Tag : Inspections

HomePosts Tagged "Inspections" (Page 3)

Thawing and Holding Tips

Thanks to the Missouri Restaurant Association weekly newsletter we’re able to share these tips for thawing and holding food.

Thawing
-Refrigeration: Thaw TCS food at 41 ̊Fahrenheit (5 ̊Celsius) or lower to limit pathogen growth. Plan ahead when thawing large items, such as turkeys. They can take several days to defrost.

-Microwave: You can safely thaw food in a microwave, but only if the food is going to be cooked immediately. Be warned: large items, such as roasts or turkeys, migh not thaw well with this method.

-Cooking: Thaw food as part of the cooking process.

-Running water: Submerge food under running, drinkable water at 70°Fahrenheit (21°Celsius) or lower.  Never let the temperature of the food go above 41°Fahrenheit (5°Celsius) for longer than four hours.

Holding
-Hold foods at their correct temperatures. TCS foods should be held at the correct internal temperatures. Cold food should be held at 41°Fahrenheit (5°Celsius) or lower, and hot food should be 135°Fahrenheit (57°Celsius) or higher.

-Check temperatures regularly. Timing is essential. Make sure you check food temperatures at least every four hours. Toss  food that’s not 41°Fahrenheit (5°Celsius) or lower, or 135°Fahrenheit (57°Celsius) or higher.

-Use food covers and sneeze guards. Keep food covered to help maintain temperatures.  Covers and sneeze guards also help protect the food from contaminants.

-Use hot-holding equipment properly. Don’t reheat food in them unless they are built to do so.

It’s important to have these processes in place and ensure that your staff understands that they are important to your operations. HACCP #7 requires documentation. A great way to accomplish this is to collect and record all this data digitally using an app.

Check out the quick video below for more info on the OpsAnalitica platform:

[embed]https://youtu.be/mMI5w9GWb_Y[/embed]

How to Drive Consistent Daily Execution

There are two ways that you can drive consistent daily execution in your operations:

  1. You can nag and set reminders for your staff to do things, basically micromanage every aspect of your operations.
  2. You can hire and train the right staff then integrate them into the operations, teach them why you do certain things and their importance to the success of the business.

Number 1 will work, but there are a plethora of problems associated to this management style. First off it’s annoying to have to be that manager. You don’t want to be a babysitter. The employees hate it because they don’t feel empowered.  This is the farthest from mutually beneficial as it gets and you will wind up with very high turnover.

Also before too long the nagging and reminders just become background noise that gets tuned out. The manager will get yes’d to death and employees will just start telling them what they want to hear, but in the end the bare minimum gets accomplished to keep their job.

Recently I was backing out of my garage and hit a car that was parked in my driveway. In my defense there’s very rarely a car parked in my driveway, but it still shouldn’t have happened because I have a backup camera and sensors that beep when I get close to things.

So why did this happen still with all these warnings/reminders telling me that something was in my way? I had trained my brain to tune out the sensors beeping when I pull out of my garage because they go off every single time I pull out of the garage.

When I go through the garage door jamb it goes off because I’m close enough. Then right outside the door on the driver’s side there’s a large shrub that sets off the sensors and then when I get towards the back of my driveway my neighbor’s bushes set them off. So it has just become noise to me that I tune out because they have “cried wolf” so many times. So now my brain ignores the sensors when I pull my car out of my garage. This will happen to any requests or tasks that have no perceived value to the person that’s supposed to act on these requests/reminders/tasks.

Now with number 2 you will develop a reliable, consistent team that executes every shift because it’s second nature to them and they feel that the required tasks are meaningful and contribute to the overall success of the business. As a manager rather than nagging or reminding them to perform pre-shift inspections or line checks, you instead train and explain to them the importance of performing the tasks. Then you follow up that they are getting done. In other words you inspect what you expect.

If they aren’t getting done then you have a training opportunity where you give feedback and again explain the importance of these checks. Show them that you are using the data drive business decisions that will make the operations better and more profitable which will show in their bonus. If you keep having this discussion you should probably find a new manager.

