Foodservice operators have been warned they are creating extra work for themselves by persevering with paper-based systems to keep track of hygiene and safety tasks in their kitchens.
Simon Frost, managing director of wireless temperature monitoring specialist Monika, says that since moving across to the compliance side of the industry from cooking and warewashing, he has been surprised by the sheer number of operators that still record everything on paper.
“To be honest it surprised me how many people are still using paper – there are some big companies doing it,” he said, adding that one major food and supermarket chain even has a warehouse purely for storing paper records. “It’s madness,” he said.
In contrast, one major casual dining chain, with more than 120 restaurants, has seen employees’ time freed up for other tasks after deploying Monika’s TaskMinder software. It has also realised a big saving in printing costs.
Mr Frost said the benefits of Monika’s online and cloud-based service is that kitchen managers can instantly see that HACCP and other hygiene tasks have been carried out and recorded.
“It proves due diligence, it helps with team management, there is traceability, and it is becoming more prevalent,” he said. “Operators are getting mired with oodles of paperwork, so this is another thing that they don’t have to worry about. In some cases, a little bit of a mindset change is necessary because they need to understand that they don’t need to trawl through loads of bits of paper to sign something off; the information is already there. And if somebody comes in and says, ‘I want to see all the records’, they can. It offers a big saving in terms of audit costs.”