The state of one 'lil market

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05/07/2009

Right now I'm reading over a white paper from Frost & Sullivan (developed in conjunction with Protection One) focused on security solutions for the food service industry.

The report states that in this vertical physical security is often overlooked and underestimated as compared to IT security issues such as credit card fraud. We all know that the biggest issue restaurants face is theft — employee theft and external theft. The little stuff, such as a brownie a server took to eat because she was starving (just an example ... really) and a couple leaving before paying for their $23.98 tab (OK, you can probably now tell that I worked in a restaurant at one point), add up quick. And bigger events, like employees voiding items or checks after a customer leaves, add even more to the loss calculation. It's kind of like the Bermuda Triangle of theft — the money and inventory could have gone anywhere and never be found.

Frost & Sullivan suggests that integrating security and POS systems can help reduce the impact of employee theft, while linking a video surveillance system with temperature sensors can reduce food spoilage. Those are just two examples of the value of security systems in this environment. Let me be clear, the firm is not saying that technology can replace people but they are saying that security systems can help reduce loss and in this economy isn't that an important point.

I'm lining up times to talk with the reps from Frost & Sullivan and Pro One, hopefully in time for next week's newswire.