Figuring out how to minimize operating costs is an ongoing concern for food service and restaurant owners around the globe. Reducing these kinds of expenses can mean the difference between success and failure in a fiercely competitive industry.
Even so, many restaurant owners who seek ways to cut costs can overlook the various financial benefits that can be gained from a high-quality food safety management system (FSMS).
It’s customary to think of an FSMS as a necessary expense that restaurants and foodservice companies simply have to bear as part of the cost of doing business. In actuality, research has shown that improvements in food safety can significantly boost profits. And in recent years, digital technology has substantially bolstered the effectiveness of food safety management systems and expanded their capacity to streamline business processes.
Financial benefits associated with digital food safety management systems include:
Savings in labor and time
– By allowing for automated logging of data—such as freezer temperatures—it’s possible to dispense with relatively time-consuming paper-and-pen recording practices and allow businesses to devote more time to other tasks. It’s common for a digital FSMS to substantially reduce the time needed for these procedures. A digital FSMS can also provide on-the-spot guidance for corrective actions, so employees don’t have to search for that information.
Reduction of food waste
– On average, restaurants have to discard 4%-10%1 of their food before it can reach customers. That represents a huge waste of resources, and it is largely caused by equipment failure, such as malfunctioning refrigeration units. An automated FSMS can continuously monitor food-storage equipment and send an alert whenever a power failure or similar problem occurs. This makes it possible to save food before spoilage can set in.
Reduction in other types of waste
– In a typical restaurant, the problem of waste extends well beyond just spoiled food. These businesses also typically spend a significant amount of money filling out and storing paper documents relating to food monitoring. Other frequently encountered problems include excessive energy consumption—restaurants expend 2.5 times more energy per square foot than other types of commercial buildings2—and overspending on cleaning products. A digital FSMS can track these common money pits and prevent waste.
Early detection of maintenance issues
– As previously noted, sudden equipment failure leads to an enormous amount of waste in the restaurant industry. The use of a digital FSMS allows managers to collect data that can expose equipment wear and tear in the early stages. For instance, by monitoring the average daily temperature of a refrigeration unit, it’s possible to detect a gradual loss of functionality before it can lead to serious trouble. This is another task that is best left to technology. As noted food safety expert Dr. Hal King has argued, “Root cause analysis becomes difficult or impossible without enough data and/or when using a paper-based checklist.”
Reduced insurance premiums
– Enhanced food safety practices, including proper time-stamped documentation of these procedures as provided by a digital FSMS, can lower the risk of lawsuits resulting from improperly stored food. As a result, a restaurant can frequently qualify for lower insurance premiums as well.
An FSMS certainly plays an important role in safeguarding your restaurant’s food supply—but it can also provide a number of additional benefits that impact your bottom line. These benefits are available only from a digitally based data management system that has been engineered to serve the unique operational needs of this industry. Traditional paper-based management systems simply can no longer compete with the full range of features in a digital FSMS.
Through a patented combination of wireless temperature sensors, mobile technologies, and easy-to-use tools built for the modern commercial kitchen, ComplianceMate gives its users total control over workflows, food safety, and compliance in all types of foodservice establishments. Customers can make evidence-based decisions about kitchen processes and staff training.
Users see a rapid ROI from significant labor and food waste savings, as well as improved audit scores.