This is where an automated checklist/inspection platform is so valuable. You now have time/date/user stamped audit trail of when checks were started and completed and by whom. You can access the data from anywhere without having to ask someone to send it to you. You can now manage by exception and spend the bulk of your time with the locations/managers that need you the most. Over time you will be able to draw correlations between your best and poorest performing locations. Now you use that data to drive decisions to run better operations and increase profits.

Click here to learn more about how OpsAnalitica helps our clients across the country automate their checklists/inspections and run better operations.

Due Care, What Does it Mean in Restaurants

Predictive analytics helps Chicago prioritize restaurant inspections

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Found a really cool article on how the city of Chicago teamed up with the Civic Consulting Alliance and researchers from Allstate Insurance’s Quantitative Research & Analytics Department to put together a predictive model using 311 calls, previous inspections, permits, and other data points to identify high risk restaurants.  Here is what I found most interesting:

  • Leverages public data to identify Chicago restaurants most likely to face health code challenges, so health inspectors to prioritize inspections for those restaurants.
  • Using 311 requests, sanitation complaints at restaurants and information on previous inspections and permits, the researchers identified a group of factors that could lead to health code violations.
  • These factors were then brought together to create a predictive analytics model that was used to identify which restaurants should be inspected first in order to stop critical violations that could lead to illnesses.
  • The model evaluation calculates risk scores for more than 10,000 Chicago food establishments using publically available data, most of which is updated nightly on Chicago’s data portal.

Screenshot 2015-08-09 08.41.41

Using a tool like OpsAnalitica you can generate reports and conduct analysis like the city of Chicago on your locations.  They aren’t doing anything super special they are just using data points that they collect from a couple of different systems and bringing it together to identify risk factors.  If you were doing daily line checks, temp logs, daily logs and combining that data with sales, costs, and customer service data; you could have a complete understanding of how your operations really work and what things are driving costs and reducing profits.

I have clipped the article below, or to see the original article click here.

Chicago is using predictive analytics to better ensure food safety for city residents and visitors.

The new system, built by the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) and Department of Innovation and Technology, leverages public data to identify Chicago restaurants most likely to face health code challenges, so health inspectors to prioritize inspections for those restaurants. “The use of open data will result in a more streamlined approach to overseeing food safety, targeting our resources at higher-risk establishments without compromising safety oversight at any food business across the city,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said.

Research for the new system was conducted in collaboration with Civic Consulting Alliance and researchers from Allstate Insurance’s Quantitative Research & Analytics Department to identify various factors that can result in a restaurant facing health code violations.

Using 311 requests, sanitation complaints at restaurants and information on previous inspections and permits, the researchers identified a group of factors that could lead to health code violations. These factors were then brought together to create a predictive analytics model that was used to identify which restaurants should be inspected first in order to stop critical violations that could lead to illnesses.

The model evaluation calculates risk scores for more than 10,000 Chicago food establishments using publically available data, most of which is updated nightly on Chicago’s data portal.

CDPH performed a simulation that allowed it to identify establishments with more violations using the predictive model than using risk categories alone. As a result of these findings, CDPH is now using the predictive model to prioritize inspections among the highest risk establishments.

“Researchers, cities and the public are able to freely access and download all the information needed to replicate the research,” said Brenna Berman, CIO of the Department of Innovation and Technology. “Releasing the data and research on GitHub allows for collaboration with other scientists and institutions to improve the city’s forecasts and allows the technique to be adopted by other cities conducting food inspections.”

Funding for the project came from a $1 million award in 2013 from the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Mayors Challenge to develop a data-based approach to decision making.

This isn’t the first time Chicago has used analytics to protect residents from food-borne illness. In 2013, the city developed a predictive analytics model to fight its growing rat population. The Department of Innovation and Technology used 311 city requests ranging from stray animal calls to vacant and abandoned buildings as well as missing or overflowing garbage cans and restaurant code violations. Through the requests and the model built to analyze them, the city could visualize on a map where and when rat populations spiked.

The same year, researchers in Chicago created another program called Foodborne Chicago, which examined Twitter for food poisoning complaints from residents, employees and tourists in the city. The program led to 150 additional inspections by the FSD that year.

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The challenge with growing operations

There has been a lot of great press this year about the restaurant industry’s economic impact from the number of employees to the estimated $709 billion in revenue in 2015. 
 
Growing your operations is a great accomplishment. You have succeeded and now it’s time to grow and expand.
 
