For hospitality business owners, especially those managing multiple venues, a key challenge is keeping control and an overview of your kitchens’ paper based Food Control Plans (FCPs). With this lack of oversight comes the risk of food safety issues, which can seriously damage your brand reputation and your bottom line.
With the Food Act’s recent changes to regulations, and the perils of a bad social media review, having a watertight FCP is even more imperative. These concerns are some of the reasons why hospitality and food business owners are turning to technology to tighten up their current food safety systems and procedures, and stay compliant.
1. A digital FCP protects and serves your brand reputation
Food safety impacts brand reputation more than food quality. And a single issue in one venue can impact the reputation of your entire brand. So you need to be sure that every venue is maintaining the highest standards.
A good digital FCP lets you tailor the specific food safety tasks to each individual location, then monitor their status and deal with any issues or queries in real time.
2. A digital FCP helps you stay ahead of the curve
The Food Act 2014 has made food safety requirements more rigorous for some food businesses, while some Councils are punishing consistently low food safety performers with higher costs and more monitoring. A good digital FCP keeps you updated with local and national regulatory changes in your area as they take effect.
3. A digital FCP is your food safety eyes and ears
If there are complaints that your food business isn’t compliant, an auditor may pay you an unexpected visit. So to avoid nasty surprises, your kitchens need to be ‘always audit ready’ with accurate, up-to-date and correctly recorded FCP records. With a digital FCP, you’ll know the status of your kitchen records at all times – across all venues – without needing to be onsite. A good digital FCP will also alert you to any missed tasks.
4. A digital FCP builds a culture of ‘food safety first’
Your food safety system is only as effective as the people using it. If staff are struggling to keep up, or unsure how to accurately record information, mistakes will happen. A comprehensive digital FCP supports managers to develop their own knowledge and best practice to help motivate and lead the entire team. It also supports your whole team and strengthens your food safety culture with relevant, consistent training.
5. A digital FCP saves you money
In New Zealand, it’s estimated that kitchen staff spend at least 3-4 hours a week managing a paper FCP. Those wages add up, not to mention the time better spent giving customers an exceptional experience. If a paper FCP is causing missed tasks or inaccurate records, you’ll spend more with the auditor too. A good digital FCP reduces the staff time and cost of managing your FCP. And you’ll spend less time and money travelling between venues to check in – as it can all be done from your device.