Restaurant safety is any restaurateur’s top priority, especially now that world just faced a global pandemic. But this does not only involve your customers; it should also include your employees.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has prepared proper health protocols and guidelines for restaurants to implement to observe a perfectly safe environment.
Among these is that restaurants should use a digital menu instead of printed ones to avoid the possible spread of microbes through touch.
And the perfect solution for this is the QR code menu: A software that allows customers to view items, order, and pay through their smartphones.
Aside from the added hygiene and safety, this technology streamlines restaurant operations by digitalizing processes and transactions.
In this blog, we will explore the benefits of establishing safety within restaurants and how an innovative digital menu can assist in providing customers and staff with a secure dining and working experience.
World Day for Safety and Health at Work: How does it apply to restaurant safety?
In 2003, the International Labour Organization (ILO) began observing the World Day for Safety and Health at Work to prevent workplace accidents and diseases.
It is part of the ILO’s Global Strategy on Occupational Safety and Health, emphasizing the importance of advocacy and raising awareness about workplace safety.
Participating in this global movement demonstrates your commitment to providing employees with a safe and healthy work environment.
For restaurant owners, World Day for Safety and Health at Work is an important reminder that occupational safety and health should always be top priorities.
Here are some of the ways you can apply the principles of this global initiative in your restaurant:
1. Invest in proper training
Proper training is the first step to ensuring your employees’ health and safety while at work.,
This includes training on food safety standards, handling hazardous materials, and using equipment safely.
Ensure your employees understand the risks associated with their job. Possible restaurant staff risks include burns, slipping, and exposure to sharp objects like knives.
Proper training will teach them the correct work procedures and standards to protect them from these potential accidents. It will also educate them on what to do in case these happen.
2. Create a culture of safety
What is safety in a restaurant? It means implementing proper health and safety protocols not only for your customers but for your employees as well.
The culture of safety should begin with your staff. Once you guarantee they’re safe in your workplace, they can adequately protect your diners, too.
Encourage your employees to report any safety concerns or hazards and ensure they are addressed promptly.
You can also hold regular meetings on workplace safety to keep track of the state of your restaurant’s safety.
3. Conduct regular equipment inspections and maintenance
Equipment failure is a common cause of workplace accidents in restaurants.
You must inspect restaurant equipment to check for potential problems and fix them immediately. Maintenance is also a must to keep them in tip-top shape.
Ensure all equipment is in good working order and that any repairs are made promptly before you start your operations.
4. Ensure proper handling and storage of food
Picture this: A diner eating at your restaurant finds a strand of hair in their meal. This mistake can ruin your establishment’s reputation or lead to closure.
Food safety is a top priority in the restaurant industry. Aside from ensuring your food tastes good, you must also guarantee they’re prepared safely and hygienically.
Ensure your employees are trained on proper food handling and storage procedures. You must provide the necessary equipment, including gloves, hairnets, and aprons.
And to promote cleanliness, you must emphasize proper handwashing practices and CLAYGO or the clean-as-you-go policy, and other restaurant food safety regulations.
5. Proper waste disposal
This is one of the simplest and most effective ways to make your restaurant more sustainable.
Make sure to follow local regulations in waste management and disposal so you won’t be doing any harm to the environment. You can also compost food waste as fertilizers for the community garden or local farms.
By implementing a comprehensive waste management plan, you can reduce the risk of contamination and ensure that your customers are always safe.
Restaurant kitchen safety tips in the proper handling and storage of food
Ensure food safety by following the “Four Steps to Food Safety” recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Clean, Separate, Cook, and Chill.
We will briefly discuss each of these steps and provide you with safety tips that will help you protect your customers from foodborne diseases.
Step 1: Clean
Keeping your restaurant kitchen clean is the first step to ensuring food safety.
Make sure to clean all the surfaces, utensils, and equipment that come into contact with food regularly.
Use warm water and soap to clean surfaces, and sanitize all equipment that may come into contact with food.
Moreover, it’s important to regularly wash your hands and ensure that all the employees in the kitchen do the same.
This will help prevent cross-contamination from employees handling food with dirty hands.
Step 2: Separate
When storing food, place them on separate shelves and surfaces in your refrigerator. You must have one area for meat and another for vegetables. Eggs must be kept safe so they don’t break.
In food preparation, use different cutting boards and utensils for different types of food, especially raw meat, poultry, and seafood.
This way, you can prevent the spread of harmful bacteria from one type of food to another.
Step 3: Cook
Cooking food to the proper temperature is a restaurant kitchen safety tip that needs precision. Too high and the food may be burnt to a crisp; too low and it may be undercooked.
This method kills any harmful bacteria that may be present in the food, making it safe for human consumption.
Use a food thermometer to determine the correct temperature for various food types. Also, remember that each kind of meat has different temperature requirements.
Step 4: Chill
Food left at room temperature for too long can provide a perfect breeding ground for harmful bacteria, so storing food at low temperatures is necessary.
