growth plans for foodservice entrepreneurs. For information on how you can grow your top line revenues through innovative marketing, menu, leadership and training systems, visit www.billmain.com.