Some of the biggest time and money wasters for QSR managers actually seem pretty benign, but paying attention to training, targeting food safety and getting a handle on your purchasing procedures can help you run your location as efficiently as possible.
Incomplete Food Safety Guidelines
Your team needs to understand what the best practices are when it comes to safe food preparation and storage — and they also need to be willing and able to implement those practices. Foodborne illness outbreaks in even a single location can lead to an onslaught of bad press and to increased customer concerns about your brand’s commitment to food safety. In a recent study by QSR magazine, about 74% of respondents indicated concern about food safety in the industry; this issue simply can’t be ignored.
Employees need to be able to access information about food safety and be willing to participate in your food safety efforts for your program to be truly effective. In some cases, it’s not food handling procedures, but employees themselves who are to blame for outbreaks. When low paid employees opt to work while ill, they can spread illness to every customer your line worker comes into contact with. California recently addressed this issue by becoming the second state to require sick leave for restaurant workers.
Using plain language in your education efforts, incentivizing food safety efforts and offering sick leave for employees who are ill can help reduce your risk of a foodborne illness outbreak.
Lack of Technical Training
Unless your employees know how your front and back of the house technology operates, you’re not running as efficiently as you could. For wait staff or counter staff, the ability to correctly enter orders and customer requests ensures that your kitchen staff gets things right the first time. The kitchen crew also needs to be able to access orders in the correct sequence and understand all notations and customer requests. More efficiency in this area can reduce food waste and ensure that your customers are truly getting what they asked for.
Your back of the house staff needs to be fully trained on equipment before using it on a single shift. A trained employee should not only know how to work the fryer, broiler and other appliances, they need to know what to do if something goes wrong. Training isn’t all about safety; according to the National Restaurant Association, teaching staff members to turn off equipment that is not being used saves on energy costs and wear and tear to your expensive appliances, too.
Messy Purchasing Procedures
Who’s in charge here, anyway? A recent Forbes piece examined the dilemma of too many bosses, not enough workers — a phenomenon can wreak havoc on your profits, since no one is able to truly take charge, allowing just about anyone can add to or change your purchasing habits or orders. Having too many people taking a leadership role can lead to disaster, and one of the most common areas of trouble is in your purchasing. If possible, have one person be the final authority on purchasing, or at least have one facilitator. That person can determine if it is truly time to order more breakfast proteins — or inform the morning manager that fresh, tasty meats are on the way already.
Streamlining your purchasing can help you save money and eliminate waste, and also keep you from ending up with double the number of buns needed — and not a patty in sight.
Keeping an eye on your purchasing, investing in employee training and reiterating the importance of food safety are some of the most important topics you’ll handle this year. Just one of them could help you save money or avert disaster, making it well worth any effort.