The food service industry continues to face the coronavirus pandemic head on.
As such, operators are looking for—and finding—creative new ways to meet increased demand, ensure the safety and health of staff and customers, and maintain confidence in products and vendor services.
Even though many of the new technologies being implemented to assist with these concerns were already making their way into everyday operations, the pandemic has expedited the rise of tech in the food service space. Newly developed technologies are now playing a critical role in helping operators meet employee and consumer expectations related to food safety, health standards, and product availability.
Peace of mind through apps
Technology that can help safeguard the wellbeing of employees and the public can also ease operator concerns.
Early in the pandemic, many food retailers and foodservice operators ran out of products due to customer demand. Tracking received shipments of goods, including non-conformances, short-ships and vendor performance is a daunting task when working to meet customer demand. Tracking short, out-of-spec or incorrect orders can be a nightmare for foodservice operators.
One way to ease frustration, however, is utilizing cloud-based technology to track and adjust expected shipment status and keep open deliveries on hold based on delays or other incomplete information. DayMark’s Receiving Module, available exclusively through the MenuCommand® Kitchen Automation Platform, is one example that features a convenient, easy-to-use interface and offers a variety of features, including a driver compliance test that requires delivery drivers to answer a series of questions related to their risk of carrying COVID-19.
“A shipment cannot be received until the test has been completed, and if the driver cannot pass the test, the shipment can be rejected,” said Vishal Anumolu, category manager of kitchen automation at DayMark.
In addition, utilizing an application such as Task Management, also available exclusively through the MenuCommand platform, allows managers to track and oversee employee assignments, scheduling, and health while also giving staff the ability to document the progress of ongoing operations in both the front- and back-of-house. The Task Management application features a unique added utility that records daily health details, including temperature levels—ideally taken with an infrared thermometer or no-contact body temp scanner.
The other temperature monitoring
With COVID-19, it might be easy to forget that there are other, additional temperature levels operators should be monitoring.
The importance of ensuring proper temperatures in refrigeration units and performing regular food checks is more essential now than ever and should not be overlooked when putting together a safety plan. Automated food temperature monitoring systems can help by allowing operators to worry less and focus more on delivering customer satisfaction.
An example of one such system is the DayMark Temp Monitoring and Food Check Solution offered by DayMark Safety Systems in partnership with JRI—designers and manufacturers of measuring, control, and monitoring solutions. This HACCP-compliant system provides food safety management, temperature monitoring, and compliance through an intuitive and comprehensive web application, either wirelessly or through a hardwired connection. Key advantages include an automatic alert that is sent via text or email when the system detects critical temperature changes that could affect food safety and quality, and the ability for operators to perform automated temperature and food checks from a remote location as frequently as needed.
According to AJ Hass, category manager of food safety tech at DayMark, “The system eliminates the need for staff to manually check temperatures and is an accurate and reliable way to make sure all foods are stored and cooked correctly.”
Each of these new technologies features dashboards and other online tools that provide managers with high-level overviews of statuses, performances, and other pertinent information and data. These tools deliver a new way to keep operations running smoothly.
Article originally appeared on the Foodservice Director website.