The State of Security in the Quick Service Restaurant Industry

Understand the state of security in the quick foods industry and how it can be improved with current security technology.

Last Updated:
March 12, 2024
| ~
min Read
Bayley Goldsberry
Marketing Content Writer

Quick service restaurants (QSR) are on nearly every corner of every town in the United States. You can have your pick of any cuisine you like on any given day—Italian, Mexican, American, Chinese—the list goes on. 

And the best part about it? The prices are relatively cheap compared to a more formal, sit-down restaurant. Another great thing about the quick service restaurant industry is its accessibility when it comes to employment. The QSR industry employs 3.8 million people in the United States—that’s a massive industry responsible for the employment of a LOT of people from a variety of backgrounds. This is awesome, except for the fact that increasingly, QSRs are becoming less hospitable, particularly for the employees working there. This results in issues retaining employees and customers.

In this article, learn about the reasons QSRs are struggling today, what security issues they face on a daily basis, and three ways you can begin to improve security in quick food restaurants to attract more foot traffic and retain employees. 

Why are quick service restaurants struggling today?

From working conditions to employee treatment, low pay and competition, there are many reasons why quick service restaurants suffer. 


As mentioned above, a plethora of quick service restaurants can be found in nearly every city and town in America—even the tiny ones. Because the quick service industry is so successful—with a $382 billion estimated market value—and a part of nearly every American’s life, competition is intense. 

New quick service joints are constantly popping up, and it requires established chains to continually innovate to remain competitive and relevant to their market. If a restaurant can’t keep up with customer demand, trends, or a competing restaurant, it’s common for them to have to close their doors.

Employee Treatment

Quick service restaurant employees experience large amounts of mistreatment and disrespect. One Business Insider report stated that 62% of QSR workers have experienced emotional abuse and disrespect while on the job. This is enough to drive anyone away from a toxic, hostile workplace. Not only does employee mistreatment directly impact the employees, it impacts the businesses’ ability to thrive and be successful.  

Employee Retention

Because of the above mentioned issue of employee mistreatment, QSR employees are leaving the workplace in droves. With a 144% employee turnover rate, the QSR space is left floundering without enough workers and putting extra stress on the employees who decide to stay. With 62% of employees experiencing abusive situations at work, it’s no surprise that quick service has a 5.7% employee quitting rate

So what leads to this drastic employee turnover rate? What drama is quick service restaurants dealing with that puts their employees in danger and leaves them fed up with their workplace? Read on to find out.

What are security issues in restaurants?

Security issues are one of the biggest reasons quick service restaurants are struggling to retain employees and drive traffic to their locations. We’ve discovered some of the most common security issues that restaurants face today.


With the high value, volume, and number of employees QSRs have, they are an easy target for all types of crime. One study from QSRs in California found 77,200 accounts of violent or threatening incidents through an analysis of 911 calls over a four year period. For QSR employees, many of whom are being paid a minimum wage, it’s not worth it to put themselves in harm’s way. They deserve greater protection and safety in the workplace.

Parking Lot Incidents

Where many QSR locations lack a parking lot camera or any type of preventative security solution, parking lot incidents happen at an astonishing rate. This can include anything from trafficking, loitering, trespassing, vandalism, drug dealing, weapon trading, etc. Because quick service restaurants aren’t typically monitored heavily, these parking lots become the perfect grounds for suspicious and dangerous activity.

Violent Crime

QSRs are the 9th highest location for violent crimes. Some locations are seeing 15,716 violent crimes per year. Imagine going to work each day and not knowing whether you’d be a victim or a witness to a violent crime. This is a preventable situation and QSRs around the country are catching on to how much of a problem violent crime is at their franchises. The same study from a California analysis of 911 calls found that 1 in 8 incidents at QSRs involved assault. 

So how can these frightening and preventable incidents be mitigated in your QSR locations?

Two ways to improve security in quick food restaurants and attract business

While these statistics can be jarring and worrisome, there are solutions to the issues QSRs face today. 

Mobile, Wireless Security 

More and more, QSRs are implementing mobile, wireless security cameras for businesses. These mobile units can easily be moved around the property to help monitor problem areas surrounding a restaurant. Because security cameras like LVT’s don’t require external wiring, they are easily set up and running in minutes. 

LVT’s mobile units make security an accessible solution for QSR locations. After partnering with some franchises across the country, we saw a 75% decrease in threat incidents at the participating QSRs. 

One of the best ways to deter criminal activity at quick service restaurant locations is to monitor the area with parking lot cameras. When LVT placed their mobile units with high resolution cameras in the parking lots of selected restaurants, they saw the following results:

  • 56% decrease in all incidents
  • 75% decrease in threat incidents
  • 67% decrease in ambulance incidents

These numbers represent significant improvements in the quality of life experienced by the employees and the patrons at these restaurants. An added bonus from this LVT mobile unit trial is that one franchise even saw an 8% increase in revenue after the units were set up on their property.

Basically, when you’re implementing wireless security cameras for businesses, no one loses. Except the criminals. 

Employee Training

Training employees on how to deescalate a dangerous or suspicious situation is a smart way to decrease the frequency of incidents at quick service restaurants. Training employees on standard security protocols will empower them to know how to behave in an escalating situation. While it might not be the end-all solution, this education will help to decrease the amount of incidents at QSR locations.

LVT Boosts Quick Service Restaurant Traffic

In short, the restaurants who implemented LVT’s mobile, low data security units saw significant improvements in the quality of their employees' lives. They also saw their business attracting more customers.

If you’d like to try out an LVT Unit at your restaurant or franchise, contact LVT today for more information.

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