Hiring a security firm can help protect your restaurant from disgruntled customers and crime, but which firm do you hire and what should you look for in a security team? When trusting someone else to protect your restuarant, it is important to find the right firm for the job. There are a lot of choices in security firms but not all may be the right fit. Having worked in law enforcement for over 25 years and as Director of Operations at LionHeart Security Services here are some questions I suggest asking before hiring a security firm.
Ask for References and Experience
Make sure the security company you plan to work with has the knowledge and experience with your industry, and the processes needed to keep your business, employees, and customers safe. Additionally, if you are interested in working with a particular company, you should ask to receive ample references. Ask fellow restaurateurs and local business owners about their experiences with different security firms before deciding.
Security Firm Licensing
It is important to check if the security firm you are considering is legally licensed in your state. Legally licensed security firms ensure that you’re hiring a professional, capable of protecting your property and patrons. This does not mean an individually licensed guard but a licensed security firm.
Having a procedure in place to deal with someone trying to break into your property, or a medical emergency, is critical in getting law enforcement on the scene as quickly as possible. The security firm’s strategy should include response time, responsibility, and security equipment. Having a well-planned procedure in case of an emergency will help put your mind at ease and hopefully damages can be minimized. These procedures need to include protecting customers and employees from danger, calling law enforcement or EMT’s, escorting people from the area and being a good witness for the police.
Ensure the security guards you hire know de-escalation procedures in case a situation with a guest arises where they are getting out of control. This will help calm the situation and keep the surrounding customers and staff safe. Security professionals de-escalate situations by using a three-step process: assess the situation, adapt to the state of the situation, and attend to the situation. Training your staff in these techniques can also help if an event like this takes place. De-escalation training should be updated regularly and held yearly to ensure all staff know how to give the best customer service, even in a tough situation.
Training of Professional Security Guards
When interviewing a security firm ask if they have well-trained guards so you know they are experienced to do the job in the right way. Ask the security firm if the guards are trained with weapons? Do they know how to execute a perimeter search? Do they know how to tell if someone is acting suspicious? How do they deal with unruly guests who may have had one too many drinks? Trained guards will be able to perform these tasks and provide better security for your property.
Ask About Security Guard Payment
When hiring a security firm, you also want to make sure the guards are paid well. Asking this question about the guard’s pay will give you a sense of how motivated the guards are. As in any job, the more a person is paid the more motivated they will be to do their job, and do it well. These guidelines can help you when hiring a potential security firm so you can make the right decision in keeping your property, employees, and customers safe.