How Setting up Food Safety Standards can Boost your Restaurant Business

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Food has the ability to invoke feelings of happiness and fulfilment in us. It forges a connection between those who prepare it and those who consume it. It is no more just a means of fulfilling hunger; rather, it is an experience that satiates all our senses.

The role food plays as a sensory and social lubricant has propelled growth within the restaurant industry. There is a mushrooming of restaurants, bakeries, mom-n-pop diners, and even home-based food businesses. This rapid growth is why it’s pertinent that the quality of food is not compromised. Not only is quality critical for the business, but it’s also a customer demand restaurants can’t ignore.

Today’s consumers are increasingly conscious about their health and wish to know how their food is being prepared and what food safety certification a restaurant has. This makes it important for those in this business to understand what food safety is and how to ensure it. 

What is Food Safety?

Simply put, food safety means that your restaurant’s food is safe to consume and does not make a person sick or cause food poisoning.

Gov.UK describes food safety as those practices of business that check off the following:

  • Safe to eat food
  • Displays a hygiene rating
  • Food safety handling ensures food is added, removed or warmed in a safe manner 
  • Correct labelling that does not mislead people
  • Withdraw food that has been contaminated
  • State reason of withdrawal by informing consumers
  • Ensure there is track keeping of where items are brought from to provide on-demand 

Gov.UK also takes into account other factors regarding food safety such as food additives and food hygiene.

Why Food Safety should be a Key Performance Indicator (KPI)

The UK’s Food Standards Agency claims that putting up a food hygiene rating is “good advertisement for business.... good food hygiene rating is good for business”.

This is self-explanatory since customer’s confidence significantly increases when they see a good hygiene rating. A study conducted in Los Angeles by Stanford economist, Professor Phillip Leslie, confirmed that is, indeed, true. There was a close relationship between food hygiene rating and the revenue of certain restaurants.

Those restaurants with a low rating had a decrease in their revenue and vice versa.
The study indicates that adhering to food safety guidelines and having a specific rating will affect business growth. This important detail is something that your restaurant business should not overlook. 

Why Your Restaurant should Ensure Food Safety Standards

The idea that bad publicity is still publicity does not work anymore. There are consequences, both financial and social, when it comes to not adhering to food safety standards. 
There are many incidents where restaurants were shut down due to an outbreak of food poisoning or infestation. While these restaurants got back on their feet, customers don’t forget it easily. 

The obvious reason why you should ensure food safety guidelines:

  • Attractive to Customers: Just by having a food safety certification on the front door of your restaurant will attract your customers to come in. Having a higher rating would make it even more attractive. 
  • Customer Satisfaction:  This reason has more to do with a customer’s psyche. If they feel satisfied with the restaurant’s ability to maintain cleanliness and neatness, it will make them want to trust your business more. 
  • Snowball Effect: Snowball effect simply states that customers may begin to recommend your restaurant through word of mouth. 
  • Increase in Revenue: The goal of any business! All of the above will ultimately help you scale your business. 

Food Safety Checklist

The restaurant industry is a busy one. There is growing pressure on employees to meet consumer demands. It may become a hassle to maintain a checklist, but the good thing is it is not complex. It only needs the owner’s involvement, employee motivation, and a set protocol.
It’s understandable that each restaurant business will have its own systems and checklists. But here are common things that should be on your checklist:

  • Using proper equipment: Equipment should be relative to all stages of running a restaurant. Kitchen equipment should have calibrated thermometers, plenty of cutting boards and clean, sharpened knives for raw items. Gloves, gowns and hairnets for all employees. Sanitizing stations should be available close to the kitchen. 
  • Train your employees: Restaurant employees should know what they are doing and why they are doing it. Training employees to be vigilant of anything that may hinder food safety is something that business owners should make sure of from day one.
  • Inspect food: When raw food arrives from the market, it should be inspected and washed. Storage also needs to be done in a manner that there is no chance of bacteria developing.  Maybe hire third-party inspectors, so there is less chance of bias or overlooking. 
  • Enacting a proper protocol:  When employees come in, they need to ensure proper protocols daily, including washing hands, wearing hair nets, taking food temperatures at intervals. Not just this, but if food is to be discarded, there needs to be a proper protocol that does not affect more food. 
  • Revision and Feedback: This is perhaps the most important step. You need to ensure that your safety protocol is constantly updated as feedback rolls in. When taking feedback for food, include a question about can be improved safety standard-wise. 

Final Thoughts

Running a restaurant requires thorough planning. It demands all hands on deck, from deciding a menu and selecting the interior to hiring staff and maintaining social media.  However, if your restaurant business lacks a key ingredient: food safety, you can expect a dip in business. 

Ensuring and building a proper food safety guideline should not be a hassle or significantly expensive. It’s simple, everyday things that can be implemented and upgraded as demanded. 

New eBook Reveals How To Successfully Open A Restaurant… Free E-Book!


About the Author

Massimo’s career has grown up through the restaurant world, starting as a waiter through to high-end restaurant openings within an operational management capacity. This depth of experience has allowed him to understand the business from both a guest’s needs to what a team needs, giving him the benefit of an all-rounded view and approach to problem solving.