No one likes a dirty restaurant. Good cleaning and food safety practices are what keep your customers safe. Your POS can help you follow safety regulations and best practices. Here are a few ways you can use your point of sale to prevent food-borne illnesses in your restaurant:
Record and Track Employee’s Food Safety Training
If you require your staff to have and maintain certifications, it’s important to track which employees have them, and when they expire. Most scheduling programs will allow you to keep track of your employees’ food safety training. Many companies and organizations in the United States and Canada offer restaurant-specific training online, such as ServSafe and FoodSafe. In the US, the person in charge of food preparation must be trained as a Certified Food Protection Manager, according to FDA regulations.
By keeping track of test completion dates in your scheduling program or point of sale, you’ll be able to ensure everyone on staff is properly certified for their position. In SpeedLine, training is tracked in each employee’s profile in Store Manager.
Make Note of Customer Allergies
If your point of sale includes a customer database, use the notes field to record any customer allergy information disclosed when placing an order. Mistakes happen, even by those with severe allergies. Make it standard for your staff to check for notes in customers’ POS profiles when they place orders. That way, if a regular customer forgets, your staff can see the note and ask the customer about it, ensuring your customer remains safe.
Inform Staff and Customers of Possible Allergens
Make it easier for your staff, especially your order-takers and servers, to see what allergy triggers are in which menu items. Some POS systems allow you to enter nutritional information and allergy alerts into the POS for menu items. Consider recording notes for menu items with the most common allergens, including: shellfish, peanuts, wheat, soybeans, milk, tree nuts, fish, and eggs. In SpeedLine, staff can see the recorded notes at the touch of a button, and let your customers know what the item contains.
Use Make/Read/Discard Slips
Properly label all of your prep with make/ready/discard slips printed directly from your POS on a ticket printer. Label perishable prep items so that your entire staff know when they were first made, when they’re ready to cook or be served, and when they need to be discarded.
Since your staff probably work part time or on different shifts, properly labeling all of your prep is important to keep food that’s past its discard date/time from being served by mistake.
Use Buffet Planning Tools
How long has your buffet food been out on the table? The general rule is that food should not be left out for more than 2 hours at room temperature. Over-prepping food and throwing it out every 2 hours is wasteful, so take advantage of the buffet planning tools in your point of sale. An advanced POS can calculate how many pizzas are needed on the buffet table during the lunch and dinner rushes for each day of the week, and print out a prep report you can use in the kitchen to prep only what’s needed.
Use these tools to keep your customers safe. If you are looking for more ways your point of sale can improve restaurant operations, browse through the topics here on our blog.
Posted by Elizabeth Kelly
As the Marketing Specialist for SpeedLine Solutions Inc., Elizabeth is the Managing Editor for On Point: The Restaurant Technology Blog. Have an idea for an article? Send her a message!| Author's website