Businesses examine security measures after rash of armed robberies

In light of a recent rash of robberies, the head of Small Business Hawaii advises all companies to take inventory, not of the goods they sell, but of the security measures they have, or don’t have, in order to protect their staff and customers.

At the L&L Restaurants, management is telling staff to make changes, and not just at the register. In order to confuse those who would want to make off with their cash, the staff has to be a few steps ahead to guard against crime.

One thing they are being told is to keep an eye out for suspicious activity.

“If they notice anyone kind of watching the register area more than usual and is not a regular customer,” said Bryan Andaya, chief operating officer and vice president of L&L Restaurants.

Andaya is also advising his people to vary their operations. “Definitely keep as little amount of cash on the premises, vary the deposit times and closing out of the register,” he said.

The owner of six McDonald’s restaurants in Hawaii echoes the call of all of business owners. “Hey, don’t be a hero. We don’t want anybody getting hurt,” said Victor Lim. “Material things are replaceable, but personal safety is the utmost importance.”

When asked to comment on the rash of robberies, Lim said, “Most of the time, they think it’s easy money. Usually you go through waves, like banks, convenience stores, fast food restaurants. It seems to be an easy target.”

“Hawaii is open, right, and we’re accessible, and small business particularly, so that’s why it’s been hit hard. Luckily, no one has been injured,” said Sam Slom, a state senator and president of Small Business Hawaii.

Slom said all companies should take stock of their security measures with camera systems at the top of the list of things to have on premises.

While Andaya has to look out for L&L, he is also going to look out for all restaurants as the former chair of the Hawaii Restaurant Association.

“I plan to do a blanket e-mail after this and see if there are best practices amongst each other,” said Andaya.

All businesses agree, while they will cooperate with investigators, they also hope the police will track down whoever is doing this and arrest them soon.

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