by Paul Damaren, Executive Vice President, Business Development at RizePoint
Restaurants need to prove to key stakeholders – including customers, employees, investors, the media, and influencers – that they’re operating safely, ethically, sustainably, and responsibly. One effective way for restaurants to spotlight their commitment to these important business practices is to become ISO certified, demonstrating that they meet gold standards for these efforts.
But it’s important to note that ISO compliance can be very difficult to achieve using manual methods. It’s challenging to identify noncompliance issues, track certification paperwork, or get real-time visibility across an enterprise when using manual systems. It’s also costly, time-consuming, error-prone, and overwhelming to manage the ISO compliance process manually, using paper files or Excel spreadsheets.
It’s far faster, easier, and more accurate to use technology – like SaaS-based quality and audit software – for this effort.
There are numerous – and significant – benefits to using tech tools to manage the ISO compliance process, including the ability to help restaurants:
- Automate necessary tasks. Your restaurant staff is busy doing a million things each day, so why not simplify where you can? Using SaaS software to automate tasks will save so much time, money and aggravation vs. manual methods, plus it will be far more accurate. Always go for the more efficient, streamlined, accurate method!
- Meet stakeholders’ demands. Increasingly, key stakeholders – including customers, employees, investors, and influencers – are gravitating towards businesses that are doing the right thing, being more responsible, sustainable, ethical, diverse, and humane, as well as being committed to strict safety and quality practices. ISO compliance shows your commitment to these business practices – and provides transparency about how your values align with your stakeholders’.
- Boost visibility. It’s impossible to achieve real-time visibility with manual methods. Tech tools allow you to get a wider, deeper, more holistic view of your enterprise, whether you have one restaurant or many. With access to real-time data, your organization can know what’s going on at any point in time, so you can immediately identify (and fix) any problems before they become huge (costly) liabilities.
- Reduce risk. Face it – one food safety breach can cause major fallout, in terms of financial, legal, and reputational damage. Therefore, it’s critical to increase your safety processes, which includes identifying and mitigating potential risks. Tech tools are instrumental to this effort. It’s difficult (and nearly impossible) to spot every possible infraction using manual systems. Tech tools are much more effective at finding and reducing risks to boost safety and compliance.
- Train, train, train. Your restaurant simply can’t follow proper food safety protocols without properly trained employees. Period. Training should be an ongoing endeavor and a top priority, and tech tools are essential to this effort. Use tech tools to provide training in “digestible” chunks, as well as “refresher” information right to employees’ smartphones. Push out updates and reminders via texts, emails, and short videos. Remember: you won’t get (or keep) ISO certification without proper, ongoing safety training.
- Get recertified. Keep in mind that ISO certification is only valid for three years at a time, and then you’ll need to pass recertification audits to maintain it. Tech tools are instrumental to this effort, helping you manage the necessary documentation, keeping your staff properly trained, and allowing you to identify and remediate any issues to stay compliant.
- Centralize data. Tech solutions can help you centralize, organize, and manage your data and reports, so you’ll always have quick, easy access to this critical information. Whenever you need to access certification documents, audit information, and operational records, you’ll be able to find what you need, saving you time (and hassle). If only every task in your restaurant could be so easy!
- Boost ROI. You may be worried about purchasing tech tools during this time of economic uncertainty, but a tech investment is one of the smartest purchases you can make. Tech solutions have become much more affordable and accessible for brands of all sizes and budgets. These solutions will provide a tremendous ROI and will save your organization money over time by improving key performance indicators (KPIs), like sales and profits, and preventing expensive fallout from food safety incidents. Additionally, becoming ISO certified can result in other lucrative benefits, like attracting new investors, recruiting and retaining employees, positive word of mouth referrals and restaurant reviews, etc.
- Showcasing your priorities. Since ISO is widely considered the global gold standard, by becoming ISO certified, your restaurant is demonstrating that you prioritize safety, quality, and compliance. Plus, you’re spotlighting your commitment to following the strictest quality and safety protocols. Being ISO certified demonstrates to key audiences that you’re investing the time, money, and energy into running as safely, effectively, sustainably, responsibly, humanely, and ethically as possible. Not only is operating this way the right thing to do, but you’ll attract like-minded individuals that will want to support you by visiting your restaurant, working there, investing in your business, recommending your restaurant to others, etc.
If you had the opportunity to showcase your values (safety, quality, sustainability, responsibility, etc.) to your priority populations via ISO compliance, wouldn’t you do it? And if you had the choice to do it with tech tools (easy, fast, accurate, efficient, hassle-free) instead of manually (difficult, expensive, stressful, error-prone, time-consuming), wouldn’t it be a no-brainer? Technology is a game-changer when it comes to ISO compliance – and boosting safety, quality, and compliance in general. It’s time to embrace tech tools for a safer restaurant and a more streamlined experience for your team.
Paul Damaren is Executive Vice President, Business Development at RizePoint, a technology leader in the food safety, quality management, compliance, and social responsibility space. RizePoint’s quality management software solutions help companies, including Starbucks, McDonald’s, Marriott, and more, keep brand promises through their quality, safety, and compliance efforts. Customers gather better data, see necessary actions earlier, and act faster to correct issues before they become costly liabilities. Check out RizePoint’s new website to learn how these solutions can help your company.
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