Foodservice Training Portal released findings today in a study conducted of 200 SMB restaurants from October 2016 through January 2017 in six U.S. states. The results were alarming as only 16 of 200 locations polled were using any form of active shooter training- with their full staff roster.
In an FBI study of active shooter events, the agency noted, "Even when law enforcement was present or able to respond within minutes, civilians often had to make life and death decisions, and, therefore, should be engaged in training and discussions on decisions they may face." Contrary to this advisory warning, the majority of restaurants polled- notably considered highly vulnerable soft targets by the FBI and Department of Homeland Security- provided no active shooter or workplace violence training on how to respond in the event of an incident.
The common reasons given by poll participants for not implementing training of this kind included cost, the belief that their business would not be affected by an active shooter incident and the investment of time involved. Those who had conducted active shooter training with their employees cited terrorism and proactive views on risk management as primary motivators for implementing their education programs.
In a survey of recent news events, it is noteworthy that foodservice and hospitality operations are frequent targets based on the inherent characteristics of the venues: large groups of people, unlocked doors and the absence of on premise security personnel, with no geographic area of the country showing immunity:
February 22, 2017: An intoxicated man opened fire in a packed bar, killing one person and injuring two at Austin's Bar and Grill in Olathe, Kansas.
April 14, 2017: A shooting at a Firebirds Wood Fired Grill restaurant in Tucson, Arizona left two men dead and one woman shot/injured in an apparent murder-suicide.
May 4, 2017: A customer at Zona Caliente, a North Texas sports bar fatally shot a man who had just killed the restaurant's manager.
As a front line and proactive step, businesses should be implementing vulnerability testing and active shooter prep and response training as opportunities to prepare staff in the event of an incident. Employees are taught what to look for, establish communication channels within the business to prevent workplace violence issues and institute potentially life-saving policies and protocols to act upon in the event the unforeseen occurs. As Lance Ewing, EVP for global risk management and client services at Cotton Holdings Inc. pointed out at the at the CLM & Business Insurance Retail, Restaurant, and Hospitality Conference, "You need to know what your plan A and plan B are . . . you need to practice this with your employees," he said. "Your best option is to run, hide, or fight . . . but the best plan is to be prepared." (Business Insurance, 2/23/17).
About Foodservice Training Portal
Foodservice Training Portal is a leader in the field of e-Learning and hospitality talent training solutions. The company is the provider of Active Shooter Prep Online™, interactive online course that educates hospitality and retail employees in the latest active shooter procedures and protocols. Using the guidelines/directives established by FEMA, the FBI and the DHS, the course establishes an understanding of active shooter events and provides detailed information on how to best prevent and prepare for such scenarios. For more information, visit www.foodservicetrainingportal.com/activeshooter