In recent years, there has been a trend towards clean eating and an increase in food allergies and intolerance's in households across North America. 31% of people say they or someone in their household suffers from a food allergy or intolerance. As a result, consumers have higher expectations that restaurants offer menu items that cater to their dietary needs.
In order keep pace with consumer expectations and the competition, restaurants must enforce safe food handling processes to avoid potentially harmful consequences of serving customers contaminated or allergy-triggering food. With IntouchCheck mobile forms, restaurant owners and managers can more easily enforce and track staff compliance with food safety procedures.
In this blog, we’ll discuss three features of IntouchCheck mobile form software that will help ensure restaurant staff practice safe food handling across locations.
1. Example & Required Photos
One of the biggest concerns for restaurant owners and managers when it comes to food safety is cross contamination. To avoid cross-contamination of common food allergens such as fish and shellfish, create mobile checklists using IntouchCheck to monitor proper labeling and storage of these items.
IntouchCheck admins can upload example photos to specific checklist questions ahead of time to visually depict exactly what needs to be completed. Using the same photo at every location ensures consistency across locations and minimizes ongoing training for employees.
To leave no room for interpretation, admins can add instructions above each photo linked to the checklist item to explain exactly how the procedure should be done. Admins can also require a photo to be uploaded to each question that can be taken directly in the app to verify that the task has been executed properly.
Another way that restaurants can ensure safe food handling is by auditing their operations for proper cleaning and sanitation of equipment and cooking areas. This prevents bacteria from spreading or festering.
With IntouchCheck, if a task is not properly completed, checklist questions marked as "critical" will trigger an automatic “follow-up” sent to the appropriate stakeholder(s) at the restaurant as soon as the audit is submitted so that they can take action immediately. The person completing the audit can also manually flag non-critical checklist questions to create a follow-up when additional attention is required.
For example, if a checklist item set as critical fails around proper kitchen sanitation techniques, the restaurant manager or necessary stakeholder will be notified to fix the issue immediately. Admins can select several people to be notified via email when an action needs to be taken. The email includes a link directly to the follow-up in the reporting platform.
This reduces pressure on restaurant owners, as they can feel confident important items that are not up to standard will be followed up on and corrected before it negatively impacts customers.
3. Question Tags
Having an organized kitchen and workflow is imperative to safe food handling, especially during hectic lunch or dinner rushes when the chance of contamination or mixing up a food order is much greater.
IntouchCheck “tags” enable admins to categorize groups of questions to see how their locations are performing in specific areas.
For example, admin can tag specific questions to categories that relate to food safety processes, such as “food storage” or to location-specific characteristics such as “kitchen prep area." These tags allow restaurant owners to view how their locations are performing within the reporting platform.
Safe food handling is a very important aspect of keeping customers safe and maintaining a reputable business. With IntouchCheck example photos, follow-ups, and question tags, restaurateurs can remotely monitor their operations with ease and ensure that food safety procedures are being followed consistently at every location.
For restaurant operators who do not have formal processes in place and are looking to start from the ground up, IntouchCheck is a great place to start. Building out processes and procedures is simple and can then be communicated to staff, who can communicate it with customers, with ease. Employees will feel knowledgeable, and customers will feel confident and safe about dining at your locations.