Keep your refrigerator at 40°F or below to keep food from spoiling. Cooling hot food quickly before storing it is vital, as slow cooling can lead to bacterial growth.
This can be achieved by using shallow containers to store the food or putting it in the refrigerator or freezer immediately after cooking.
Why must you follow the CDC restaurant food safety regulations and guidelines?
Around 2020, the Federal government estimated that 1 in 6 Americans (48 million people) get sick from foodborne illnesses yearly, leading to 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths.
Adhering to CDC guidelines for restaurant food safety is essential in reducing the risk of these incidents and promoting a safe dining experience for your customers.
As the nation’s health protection agency, the CDC organizes critical science and disseminates health information that will help protect people against dangerous health threats.
Restaurant owners must practice and follow guidelines provided by the CDC to protect the health and well-being of their customers.
Not only is it your moral and legal obligation to provide a safe dining experience, but it also promotes trust and confidence in your establishment, fueling continued patronage and referrals.
How can a QR code menu assist with health and safety?
Using QR code digital menus promotes touchless menu browsing. This way, customers can view items and order without the risk of cross-contamination.
This goes the same for your restaurant staff since they won’t have to attend to customers. It also gives them more time to do other tasks.
Using a QR code menu software also lets you easily include allergen information and update it as necessary. You won’t have to reprint a new batch of menus.
This falls right into the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Food Code which requires that menus include allergen information.
Providing a modern and convenient way for customers to access your menu also creates a positive impression of your business and enhances customer satisfaction.
Implementing QR menus can impact the health and safety of your customers and staff, the compliance of your business, and the overall customer experience.
Why you should use MENU TIGER’s QR code menu software
MENU TIGER is an advanced yet easy-to-use digital menu software that can provide a safer, more efficient way for customers to access your menu. Here are some of the benefits it can offer:
Encourages a safer environment
MENU TIGER eliminates the need for physical menus. Customers can easily access your menu from their smartphones by scanning a QR code.
And since it’s an interactive restaurant menu software, diners can order and pay through their devices, minimizing the need for waitstaff.
This provides a safer environment for your customers of QR code for restaurants and reduces the risk of transmission among your staff.
Complete food details
You must value the importance of food safety in your restaurant to guarantee your diners’ health and safety, and adding complete details of each menu offering is part of this.
You can add food descriptions using MENU TIGER, so diners know the item’s ingredients. You can include allergens such as nuts and spices to warn customers who may be allergic to them.
This is particularly useful for picky eaters with dietary restrictions or personal preferences. This will also help cater to vegan customers who avoid meat at all costs.
With this feature, you can highlight the key ingredients in each dish and even provide alternative options for those who want to make a substitution.
Easy to set up and use
Setting up your restaurant order system through MENU TIGER is incredibly easy; no technical skills are required. It’s also simple to follow the software’s interface.
Simply follow the easy-to-understand instructions, and you’ll be up and running in no time.
You won’t have difficulty navigating this advanced software, so you can focus on what matters most—running your restaurant.
MENU TIGER gives you complete control over your menu design. You can customize everything, from the colors and fonts to the photos used to match your brand identity.
Further, it also allows you to design your menu QR code, which can be a powerful tool for promoting your brand. This can set you apart from your competitors.
Manage your restaurant operations smoothly
MENU TIGER can also be an excellent tool for managing your restaurant operations. This software can digitalize dine-in transactions and facilitate online orders for pickup.
And since it eliminates the need for waitstaff to attend to customers’ orders, employees can focus on other crucial tasks like back-of-house duties or preparing orders.
Moreover, managing multiple restaurant locations is possible since you don’t have to be present to keep track of your restaurant’s activities.
Track customer behavior
MENU TIGER makes tracking customer orders and preferences easier. The software provides insights into your customers’ preferences and tailor your offerings accordingly.
Further, it helps you identify your restaurant’s bestsellers quickly.
With access to this data, you can focus your marketing efforts on your most popular dishes, helping you increase sales and grow your business.
Moreover, by understanding customers’ preferences, you can cross-sell additional items that complement their orders, boosting sales and improving the overall customer experience.
Affordable pricing plans
MENU TIGER offers affordable pricing plans that fit any budget. You can choose a plan that suits your needs and pay only for what you use.
With MENU TIGER, you can provide a safer environment for your customers and staff without breaking the bank.
Prioritize food and health safety in your restaurant
Prioritizing restaurant safety is essential for maintaining your customers’ well-being and your business’s long-term success.
By implementing the CDC-provided guidelines and using innovative solutions like a digital menu, you can ensure a safe and pleasant experience for your customers and staff.
Start investing in the safety and satisfaction of your customers and staff. Observe the CDC-provided guidelines in your restaurant and switch to a QR code menu today.
Choose MENU TIGER to help maximize the restaurant experience. Sign up for a freemium account today.