How a Kitchen Checklist Can Save Your Restaurant

By January 12, 2021 Blog
woman using digital checklist

2020 has been a year of scrambling to survive for many businesses in the service industry. For many restaurants it’s meant expanding some service lines and minimizing others, all the while keeping a laser focus on compliance to public health measures.

And yet we’re here claiming that a simple restaurant kitchen checklist can save your business during these difficult times?

Yes, absolutely – if it’s a digital, mobile solution. Here are just some of the ways it works.

Taking Control

Curbside and delivery services, ghost kitchens – whatever options your business has expanded into this year, they all must establish the same controls in every location. And it’s not just about the quality of your food. It’s also about ensuring your patrons feel safe and also enjoy a consistent experience with your brand no matter which location they visit. These three considerations – quality, safety and consistency – will go a long way toward ensuring your business survives through 2021.

Achieving this consistency and control is part training and part execution – and all completely supported by a digital mobile checklist solution like MeazureUp.

The first step is to ensure all employees understand the importance of quality control, public safety and brand consistency; the next step is to ensure they understand their role within these areas. Look for a tool that can house, standardize and personalize your employee training, then document the progress of each employee. Their learning plan should include only the online training modules that support their job responsibilities, and management should be able to view the status of their training at any time.

Once training is complete, employees know how to properly use all your restaurant checklists, as well as why these checklists are so crucial to the success of your business (and the continuation of their jobs). They can easily follow an established schedule to fill out any checklist from their own mobile devices, completing them with just a few swipes and taps. If the record would be enhanced by uploading photos or video, they can do it as quickly as taking a selfie. Once checklist entries are complete, they are automatically time-stamped, signed, geolocated, and instantly uploaded to your organizational dashboard. Pencil whipping and similar falsifications are no longer possible.

Nailing Compliance

There’s another important side to well-documented checklists. No matter how you’ve situated your business in 2020, all the previously existing rules for public health and safety still apply – and, as we’re all aware, the compliance issues only expanded throughout the pandemic.

But how do you ensure that every employee is behaving in a compliant manner through every shift at every location without you actually being there or requiring your managers to micromanage?

As referenced above, a digital restaurant checklist solution offers great advantages over the paper checklists in use around the industry. As they are completed, all digital checklists immediately become part of your business’ legal records, searchable and available at a moment’s notice; there’s no digging through binders or folders of endless paper documents to show compliance. You and your management team have a real-time window into the compliance status of every shift in every location.

Another real benefit is that when stuff happens – as it often does – it’s not a matter of days or weeks until someone becomes aware of the issue, then more days pass before remedial action can be taken. As soon as the results of a digital checklist are noted to be below standard in any way, action plans can be put in place to address the deficiency. These plans can be created in just a few seconds, assigned to key employees for completion, and deadlines established with reminders. These plans are also available in the dashboard, so anyone can see the plan’s status at any time.

In short, even if there are any questions about your business’ compliance with regulatory standards and recommendations, these issues can be discovered and addressed within minutes instead of days or weeks. Your patrons never have any reason to doubt the safety and compliance of your locations.

The Path to Easy Site Visits

The final component of compliance is to prove that your locations are indeed compliant. This is accomplished through regular, standardized audits that also become part of your business’ legal records.

If your employees have been killing it on the daily checklists for compliance and control, an audit shouldn’t worry anyone (and when was the last time you were able to feel that way?). The focus instead moves to making the audit process both standardized throughout your organization and as efficient as possible so your auditors can focus their time on their other important job duties.

MeazureUp houses your customizable audit templates; when on site, your auditors can make short work of pulling an audit up on their mobile device, filling it out with a few taps, adding visuals as is helpful, and creating any necessary action plans while they’re still on site. When they submit the audit, it’s readily available for reference throughout your organization. Your auditors are then free to redirect all the time they would have spent taking notes, transcribing them and submitting them to the office; equally helpful, the potential for human error is greatly reduced.

The benefits of digital audits don’t end there, however. Digital restaurant audits offer insightful data analytics that report on the results throughout the organization, making it easy to compare findings across locations or at one location over time. This makes it easy to spot trends, target areas for improvement, even identify previously unrecognized opportunities.

Saving Your Restaurant

In a time when many restaurants are striving to do more with less, MeazureUp can make tangible improvements in your employee training, safety and compliance procedures, and business operations. Taken as a whole, these updates could be the difference that keeps your restaurant running, even thriving, through these challenging times. To learn more about how MeazureUp can benefit your operations starting today, contact us.