Tis’ the season for food truck and food trailer owners to get a much-deserved rest and break from the daily grind of the busy summer season. Unlike restaurants, chefs and caterers, who are well into the busy holiday season.
Unfortunately, this time of year has historically been when thefts spike. Thieves have to buy Christmas presents too, right? Here are some tips to help avoid becoming a victim of theft in your food business.
When you are not able to secure property in a closed off or secure area, lighting is a great tool to deter would-be thieves! Lights help increase the chance someone will see a theft. That reason alone is enough for thieves to move on to their next target.
Parking near overhead lights works great, but if that is not an option, this Solar LED light with Motion Sensor can easily be installed and a great way to illuminate the area around your property.
It’s good business practice to let customers know when you are open or closed, but that makes it easy for thieves to know when you are not around! Locking up is a good first step, but a determined thief that knows he has time when you are away might have tools to bypass basic locks.
A client of Insure My Food, Matt with Las Abuelas, recommends using a Shackle-Less Padlock like the ones found here on Amazon. By not having an exposed shackle it makes it impossible for bolt cutters to be used.
For food trailers, hitch locks are a must. While they might not be bulletproof, they are important! Yes, a lock can be forcefully removed or the thief could use a flatbed tow truck to bypass the hitch, but for under $30 dollars it’s well worth the investment and enough to give a thief a reason to move on.
For food trucks, a steering wheel lock is a great idea. Most of the step van trucks used to build food trucks date back 20-30 years ago. They lack the update ignition protections that modern vehicles have. This makes it easy for thieves to hotwire and drive off with your truck.
Make some noise
Noise is a great way to draw attention to your property so others around look and know something is not right. Sounds can be very annoying, as Jim Carey taught in Dumb and Dumber.
Alarms that are loud and also report to a monitoring service are great but can require a constant internet or phone connection and that can be difficult for a mobile food vendor. They require a monthly service cost increasing your business costs. If the connection or the cost is prohibitive, having an audible alarm is inexpensive (GE makes a wireless door alarm for under $12) and an effective solution.
Visible cameras protecting your business let crooks know they’re being watched and are very helpful in deterring theft. Cameras help you review suspicious activity so that you can be proactive prior to a theft occurring.
If a theft does occur, the footage can be used to help catch the culprit. Laura of Bananarchy uses and recommends ZModo cameras. In a break-in that affected her and several other nearby food trailers, the camera footage given to police resulted in the arrest of the suspect.
Trackers are a great way to keep tabs on your property, but they do require a monthly subscription for services. GPS trackers are also not a replacement for other theft prevention practices because they only help when your entire truck or trailer is moved offsite.
Take cash to the bank
Having a lot of cash attracts attention not only from outside threats but from employee theft as well. Making frequent trips to deposit cash and never leaving cash overnight is a great step to limit theft of your hard earned money. Hope of Emoji’s Grilled Cheese took it a step further and now only accepts credit and debit, eliminating the risk altogether. She states that she has had very little pushback from customers.
With a little effort and investment, taking the some of all of the above steps will go a long way in reducing the risk of becoming a victim of a grinch during this season. Check out our loss prevention blog post for more tips on How To Protection Your Food Truck’s Bottom Line.
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