COVID-19 has drastically changed customer expectations from restaurants and diners. Besides quality food and on-floor service, food safety is now more important to customers than ever before.
Starting in 2017 and for several years following, Chipotle, one of the biggest restaurant chains, faced several food safety issues in multiple branches that led to a loss of customer trust. It took them a long while to regain their sales volume again. Today, many customers won’t order from a restaurant that doesn’t stringently apply food service measures.
As a restaurant owner, you will need to assure your customers of your establishment’s safety. Implementing the requisite safety measures is not enough; you also need to display your efforts convincingly. If used properly, you can leverage your business’s POS to promote food safety effectively and efficiently.
Even a few years back, POS systems were mostly limited to sales transactions. Modern POS systems can do more than that and can handle multiple core functions of your business, including business intelligence, inventory management, and employee management.
Essentially POS systems are now all-in-one administrative and operational tools. In promoting food safety, POS software’s business intelligence and employee management aspects are the most helpful.
Keep a Record of Customer Allergies
As restaurants and diners become more and more takeout and delivery centric in the current pandemic situation, keeping a record of customer allergies is vital to running your business. One of the most common issues of food safety in restaurants and diners are allergies. While it might sound trivial on pen and paper, food allergies and dietary restrictions must be taken seriously.
Ignoring them, or making mistakes, can lead to some unpleasant or even dangerous situations. The easiest way to avoid these situations is to keep a record of customer allergies for regulars.
Your POS can be of help in this regard by allowing you to create a customer profile database which will cross-check every time a customer places an order. This way, even if a waiter forgets to note a customer’s special instructions, its safety is ensured. This can play a significant role in building relationships with customers, encouraging them to be regulars at your diner.
Inform Diners of Potential Allergens
Keeping records of allergies is a passive way to utilize your POS for food safety promotion. If you want to take a more active approach, you can easily do so by informing potential allergens’ diners. By flagging orders with common allergens, you can warn diners ahead of time before they even make an order.
POS systems with cloud management software features allow you to mention common allergic ingredients in the menu items’ nutritional information section. Some POS systems with advanced features will enable you to flag certain allergic menu items with an allergy alert.
This allows you to warn and inform even new customers who haven’t visited your restaurant or diner before. It’s impossible to know everyone’s preferences and conditions, but flagging commonly known allergic food ingredients like shellfish, peanuts, gluten, eggs, etc. helps waiters inform customers and let them decide whether to go through with the order or not.
Track Employee Food Safety Training
Other than allowing you to create allergy databases and proactively informing customers on what they’re ordering, your POS system can also help you track your employee’s food safety training. If you aim to maintain the highest service standards, this feature will greatly help you manage your staff. By maintaining an employee database and keeping a record of their relevant experiences and certifications, you can make critical decisions.
You can pinpoint which employees need more training or any other kind of assistance by tracking training and certifications. You can schedule special online training for employees who lack training and even arrange tests or competitions regularly.
These initiatives will not only help you train better employees but also keep the employees sharp in their food safety training. Keeping track of your employee’s activity can help establish a safety-oriented work environment that promotes a performance-based employee mentality.
Using All Tools at Hand to Sustain
The COVID-19 pandemic is ravaging the restaurant industry across the globe, and the restaurants that are still standing need to embrace every trick in the book to sustain. Using your POS effectively can go a long way in streamlining your restaurant’s operations and branding effectively. Consider promoting food safety by using your POS.