More than 34 million people in the U.S. face hunger problems annually. Yet restaurants regularly throw away tens of thousands of pounds of viable and edible food each year.
This is not always done out of negligence. Rather, it is done out of a need to adhere to safety compliance in terms of food expiration dates and usage tips. Food safety compliance is a vital aspect of the food industry because one small slip-up can mean major financial ruin for the owner of a restaurant.
After all, when quality control can be semi-outsourced, that leaves the owner or chef with much more time to be creative and grow the business without the threat of a health scare.
Read on to learn about food safety software and why it can be a huge asset to your business.
Food Safety Compliance Software and You
If you are reading this, there is a reasonable chance that you are a restaurant owner or head chef looking for ways to streamline your business or operation.
It stands to reason that you are aware of the stringent rules that are involved with food safety compliance and quality control. You are also someone who cares about food waste and inventory protection.
Luckily, there is a software solution that can help save you time and money while also alleviating a lot of the stress of keeping track of when a certain product was received and how long it is viable.
Several national chains rely on food safety compliance software to keep them above board and cover things that a dedicated employee would have to spend extra time completing.
What Can Software Do That A Paper Checklist Can't Do?
In short, it can give your managers and territory managers accountability that the things that matter most are getting done. It is important to keep consistent brand standards to help achieve a great customer experience. A paper checklist can't do that. There is no visibility into the store processes using a paper checklist. You have to physically be in that location to look at the paper checklists or food temperature logs. Also, you have no idea if the items were "pencil-whipped". Using the right digital solution helps verify that the checklists and tasks were actually completed on time and to your specific brand standards.
Now is the time to give up the dirty old binder that you keep the paper logs in and switch to a digital software solution. Embracing new technology helps with more than just the paper checklists. Being able to access your store processes, tasks and checklists from a mobile device or tablet is essential. Having the right tools will make running or managing your restaurant more efficient.
Top 5 Things to Remember
When choosing food safety compliance software, there are several standards to keep in mind. Here are the Top 5 things to remember (in no particular order) when you're shopping around for food safety software.
1. The Right Software Can Track Your Inventory
When using the right software for your restaurant operations, you can save an amazing amount on staff overhead and food waste. By tracking food items with a digital solution, you know what you always have on hand. Record what you have on hand to what is needed so you will not be surprised by running out of an important item. Track your daily food waste with your food waste goals and start saving money.
2. All Compliance Documents In One Place
The right food safety compliance software can facilitate the storage of vital health department records. If you've ever owned or managed a restaurant or if you've ever been present when the local health inspector shows up unannounced, you are familiar with the stomach-dropping sensation that hits management, ownership, and employees.
Purchasing and using the correct software for food safety and quality control can go a long way toward helping to alleviate those "shock and awe" moments. The best food safety software allows you to practice self audits and inspections so you are always prepared when the health inspector shows up.
For example, let's say that the health inspector tries to cite you for ingredients not being stored at a certain temperature. A great food safety compliance software company has a product that can not only show you the correct temperature at which to store a certain food but it can also be integrated to make sure that it is at that temperature even when you are away.
3. Human Resources Assistance
You may not think that Human Resource issues have much to do with food safety compliance, but you may be surprised.
Food safety compliance software that gets built to deliver high quality for restaurants is a "one-stop shop" for restaurant managers.
The right software can include employee/guest health assessments such as taking employee/guest temperatures or having them answer a health assessment questionnaire. Create digital checklists for sanitization or general safety information. Enabling your staff to submit photos or other important information helps managers and territory managers know what is going on at all times.
Yet another underrated aspect of food safety is proper onboarding procedures for new employees. If your new staff is trained from the start to keep an eye on food quality, it can go a very long way toward economic and ecological sustainability. When you have clear policies and procedures in place, your employees will know exactly what is expected of them and how to execute it.
Again, the proper software solution for the food industry is one that keeps everything under the same umbrella, so it stands to reason that each new employee is trained and onboarded right there on the same software in which they will be working and evaluated upon.
One of the most important aspects of any business or management venture is the ability and desire to follow up with any and all failed items such as food not at the proper temperature. There needs to be a digital record of what corrective action was taken preferably with a photo. Great food safety compliance software has alerts to help you with this aspect of the job so you never have to worry that a failed item was not corrected.
Embrace the Software
Technology is helping the restaurant industry operate more easily with all the new challenges in today's world. It is more important now than ever to be on top of restaurant operations and food safety with the right digital software solution. It is time to ditch the pen and paper and let a tablet or iPad help make running your restaurant stress-free.
If you have any other questions or if you're ready to start talking about how to get your business executing digital food safety and store processes contact us today!