Food and hygiene ratings have always impacted success in the restaurant industry. A hygiene-related closure would undoubtedly have been enough to lose custom even twenty years ago. Now, though, with food hygiene ratings online, a high star rating is more vital to success than ever.
The trouble is that, while some hygiene inspections come with warning, many don’t. Restaurants can expect a review roughly every six months, but officials can arrive at any time with little notice. Getting caught out on one bad morning could see your rating, and therefore your customer numbers, plummeting.
For this reason, it pays to operate as though you have an inspection on the cards every day. As well as ensuring you always do right by your customers, this means you’ll be ready whenever a surprise inspection does come around. But, how exactly can you make sure you’re always operating at a five-star level?
Always keep your kitchens sparkling clean
The cleanliness of your kitchen is the first thing which will come under fire during an inspection. Bear in mind that even mess during service would work against your star rating. As such, you should make sure your kitchens remain sparkling even during busy periods by making cleaning easy to do on the go. Easy-wipe epoxy floors like those from Impact Flooring are always a good bet here, as are stainless steel sides and contained dishwashers. And, of course, the pre-shift clean should be a kitchen standard at regular intervals throughout the day.
Never leave training to another day
Maybe your main chef’s food hygiene training is about to go out of date. Or, perhaps you have a new member on your team. Either way, it’s a busy shift, and you’re more worried about serving than taking care of this. It can wait until tomorrow, can’t it? Definitely not. Failure to take action here is illegal and careless, and it could result in immediate closure. Instead, make plenty of time for training refresher courses in advance so that even a delay on a busy day won’t be the end of the world. Make sure, too, to train all new team members before their official start dates.
Don’t forget to rotate food dates
As hygiene inspection failures go, the discovery of out of date food is up there. Yet, this is easy to overlook in a busy kitchen. Food containers can get lost at the back of the freezer if you aren’t careful. Even if you never use them, this could drastically impact your rating. Make sure it doesn’t happen by always rotating food dates, and putting the newest at the back so nothing ever slips past its best before without your realising.
As you can see, keeping on top with food inspections isn’t as difficult as you might imagine. It merely involves addressing problems as they arise and keeping on top. As well as taking the last-minute rush out of surprise safety visits, these simple steps could see you with five stars in no time.