Food safety has always been a challenge in the restaurant business, and more so in the COVID era. Luckily, various programs and systems are available to support restaurants in keeping food safety standards even during challenging times.
Here are three main challenges restaurants can expect to face during the pandemic.
1. Inconsistent Performance
Pandemic has raised the turnover in many restaurants, either by layoff or employee burnout. This led to inconsistent performance when it comes to applying food safety standards in the kitchens. New employees may not have experience in the kitchen, or they do not have food handler certificates and similar qualifications.
2. Cognitive Overload on Employees
Employees who stay may experience cognitive overload from additional demands imposed on them regarding service. Aside from facing all types of customers, employees must learn a handful of new rules and procedures. They must also make extra efforts in applying strict food safety standards.
All these extra tasks, heightened by pandemic anxiety, can cause stress and cognitive overload. They can cause employees to skip important parts in food safety standard procedures.
3. Disruption in Important Supply Chain
Restaurants must stock up important products and tools to apply food safety standards on a daily basis. However, a pandemic may disrupt the supply chain process, especially with the rising demand. This can reduce profits and increase food safety risks, especially if your daily operation is compromised.
4. Poor Maintenance and Cleaning
Kitchen maintenance and cleaning are important to comply with food safety and health standards. However, stress, high turnaround, cognitive overload, and disruption in regular activities and supply chain can reduce the quality of maintenance.
After identifying challenges, restaurant owners can devise solutions to maintain health and safety standards during the pandemic. Digital technology can help in performing tasks that support the efforts to maintain the standard. Here are several solutions restaurant owners can take:
- Create Practical Training Programs
A high turnover means every new employee must learn fast to adapt to the standard. Restaurant owners can solve this problem by creating a digital database consisting of practical training programs, which consist of several categories and task lists.
- Create Digital Checklist with Reminder
Use digital checklist software to keep track of important tasks and supplies. A checklist is great to prevent the effect of burnout and remind everyone to follow important procedures. The digital checklist can also be used to task the numbers of items in inventory and give a warning if certain items are low in numbers.
- Track Purchasing and Supplier List
Digital checklist software can also be used to track all the purchases a restaurant made, including when shopping for regular cleaning and maintenance supplies. Use the program to maintain the numbers of supplies and better communicate with suppliers.
Keeping high food safety standards is important during COVID times. Make sure to cooperate with employees and use supporting digital tools like Nimbly to keep the restaurant’s standard high.