As this post is being written in early 2021, we have enough time and experience behind us to note some basic facts about how the COVID-19 pandemic has forever altered the restaurant business.
In a recent follow-up to its 2019 food industry pulse survey, Panasonic found that:
- 71% of respondents cited digital transformation as very important to business agility, more than any other factor.
- Respondents expect many of the customer behavior shifts propelled by the pandemic to last for at least the next 12 months or longer.
In addition, the report noted that “agility has become essential to business success, and digital technology adoption the major enabler. The urgency to advance health and safety and consumer convenience is fast-tracking innovation to organizational business models in the industry.”
In the words of New Food magazine, “we’re only just on the cusp of the [food industry’s] ‘Technology Age.’” And the time for any technological transformation within your restaurant operations is now. Forbes recently reported the following data from the National Restaurant Association’s 2021 State of the Restaurant Industry report:
- 83% of adults say they are not eating on the premises at restaurants as often as they would like – up from 45% pre-pandemic.
- Baby boomers especially miss eating out, with 90% reporting they would like to dine at restaurants more frequently.
When the time comes for this pent-up demand to be released, your restaurant needs to be ready. Here’s what to look for when choosing a checklist app for your restaurants.
As the pandemic set in, our society prioritized public health and safety. Demonstrating that your restaurant is upholding the latest safety standards is critically important to building and maintaining a high level of trust not only with customers, but with your employees. These concerns are driving the “Technology Age” New Food mentioned, and whatever checklist app you select must make it seamlessly easy for your operations to meet this priority.
MeazureUp is designed to do exactly that by getting all your restaurant kitchen checklists off of paper and into a cloud-based, mobile format. All forms and all details relating to every checklist are saved together and easily accessible by anyone in your organization with a mobile device and the app. Filling out any checklist is a matter of a few swipes and clicks – it’s a quick and easy way for any employee to experience the little thrill of checking items off a to-do list and experiencing a level of accomplishment. The second any action is taken, it is automatically stamped with the time, location and employee name, which eliminates the possibility of pencil whipping, builds in accountability for each employee, and ensures the right actions are taken on time, every time.
MeazureUp also eliminates the guesswork around all checklists by making their status easily available in an organizational dashboard; anyone who needs to check up on a checklist can do so in real time. When remedial action plans are needed, MeazureUp’s digital format makes the plans not only easy to create and assign, but quick to complete, including task reminders and notifications when the plan is completed.
Further, when standards change – as they do – your checklist app needs to make it quick and easy to roll out the updates to every user. MeazureUp allows you to change the template once and immediately send the information throughout your network in real time. Procedural updates don’t have to wait days or weeks to fully take effect; they can even happen between shifts, as notifications inform employees that updates are in place.
After all, if you can’t ensure that your food preparation and delivery is safe, the least of your operational worries will be traffic and sales.
No one could have predicted 2020 – and whatever causes the next seismic shift in the restaurant industry, your business must be poised to meet its challenges with agility. That’s the second reason for the rise of the restaurant industry’s Technology Age.
The best checklist for your restaurant operations should be easy to deploy, easy for everyone in your organization to use, and easy to update. And it must provide the flexible tools your business needs to evolve and respond to the marketplace, even on a daily basis.
For instance, MeazureUp has always included the ability to design, implement, and track your employee training online, even customizing your modules and requirements to reflect the skills most necessary for every position. However, when the restaurant business encountered new challenges in early 2020, MeazureUp was quick to provide templates for updated sanitation checklists, newly expanding delivery services, and more. Restaurants that needed to quickly educate employees on the latest COVID-19 requirements and procedures could easily upload and distribute new training modules while also tracking employee completion status and dates. These completed entries become part of your business’ official and legal records, quick and easy to produce as needed to meet audit requirements.
MeazureUp also allows your employees to upload photos and videos that instantly expand your organizational documentation capabilities. For instance, verifying line checks can be done in seconds. No one expends time and effort trying to explain how a piece of equipment is malfunctioning; they just upload a video. These capabilities will only become more important as the restaurant industry works to reconcile on-site vs. remote audits during the pandemic.
MeazureUp provides even more agility through its built-in data analysis tools; its reports pinpoint areas where operational goals are not being met as they also uncover previously unnoticed opportunities. Data can be parsed by individual locations or across your organization, establishing which locations and even shifts need some extra help, which locations have developed best practices that could be shared throughout the network, etc.
Safety and Flexibility For Growth
It seems clear that the restaurant industry will rebound, although no one is quite sure of the time frame. When that time comes, your operations must be ready to expand and adapt; until that time comes, you must run your business with efficiency and with care for your employees. The best checklist app for your restaurant will save time for everyone, from your newest employee through the upper tier of management, while also ensuring safety, increasing accountability, and offering increased flexibility. To learn more about how MeazureUp can help your restaurant adapt and thrive, test out our restaurant checklist app for free.