We bank online. We track our workouts online. We do our accounting online. But, most restaurant owners still track food safety and food waste with paper. Stacks of paper temp logs that are half completed and endless spreadsheets take hours to compile into a monthly food safety or food waste report.
It isn’t a matter of “if” restaurant owners will begin to use restaurant digital platforms for food safety and food waste reporting, but more a matter of “when.” And early adopters will have a head start when online food safety reporting is required by regulators.
Selecting the Right Restaurant Digital Platform
What do you, a restaurant owner, look for when choosing a digital platform?
Here are some important points to consider:
- Does the platform have simple set up?
- Does the platform allow for management of multiple locations from one central dashboard?
- Does the platform have features to hold employees accountable?
- Does the platform have alerts?
- Does the platform have robust, customizable reporting?
- Did a restaurant owner build the platform?
Simple Set Up
Change is difficult. Going digital can be an adjustment. Partner with a platform that will handle set up and streamline your transition from paper to digital temp logs and food waste logs. Ask questions about the set up process and understand whether there is a set up fee or if set up is free.
Manage multiple locations with a centralized dashboard that provides a live snapshot of each stores’ logging and reporting. There is no need to call stores for updates or wait for week end reports. With the right digital platform, you will know when an issue at any location arises within minutes with a centralized dashboard.
One of the most common complaints from restaurant owners who use paper food safety logs is that they never really know if the logs are being pencil whipped or not. Transitioning to a digital platform also means adding accountability tools to ensure compliance. Random photos, location tracking, and unique user logins are just a few of the ways that digital platforms improve employee accountability when it comes to food temp logging.
One minute you are dead and the next, you are in the weeds. This is how restaurant life works and it can be easy to miss a food temp log during a rush. High quality digital platforms deliver customizable text alerts when it is time to take temp logs. No more missed logs means food safety compliance, which is a win for everyone.
Is your restaurant currently faxing week and month end reporting to you so that you can then create one monthly report for all of your locations? If so, there is a much better way. Unless you can easily print reports for the week, month, year or any duration with one click, the platform likely will not accomplish everything you need. Platforms that will calculate the dollar value of food waste and allow you to set goals to reduce cost benefit restaurant owners the most.
Restaurant Centric Platform
As a restaurant owner, you know that this business is different from any other. Generic digital platforms that were created to accommodate any business just won’t work well for restaurants. When selecting a digital platform, make sure that it was built by restaurant owners who understand the unique needs of the business.
Store wide adoption is necessary for digital platforms to succeed. Starting simple with a couple of logs will allow employees to become comfortable with new systems. There is no doubt that the restaurant industry will transition from paper to digital and staying ahead of the curve will position your restaurant at an advantage.
Paperless recording is a business trend with staying power for companies large and small. Food safety is arguably the most important mission for any restaurant and automated record keeping allows for safer food.