Expert’s Opinion: Security

The hospitality industry is one of the most vulnerable industries when it comes to theft — especially internal theft. Keeping your establishment(s) and your money safe is vital.

“Unfortunately, in this industry, there is a lot of internal theft whether it’s in the kitchen, people overserving or stealing drinks,” said Chris Mellon, President/Owner of Great Lakes Security (GLS). “Bars also tend to be a cash business so cameras are important.”

Another great reason to have a security system set up is because it can help lower your monthly bills in the long-run. Having a video recording of a break-in, fight or other various instances that could put your business at risk, can help you handle insurance issues and help your local law enforcement officers.

“It’s one of the few things that you can actually do to save on your insurance costs,” Mellon said. “You can save something like 10 percent on your insurance.”

All MLBA members also receive a 10 percent discount from GLS.

Mellon, who has worked in the security business for 13 years, began Great Lakes Security a couple of years ago.

“I worked for another company before I acquired their accounts and started GLS,” Mellon said. “We are located in Saginaw, but we do cover the entire state of Michigan.”

GLS installs residential and commercial security systems, camera systems, access control, intercoms, home automation and pretty much everything else that’s low-voltage.


Convenience for bar and restaurant owners is also important. Nobody wants to have to go search through a recorded tape on their VHS player after a theft or fight happened on the premises.

“Everything can be done nowadays from a smartphone, tablet or computer.”

“Everything can be done nowadays from a smartphone, tablet or computer,” Mellon said. “You can have up to 100 locations on a phone. Our camera systems can be HD quality just like you watch on TV.”

“You can have your house and your three bars on your phone and you can choose which one you’re looking at and choose which times they are armed and you can see who armed them,” Mellon added. “A lot of business owners are older and aren’t always going to be there at closing time.”

Prices for installing different systems varies greatly depending on the size and type of establishment.

“Some places just need two door cameras and a motion detector, where another establishment could spend a couple of thousand dollars on a system,” Mellon said. “It just depends on the size and the number of access points the building has.”

However, for around $40 per month, most businesses can have the ability to monitor their building via a smartphone device.

The old days of worrying about thieves breaking in by cutting a few wires is also a thing of the past.

“You don’t need a landline, everything is digital now,” Mellon said. “Now if someone were to cut your phone line, it’s tamper proof.”

“Everything is being monitored by two central stations. That way, if something happens to one station, the other is still covering it,” Mellon added. “We also have 24-hour technical support. You can also reach a technician to get an answer or a solution to figure out whatever issues might be going on with your system.”

If you aren’t getting a signal sent to your smartphone device, tablet or computer, you know there is a problem. At that point, your security system can be reset by GLS to see if the problem is technical or if something more sinister is occuring.

“If you’re interested in security systems, please feel free to contact us,” Mellon said. “We are more than welcome to come out and give MLBA members a free estimate and their first month of monitoring free.”

“We are also finishing up a new website (, so MLBA members can also learn more about us from there,” Mellon added.

GLS is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. They are located at 3045 Bay Plaza, Saginaw, MI 48604. You can also reach them by phone at (989) 401-5457 or toll-free at 1 (844) 340-5373.

“Security systems are a great addition to any bar or restaurant’s liability prevention,” Mellon said. “And they provide an unparalleled peace of mind.”