Restaurant Brands NZ gets camera-friendly

Milestone XProtect is used in KFC stores, Carl's Jr stores, Starbucks and Pizza Hut.

If you have eaten at a KFC, Pizza Hut, Carl's Jr or Starbucks café in New Zealand anytime in the last week (or the last few years), then you have already had an interaction with the company behind it all. Restaurant Brands New Zealand (RBD) is a corporate franchisee that operates all the outlets under the four brands. The company, which originally purchased 77 KFC stores and 43 Pizza Hut stores, was created in 1997. This number has grown significantly and in February this year, RBD reported 89 KFC, 57 Pizza Hut, 29 Starbucks and two Carl's Jr stores.

In 2011, RBD made a few strategic moves -- for one, it took on the Carl's Jr burger brand, of which the company expects to have 10 stores by January 2014, and for another, it started selling off a number of its smaller regional Pizza Hut stores to independent franchisees.

In the same year, the company also started rolling out a range of surveillance cameras in its stores.

"We started looking at cameras in 2011. We went through a process where we looked at a number of suppliers. We really liked the solution that was put up by Lexel -- which is one of the partners that we deal with quite a lot, which was using Axis cameras and a software product called Milestone XProtect," says Geoff Holton, commercial manager IT at RBD.

"In 2011, we ran that at five sites as a pilot and out of that we decided to roll it out to our KFC brands first. We have rolled out to all of KFC stores. We have got them in all of our Carl's Jr stores, and we have rolled them out selectively in our Starbucks and Pizza Hut stores. Altogether, we have got now around 1350 cameras operating across 115 sites. That would be a good two thirds of the business," says Holton.

"In the typical configuration, the average would be 12 cameras per store," says Holton. "We put cameras in the front of the store -- near the entrance and the customer side of the store. We put cameras in back of house -- around food preparation areas, back door, office and those areas. We put cameras over the registers. And we also put external cameras looking at the car park and generally through the driveway. That's the typical scenario."

"We use a product called Milestone XProtect that runs the cameras. We use it to access footage, and configure and control the cameras through that," explains the IT manager.

Read more about Milestone XProtect in RBD stores