All you have to do is take what you are currently doing now at your five locations and do the same at your next ten or fifteen locations right?
 
There’s only one small problem, there’s only one of you! You are no doubt already feeling the pressure of not being able to be everywhere at once with your current five locations, but now you are adding ten more. 
 
You’ll be adding staff and hoping that they are executing daily, every shift, without you being there running the show. 
 
You will no doubt start noticing the need and benefits of automated solutions to help you spread your time across all of your operations. Just because you are growing doesn’t mean you don’t have to be involved, it just makes your time more valuable
 
You’ll start looking into implementing systems that give you visibility into your operations at any time of day or night, no matter where you happen to be at the moment. Technology has gotten to a point where not only is this possible, but it’s also a cinch to implement and it’s affordable with quick ROI
 
Specifically mobile technology is at a point where you can manage your business from your smart phone. Companies in all industries, including restaurants, are implementing systems to help increase profits and give them a leg up on the competition
 
Even simple things like standardized cleaning checklists can make your life a lot easier. Consistency across all your operations allow you to check against 1 standard and measure each location against each other. We’d like to give you a Master Cleaning Checklist that we found that is very thorough. Click here to have the checklist sent to your inbox for free! We hope that this can be a valuable tool for you whether you are starting from scratch or already have one, but it could use a little tweaking. 
Keep on Inspecting!

Do third party inspection programs drive consistent daily execution?

It’s hard to believe that having a 3rd party inspection service show up twice a year, maybe once per quarter (we very rarely see this), has a big impact on the daily execution of operations. 
 
Anyone can be great for a day or a shift with some notice. But to be great every shift takes a disciplined and consistent approach to running great operations. We must inspect what we expect every shift.
 

 

Inspect every shift so that you can be great every shift. When you are prepared every day it doesn’t matter when the health inspector shows up. It doesn’t matter when you get a fluke rush. The team will be ready for any scenario. 
 
Sign up for the webinar and see how you can drive accountability into your operations and execute consistently every shift
 
We hope to see you on the webinar. 
 
Keep on Inspecting!

Early Job Loss Results From Seattle

We have been actively following the minimum wage hike in Seattle very closely at OpsAnalitica.  We have written four blogs about it this year. We found this article from the American Enterprise Institutes that discusses restaurant job losses in Seattle since the beginning of 2015, it is only 3 paragraphs so I encourage you to read the whole article.  To keep politics to a minimum the American Enterprise Institue is a center right leaning organization according to wikipedia.  Here are the points that I found most interesting in there article:

  • Seattle city council passed a $15 minimum wage law to be phased in over time, with the first increase to $11 an hour taking effect on April 1, 2015.
  • The chart below shows that the Emerald City MSA started experiencing a decline in restaurant employment around the first of the year (when the state minimum wage increased to $9.47 per hour, the highest state minimum wage in the country), and the 1,300 job loss between January and June is the largest decline over that period since 2009 during the Great Recession (data here).
  • The loss of 1,000 restaurant jobs in May following the minimum wage increase in April was the largest one month job decline since a 1,300 drop in January 2009, again during the Great Recession.
  • In contrast to the January-June loss  of restaurant jobs in the Seattle area: a) restaurant employment nationally increased by 130,700 jobs (and by 1.2%) during that same period (data here), b) overall employment in the Seattle MSA increased 1.2% and by 21,800 jobs (data here) and c) non-Seattle MSA restaurant employment in Washington state increased 3.2% and by 2,800 jobs(data here).

Screenshot 2015-08-09 08.41.41

My issue with the Seattle minimum wage hike is that it isn’t being applied evenly, it is stacked against franchise operators from larger chains.  You could have two sub shops in the same strip center owned by the same person.  One a Subway or Quiznos and the other a non-franchise operation.  The employees would be paid at different rates as the franchise shop would have to pay more for labor creating unfair competitive environment for the non-franchise operation.  Don’t forget that your local Subway is often times owned by your neighbor who wanted to be part of a national chain for advertising and support.

You can read the article below or click here to see the original.

