End Users '20 under 40' 2016—Zaki Boukili

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Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Zaki Boukili, 35

Supervisor, corporate security, Darden Restaurants

Orlando, Fla.

Zaki Boukili said that he loves the ability to help others through being a part of the security industry.

“I’ve always had the personality and the attitude to help others. I did my undergrad in criminal justice,” he said. “The main thing for me—that I love about the field—is the ability to help others.”

In his current role, Boukili is “tasked with managing the security of 1,500-plus restaurants and the corporate campus, which is a 46-acre property,” Boukili said, adding that he mainly uses “CCTV, alarm monitoring, international SOS for our travel program.”

Boukili is the supervisor for corporate security at Darden Restaurants, which owns seven brands, including Olive Garden, Longhorn Steakhouse, The Capital Grille, Bahama Breeze, Eddie V’s, Seasons 52 and Yard House.

The number of locations can be challenging when it comes to physical security, he said. “The biggest challenge is being almost [like] a consultant from a distance.” Boukili expects this to become easier over time, as technology advances.

Boukili described how the company matches security for each restaurant with the brand’s culture.

“Olive Garden is one our well known brands … their security needs—for instance—for a CCTV system is going to be different than one of our Yard House restaurants [which] is a newer concept,” he continued. “For Olive Garden, they might have a traditional CCTV system, where Yard House might have an enhanced CCTV system with remote capabilities, a lot more cameras, just because of the culture, the security needs, and the environment of the restaurant.”

Boukili said he likes how much the industry changes. “The days are never the same; there’s always something new—a new challenge, something to learn,” he said.