Restaurant was one of the hard hit verticals that had to change rapidly and accommodate to pandemic induced business changes. With lockdowns and public movement restrictions becoming frequent and with the virus here to stay for a long time, restaurant operations need to be streamlined as per the new developments.

The Background

In the restaurant, regular operations entail an intensive adherence to an operational checklist. It begins with arrangement of the service stations and table set-ups during pre-opening of the restaurant. The kitchen on the other hand maintains its list of running checklists – pre-cooking arrangements, food preparation and food storage. Maintaining procedures especially related to food handling are crucial. A smallest compromise on the food quality may negatively impact the brand and also in some cases may be hazardous to human health if consumed. Hence, all the related business procedures must be closely monitored. There is also an added level of complexity for brands with multiple locations. The procedures need to be standardized across all the locations so the customers get a consistent experience.

Restaurants have to adopt to new norms like social distancing within staff & customers and sanitization of the service and food preparation areas . Additionally, the pandemic has added additional level of complexity where its highly difficult to predict foot traffic in the restaurant. Hence managing and maintaining an optimum staff has been challenging.

The Solution- Digitizing Operations

Keeping the above context in mind, its a no-brainer to realize that digitization can help keep track of all the business processes and prevent any safety operational hazards. Setting up automated operational checklist will help in assignment of tasks and schedule duties optimally across employees to increase the workforce productivity. The workforce can also use the software to post real-time reports and photos on the progress for the corporate office. Besides, a seamless communication facilitated by the software between the corporate office and the restaurant workforce will detect and resolve:

  • Common operational issues in the kitchen and the service areas

  • Outlets with the best or, worst completion rates
  • Compliance or, non-compliance with each task laid out in the checklist for the given shift

  • Outstanding follow-ups and functions that require immediate attention

  • Assign responsibilities such as periodic sanitization, restaurant opening/ closing policies, storage of leftovers etc

  • Monitoring standardized cooking methods such as frying, braising, roasting or, grilling, etc’ and ensuring the correct cooking temperature

  • Setting of critical parameters to achieve the maximum standards of nutrients composition of the food, food safety & storage.

  • Minimizing food wastage

  • Scheduling regular fumigation of the service areas and weekly chlorination of utensils and cutleries

  • Guests reservation protocols in place to calibrate the software to send greetings and welcome messages to the guests who have reserved tables

  • Compliances to health safety certifications during the operations

  • Hygiene standards of the food and beverage production and service area staffs

The ability of automated software to maintain and regulate food safety also deserves a special mention here.  A typical chronological checklist for food safety that can be provided by the automated software will consist of assigning the following duties and report on the:

  • Confirmation of sanitization & cleanliness of all contact areas in the outlet

  • Checking for expired products of the day and mentioning them in the everyday kitchen log

  • Status of  the out-of-stock items and setting up procedures to replenish

  • Adherence to the shift-wise facility set-up procedures

The time has come for contemporary and ambitious restaurant operators to digitize all aspects of their food and beverage production and service requirements by customized software. This will ensure uniform dispensation of production and service standards 24/7 all year round. Additionally, the software will report direct accountability for things going wrong so that immediate rectifications can be done. Indeed, such a calibration in your existing business operation will be quite visionary.