 

In June of last year, the Seattle city council passed a $15 minimum wage law to be phased in over time, with the first increase to $11 an hour taking effect on April 1, 2015. What effect will the eventual 58% increase in labor costs have on small businesses, including area restaurants? It’s too soon to tell for sure, but there is already some evidence that the recent minimum wage hike to $11 an hour, along with the pending increase of an additional $4 an hour by 2017 for some businesses, has started having a negative effect on restaurant jobs in the Seattle area.

The chart below shows that the Emerald City MSA started experiencing a decline in restaurant employment around the first of the year (when the state minimum wage increased to $9.47 per hour, the highest state minimum wage in the country), and the 1,300 job loss between January and June is the largest decline over that period since 2009 during the Great Recession (data here). The loss of 1,000 restaurant jobs in May following the minimum wage increase in April was the largest one month job decline since a 1,300 drop in January 2009, again during the Great Recession. In contrast to the January-June loss  of restaurant jobs in the Seattle area: a) restaurant employment nationally increased by 130,700 jobs (and by 1.2%) during that same period (data here), b) overall employment in the Seattle MSA increased 1.2% and by 21,800 jobs (data here) and c) non-Seattle MSA restaurant employment in Washington state increased 3.2% and by 2,800 jobs(data here).

Screenshot 2015-08-14 20.26.49

Perhaps Seattle’s restaurant employment will recover, or perhaps it will continue to suffer from the upcoming full 58% increase in labor costs for the city’s restaurants that will be phased in during the coming years – time will tell. What we know for sure is that there are now 1,300 Seattle area restaurant workers who were employed in January who are no longer employed today, so it looks like the Seattle minimum wage hike is getting off to a pretty bad start.

 

Running Restaurants is Getting Harder – Part 2

To read part one click here

Food trucks are another segment of the industry that have prospered from wireless technology. Until recently it was incredibly expensive to take mobile credit card payments. Now it’s comparable to hardwired credit card payments. Mobile technology has made it easier for food trucks to service customers.

It used to be the only place you saw food trucks were construction sites and fairs where cash was the only form of payment taken. Now they are parked in high rent districts right next to brick and mortar restaurants for the cost of parking.

Not to mention food trucks who tweet their specials and locations throughout the day, can come to customers and can create rushes outside of normal dining periods maximizing sales time and their mobile advantage.

Technology is changing the industry. Depending on what side of some of these issues you’re on will determine if you think it is good or bad. For every manager that embraces new technology and can implement and run their businesses more efficiently, there is a Dinosaur Manager, who is finding it tougher to compete and make money.

Screenshot 2015-08-09 08.41.41

The one thing that is for certain is that restaurant industry isn’t an industry anymore where you go to work because you want to avoid technology. Restaurant managers need to be tech savvy, or they are going to have a hard time finding the really good positions.

With all of these things happening simultaneously it can feel overwhelming to say the least. How do you move forward, stay competitive, do everything you need to do while you have customers in your location every day.

Not doing anything and hiding from reality is not the answer. It is by far the easiest way to proceed up until the day you shut down your location and lay off all of your employees.

Making decisions off of incomplete data isn’t an option either. We live in the world where data is available to us, and we have to use it to make smart decisions and not react in a knee-jerk manner.

For instance raising prices significantly above competitors in the market just because protein prices are increasing could be a quick fix for food cost but hurt sales and anger customers. Remember, social media, Yelp reviews, will expose knee jerk reactions for all to see.

The most successful restaurants are developing restaurant operations systems that are repeatable and flexible, which allow you to make data-driven decisions. For you technophobes, this is going to require you to start using technology to help.

Let’s look at a couple of examples:

Food cost and rising commodity prices. We recently saw a demo of a tool, ChefMetric, that is a quick and easy food cost calculator. You add your order guide and recipes to the system, and you can easily calculate your food cost and what you should be charging at different food cost percentages.

Knowing your plate cost in an environment where there is a lot of commodity fluctuation will allow you to make adjustments to portion sizes and core ingredients quickly and easily. Take that one step further and maybe leave cuts and sizes off of menu descriptions, let your waiters give those answers, so you can make adjustments without having to reprint menus when you do.

Example:

  • Today’s Description: A delicious 10oz NY Strip sliced to….
  • New Description: A delicious USDA Prime Steak sliced to….

To read part 3 click here

Check out this short video to learn more about OpsAnalitica

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