July 12, 2017 / By zip haccp / In Hubworks / Comments
Get a Handle on Food Quality Control with Food Safety Software
Learn how food safety software can help your restaurant maintain quality control
Running a restaurant is rewarding but often difficult. With the rapidly changing food safety laws, it can be tough to stay on top. However, with modern food safety software, you can make your job a lot easier and keep your stellar reputation.
What is food safety software?
Thanks to mobile devices and a huge leap in software and app development, there truly is an app for almost everything. Currently, there are some apps available for food service businesses. While they all offer some interesting and time-saving options, they are not all created equally. Some are more focused on the business end and the money, while some focus solely on food safety or food quality control. Both types are great, but having one that has a broader focus that encompasses the entire restaurant business is a much better option. When you can combine food safety (such as temperature readings, food handling procedure checklists, and logs) with the business side (such as employee records, performance reports, and training materials), you’ve got a powerful tool to truly help your restaurant stay in compliance with food safety regulations.
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But what can food safety software really do? As it turns out, a lot! Integrated temperature monitoring and logs allow you to proactively address food safety issues, employee performance, and keep tabs on business operations. And when it’s all done in real-time, it means no lags and no time for problems to stack up and multiply. Try to do all that with paper files and old school logbooks, and you’ll soon be groaning in frustration.
How can software help with food quality control?
It all sounds too good to be true, we know, but modern technology has truly helped the food service business stay in compliance with all the new regulations. With the right food safety software, making changes to your business practices and food quality control procedures is so much easier than it used to be. Update your files on your mobile phone or laptop, and in real-time, all connected devices are also updated. There’s no more scheduling staff meetings or talking to each employee individually. Everyone gets the updated information at the same time, and changes can be made on the fly. But how does that help food quality control?
For our example, let’s say that current regulations state all chicken must be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s been this way for years, and all your staff are aware of this and automatically know this to be true. But what happens if the FDA suddenly decides the internal temperature should be changed to 170 degrees? Sure, it’s only five degrees difference, but the law is the law, and if you don’t let your staff know immediately, you could quickly be out of compliance and end up fined or shut down. If you have a staff of one hundred, calling them each individually is going to take time, and staff meetings take days and sometimes weeks to schedule. If you only post an update in the breakroom or above the stoves, you can’t be certain everyone will read it.
Enter your new food safety software. With a few taps, you can send that important notice to every staff member, whether they’re currently on-site or not. Add it to the training materials, update the food safety checklist, and send it as an announcement, and your job is done. It’s fast, simple, and efficient. With the integrated temperature logs, you can see in real-time if your staff is following the new law because you’ll see every temperature of every piece of chicken they make. Since it’s all happening in real-time, you can take corrective action on the spot, preventing any incidents of customers getting underdone chicken, and saving your restaurant’s reputation in the process. Just like that, you’re in compliance with food regulations and your staff know you’ll always have their backs.
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That’s just one example of how the right app can help improve food quality control in your restaurant. There’s so much more that food safety software can do, too.
Time-saving - As we showed in our example above, being able to send out updates to every employee all at once is a valuable time-saver. Similarly, when you can view your food quality control checklists and temperature checks in real-time, you won’t need to spend hours at the end of each day making sure everything was done right. If a mistake is made, you will know it right away, and you can take appropriate corrective action to be sure the problem doesn’t fester or build.
Money-saving - Mistakes can be costly, and mistakes left for too long can quickly cost a lot more. When you’re able to see real-time updates and checklists, and you have the power to automatically compile reports, you can immediately make changes and handle issues as they arise. Food quality control software also saves you money by reducing paper waste, recycling costs, and storage fees. Instead of spending money on logbooks and files that you’ll have to store or eventually shred and send to landfills, all your reports can stay digital, and you can choose to print only the most important ones, anytime you like.
Reduce waste - As mentioned, when you move to a fully digital experience by using food safety software, you are helping the environment as well as your bottom line. Less paper means less impact on the environment and less money you have to shell out for more office supplies. Only print what you need, and the rest stays digital and easily accessible on any device. Put that saved money toward a new advertising campaign or a fun party for your staff to help boost morale and foster a sense of community.
Welcome to the future: Now you have more time to enjoy it! We’ve covered a lot here, but there’s still more. We’ve gone into more detail here if you’d like to take a closer look. Food safety software is the future of food quality control, and it will only get better. Now is a great time to get on board—you reap the benefits and can even help shape the future of food safety software by giving your feedback to developers.
The bottom line though is that with all your time and money saved, you will finally have time to sit back and relax, especially when you know your software is always hard at work, keeping tabs on your business, even when you’re not on-site yourself. When your staff has the tools they need to succeed, they are more confident and will work smarter. It all adds up to savings, confidence, and better control over the safety of your food and your brand.