Living in a digitally connected world certainly has its ups, but it also has its dire downs.
Of the downsides, one aspect that can have a dramatic effect is how quickly news travels - even fake news. It spreads like wildfire.
Social media platforms, chatrooms, texting, and review sites are all contributing factors to how word “of mouth” travels so quickly.
So, why is this important to the restaurant industry?
This high-speed flow of information exists in all fields of life and especially business. The foodservice industry is no different.
If your restaurant were to be accused of not being up to code when it comes to health and sanitation standards, you can certainly count on public backlash from local clientele, along with a depletion in traffic.
Make no mistake, most restaurants accused of violating food safety standards most likely are not following the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point principles, also referred to simply as HACCP.
Not adhering to these critical control points are often due to negligence of correcting any existing hazards within the restaurant. Another possibility could be a result of innocent ignorance.
Let’s take a look at why it is absolutely imperative that your establishment follows these HACCP guidelines in order to achieve and sustain success.
Regardless of how challenging you think it may appear, you will surely benefit in one way or another by incorporating HACCP into your restaurant.
Negative reviews are undoubtedly awful and may feel irreparable, as your reputation has not been compromised. The best course of action moving forward is to correct all wrongs and ensure it does not happen again.
To make sure you’re not violating any food safety standards, you need to implement HACCP.
HACCP is a systematic preventative approach to increasing food safety in production processes.
There are 7 HACCP principles that you will also need to honor. Depending on your business, they may be easy or difficult to implement - but make no mistake; you need to make every effort to make it happen.
Here are the 7 HACCP principles
- Perform a hazard analysis
- Determine CCPs (Critical Control Points)
- Determine limits for each CCP
- Institute CCP monitoring
- Determine corrective actions
- Create procedures to make sure HACCP is working as intended
- Establish record-keeping procedures
Your staff needs to understand that health inspections can happen at any moment, and if something’s not right - the restaurant can get closed.
Having a HACCP plan makes sure you can pass a health inspection and avoid closure.
Food safety is not a joke, and it should be motivated by a sense of responsibility, not because the boss said so. That’s why you should use real-world examples when training your employees, make it relatable. Just talking about the principles will not motivate them to uphold them.
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It doesn’t matter which position you’re holding. You could be the manager, or you could be the waiter. The point is that everyone contributes to the success and failure of a restaurant. If everyone fulfills their role as best as possible, the restaurant will be a success.
However, if people are skipping work and, for example, not properly following HACCP principles - your restaurant isn’t likely to pass an inspection.
You should do what every good leader does - make your employees feel good about themselves. If your employees feel appreciated, they will feel more motivated to put in their best work, and they will be happy to contribute in improving the environment.
It’s important to stress to your employees that if they see a problem, they should try to fix it, or - at the very least - report it to someone who can. Discuss with your team that they cannot just walk by and assume a problem will fix itself.
If you’re responsible for monitoring CCPs, regularly share the status of a CCP - process deviations are easier to solve if more people know about them.
Health inspections can come as a surprise but that shouldn’t matter to you. If you encourage your employees to always do the right thing, even when no one is looking, it will pay off in the end.
Inspections are pretty black and white, so if you adhere to the basic principles, there’s no way to fail.
HACCP isn’t a new concept. In fact, it was designed in the 1960s. Since then it’s become a standard that is used all over the world.
It’s not mandatory for businesses to apply these standards in their restaurants, however, by doing so, you are affirming that you have the customer’s best interest at heart.
HACCP is what you need to use to make sure that the dishes you are preparing and distributing are of the best quality, as following the critical control points ensures that no harmful foods leave the production process.
Implementing HACCP will make sure you pass health inspections and avoid being shut down due to health concerns, while at the same time improving the quality of your food, which will bring in more customers.