Peace of Mind in the restaurant biz

Sunday, October 1, 2006

NEW YORK--In August, Peace of Mind Technologies announced contracts to install surveillance systems, intrusion alarms and access control in three New York City restaurants: Frying Pan, Tonic East and Cafe Martignetti. They join a growing list of clients in the hospitality industry for Peace of Mind, including everything from McDonald's and pizza joints to the Intercontinental.
"We've been specializing in [the hospitality vertical] for a few years," said POM founder and president Jon Ecker. "The security is one thing, but a big push in terms of my business model is selling these systems as management tools, allowing them to be much more productive as they decrease shrinkage and increase employee efficiency."
As the New York market reseller for Micros Retail Systems, POM is able to integrate surveillance systems with point-of-sale software, using TCP/IP protocol to get video capture of no sales, voids, or events triggered by text insertions. The company also installs access control systems to control the facility, offices inside restaurants, liquor cabinets, coolers and walk-ins and dry storage.
Because of his background with the San Francisco-based Vitallink, which provided remote management solutions to the hospitality business, "as I got involved in the security end, I found that security and management really work together." The company now trains end users with a multi-hour session on management complements after going through the security applications.
POM also successfully applied these principles to the real estate and retail markets, allowing, for example, agents to keep track of traffic through properties or store owners at New York's Brooks Brothers and Diesel locations to manage inventory and customer service.
Currently serving the corridor from Washington, D.C. to Boston, Ecker expects to open new branch offices in San Francisco, Chicago and Miami by early 2007. With 20 employees, he said he installs about 85 percent of his systems with in-house staff, sub-contracting the rest.
The real estate market, he said, is pushing his company in yet another direction. "We're getting to be a low-voltage integrator with a security flair," Ecker said. "They want us to do all the telecom wiring as well as the access control, the general CCTV, the intercoms." He pointed to a recently landed contract on Park Avenue in New York City with a developer putting up a 15-story building, selling each floor as an apartment for $15 million--"We're doing everything."