Food safety should always be at the forefront of your mind. With every food order, every server, every chef and every dish the safety of your food and your customers should be thoughtfully considered. Your customers are also thinking carefully about it. According to Food Navigator-USA, consumers are more concerned about food safety now than they have been in the past five years. Proudly promoting your restaurant's food safety will increase consumer trust and can educate patrons on practices that are already solidly in place.
Before you can boast about your food safety practices, though, you must ensure that your restaurant is following guidelines and has established a clear culture of food safety. Here are 5 tips to promote food safety in your establishment.
1. Train, train, train, and then train some more
It is vital that every employee in your establishment has a clear and comprehensive understanding of the food safety practices and the consequences if they are not followed. Safely handling food begins with upper management and remains important for every person working in the restaurant, front or back-of-house. If a customer asks a food safety question, any member of the staff should be able to confidently and accurately answer.
2. Create a cleaning schedule
Make sure that every aspect of cleaning for your restaurant is scheduled. Outside of the normal cleaning tasks, your schedule should include front-of-the-house menus and other high-touch items. It is important to create a schedule and stick to that schedule.
3. Take responsibility
Every time you walk through the restaurant, model the type of behavior you expect to see from your staff. When your staff sees you making food safety a priority, they will follow your lead.
4. Look the part
Make sure that every uniform, apron or shirt is clean and free of food or stains. If a customer sees a dirty shirt or apron, they are likely to question the cleanliness of the kitchen or bathroom. Store extra uniforms, aprons and shirts for your staff or encourage them to always pack an extra for their shift.
5. Stay accountable
Create an environment where every employee feels comfortable addressing concerns. If a new employee notices a safety infraction from a more senior employee, they should be able to vocalize the problem. Or if a server sees someone in management make a mistake, they too should be able to point out the infraction without fear. Creating an environment of accountability will ensure everyone is always making food safety a priority.
Establish these food safety practices so you can be confident in how your staff handles food and in how they appear to customers. Put your customers' minds at ease and share your food safety guidelines and practices with them. Your customers will appreciate the transparency and your restaurant will become their trusted dining establishment.