Make no mistake, daily line checks and temp logs are important. But they are not the only thing that a restaurant manager should be looking at. In fact, a great deal of that data is collected on a CYA basis, and it doesn’t really affect the bottom line of the operation.
However, every day, every restaurant generates data points that can be recorded and measured. So, our SMART Pre-Shift Inspection Protocol covers all of the basics of an operations review and captures key data points that can provide deep insight into operations…all in an expedited fashion that provides ample opportunities to look for operations issues before they become issues.
Here’s a sample of just one of the protocols from our SMART Pre-Shift Inspection Protocol, but you have to imagine this running as an app on a tablet or iPad. The app itself walks the worker through the paces of a “pre-flight ” inspection.
- Sanitizer buckets
- Number of
- Rags present
- How many
- Signs of cross contamination
- Chef and prep staff drinks put away
- Hand sinks free and clear
- Soap present
- Paper towels present
- Chemicals stored safely away from food prep areas
- Sanitizer ppm
- Rinse water >= 180 degrees
- Sign of pests
Just that list will prepare you to pass more than half of the most common health inspection issues, where a “fail” – which is a matter of the public record – can doom your sales for weeks, or maybe tank the restaurant entirely.
Want another example? Here ’s another pre-flight protocol, for management:
- Pre-shift staff meeting
- 86 ’d Items/Substitutions
- Wait Staff ready to go
- Day Dots – Ensure that food online is stocked to par
- Ensure that food items that have a longer remaining shelf life are not being used first.
Now imagine this level of thoroughness – checked multiple times a day; as often as you desire – were also applied to your kitchen readiness, readiness for guests, building, server stations, kitchen, dining room, host stand, and temperatures. The list of sub protocols is only limited by your imagination, because custom protocols for SMART Pre-Shift Inspection Protocol are easy to create and “app-ify” on your staff’s tablets or iPads.
As data is collected, it is time-date-location stamped. And that ’s where the real force and power of big data can be brought to bear. The data can be reviewed in correlation to such data points as labor cost, food cost, Yelp reviews, TripAdvisor comments, or even the weather and road work or the frequencies of area traffic jams. By gaining perspective, using data that can be sliced and diced and compared, restaurants can optimize their operations…and their profits.
Why not bring the same rigors to a pre-shift inspection that airlines bring to flight safety? The same type of approach that surgeons bring to pre-op review, that NASA and SpaceX run with their flight crews? Given the complexity of restaurant operations (which just might be so complicated as to baffle the best NASA engineers!) we are really well situated to make data, big and small, work for making our locations cleaner, smarter, and more profitable.