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How Much Does a Restaurant Security Camera System Cost?

When it comes to running a restaurant, a security camera system is a key component of your overall security. These systems offer a wide variety of protections to you as the business owner. Even if every employee is a trusted member of your own family, your business still faces a variety of security challenges, including vandals, break-ins, and other unwanted damage.

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What are the Benefits of a Security Camera System?

Adding video surveillance is an easy way to beef up your restaurant's security detail, especially with today's technology. Of course, you can still use analog CCTV cameras; they just require a bit more hardware as regards installation and video storage. However, digital and IP options are even simpler, as there's no need for coaxial cables.

One of the greatest things about security cameras is their visibility. Sure, your diners likely realize you have security features, but the physical proof video surveillance provides helps deter issues before they ever occur. This is especially true for burglaries and other thefts, such as the dine and dash. A prominently displayed security camera helps dissuade this type of behavior.

Your security cameras may also help moderate the behavior of your diners. In other words, the sight of a camera often helps people think twice before they engage in inappropriate behavior, such as fighting.

Footage from your surveillance system may also come in handy when fighting a wrongful injury suit, or even in mediating disputes between employees. Speaking of employees, your security cameras may inspire greater productivity, improved safety habits, and punctuality.

Finally, IP systems allow you to review security footage at any time, from any location. If you have multiple locations, you can check to see what's going on at each restaurant. Basically, anyplace you have an online connection allows you to check in and see what your diners and employees are doing, even if you're on vacation. It's like being in two places at once.

Where do you Need Security Cameras?

What you pay for a security camera system varies widely, mostly depending on the number of cameras your restaurant requires. Remember, you need internal and external cameras. Square footage and obstructions play a role in determining your needs. In addition, consider adding surveillance of the following areas:

  • All entrances
  • Delivery and loading dock
  • Dining areas
  • Storage areas
  • Cash register
  • Bar
  • Restricted areas
  • Parking lots
  • Drive-thru
  • Kitchen
  • Manager's office
  • Hallways
  • Elevators
  • Fire escapes

You may be able to install a single camera that covers more than one of these areas, depending on the layout and size of your restaurant.

What are the Costs of a Restaurant Video Surveillance System?

What you need for your security camera system varies slightly according to your needs. The total cost mostly depends on the cameras you choose. Your entry-level cameras clock in at around $100 each. For this price, you don't get much in the way of resolution or features such as panning, tilt, or zoom. As the cameras increase in quality, they of course also increase in price, typically topping out at a little over $2,000 each.

If you choose to buy the complete system, they usually come in increments of four: four cameras, eight cameras, 12 cameras, all the way through to 64 cameras. At the low end of these systems, cameras have 1080P resolution, with USB backup and download, plus remote viewing capabilities. At the upper end, camera resolution increases, along with the unit's ability to identify people from longer distances (75 feet with high-res versus 25 feet on low-res models).

  • Starting prices for 4-camera systems range from around $1,000 to $2,300
  • Starting prices for 8-camera systems range from around $2,000 to $4,000
  • Starting prices for 12-camera systems range from around $2,800 to $5,800
  • Starting prices for 16-camera systems range from around $3,400 to $7,500
  • Starting prices for 24-camera systems range from around $6,000 to $12,000
  • Starting prices for 32-camera systems range from around $7,350 to $14,000
  • Starting prices for 48-camera systems range from around $12,500 to $28,500
  • Starting prices for 64-camera systems range from around $16,000 to $39,000

When looking for the ideal system, your best bet is comparison shopping. Obtain quotes from a variety of vendors and review each offer carefully. Buy the best quality cameras you can afford, and check to see if any of your quotes include installation.

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