There is nothing like working on the front lines to get you up close and personal with a problem that needs to be fixed. No one likes to deal with the same problems every day, so you’ve likely come up with a solution or two that you’d like to implement to improve your restaurant operations.
Two of the main operational challenges within most restaurants are consistency and accountability. You’ve already developed processes and done all the troubleshooting to help your teams run your restaurant perfectly. The issue is training your staff to execute those solutions in every instance and to hold them accountable if their actions are less than acceptable. And if you’ve done your homework, you know the quickest and most effective route to developing consistency and establishing accountability throughout your staff is a digital, mobile checklist app.
But how do you convince your upline decision-makers that the time, effort and cost of this app is worth it? You show them how your solution benefits them. Here’s what we mean.
Paper Is Holding You Back
You likely have checklists and written procedures to handle regulatory compliance, shift preparation, public health, food safety, employee training, and other aspects of operations. But if these checklists and procedures are still being maintained on paper, your management and operations teams – as well as your employees — are at a serious disadvantage. Paper-based training and compliance systems are completely obsolete, and here’s why:
- Paper is inherently inaccurate. It has no built-in system to stop people from filling out your important forms incompletely, or at some time other than specified, or by someone other than is assigned. There’s no transparency or accountability.
- Paper is static. It can’t be immediately collated to show managers what’s going on throughout your operational system in real time, and it can’t automatically send them notifications if things aren’t up to par.
- Paper’s data is essentially useless. It can’t be viewed by your management and operations teams at a moment’s notice whenever they need it. It’s not cheap or easy to put into a system where it can generate reports upon which decisions can be based; even someone goes to all the effort to try, by the time the reports are all collated for every restaurant in the organization, half the data is completely out of date – although no one knows which half. Thus the reporting accomplishes almost nothing.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. You’re right – a digital, mobile checklist and auditing app will solve all these problems.
Using paper means your organization is paying a lot of money to remain obsolete: the cost of paper and all the other necessary office supplies, printing, copying, filing, transcribing – it all adds significantly to administrative costs, not to mention the staff time involved to do all the processing and filing. With a digital solution, all those expenses go away and staff members all get their time back.
As the saying goes, “What gets measured gets improved.” If the goal is to improve consistency and accountability around your restaurant processes and checklists, then there must be a way for management to track those checklists and processes in real time, be notified of deficiencies, and take remedial action while it’s still relevant. While paper processes don’t support this kind of oversight above store level, digital checklist solutions also:
- Allow checklists and procedures to be documented by multiple employees throughout every shift, which spreads responsibility and saves time.
- Provide real-time visibility into every action taken at every restaurant, complete with automatically tracked geolocation, time stamps and employee names. These become your organization’s official records.
- Allow documentation to easily include dictation, photos and even videos to really capture a situation or show that results are up to standard.
- Store action plan templates, so managers can quickly build and assign action plans from any location; these digital plans also include deadlines, automatic reminders, and notifications upon completion.
Data-Driven Decision Making
Here’s another area where digital checklist and audit apps really shine. Once all the organization’s most up-to-date data is saved into the cloud solution and available to everyone, built-in data analysis and reporting tools make it easy to check overall compliance and see the latest trends. This could mean being able to quickly right a struggling store, spot best practices and route them to other locations, take advantage of previously unrecognized opportunities, and much more.
Great Customer Experiences
In a time when an individual restaurant’s customer experience can make or break your entire brand, the goal must be to create and maintain a consistently great customer experience across every location. Insights developed through a digital checklist app can help management understand inconsistencies at any store and resolve them quickly. This ability to respond to deficiencies practically in real time means your brand’s customer experience doesn’t have the chance to fall below the high level you expect.
Making Management Aware of MeazureUp
Finally, it may be worth it to encourage your area manager to envision what all this could really mean to day-to-day operations:
- If every team effortlessly followed every procedure and filled out every checklist.
- If spot checks showed all the food had been temped and tasted and everything was exactly right.
- If no one spent time on or worried about health inspections or external audits because everything’s up to standard and all the proof is in the app just waiting to be produced.
- If all your employee training was taking place online in a format that was customizable for each position.
- If changes to any procedure, checklist or training module could be made once and then immediately pushed out to all employees so that everyone is kept on the same page at all times.
- If more customers were turning into repeat diners because they were delighting in their experiences through every shift.
MeazureUp is a digital, mobile app that does everything we’ve described here, and more. And there’s one more benefit for management we should note: We offer a free trial, and pricing starts at only $20 a month. That’s roughly the same cost as one box of copy paper. If you’d like us to help make the case to your manager, schedule some time to talk to us.