When every hour of every shift matters, Fourth helps restaurants, retailers, and hotels conquer the day with data-driven workforce and inventory technology. The Fourth Intelligence Platform leverages more than 20 years of rich data and advanced analytics to deliver actionable insights and demand forecasting for optimising operations, maximising margins, and empowering employees. With a streamlined business powered by Fourth Intelligence, industry operators can act with certainty and conquer with confidence whatever comes their way every day. Fourth’s customers includes regional and global brands such as McDonalds, KFC, Pizza Hut, Nando’s, Jollibee, and Taco Bell. Fourth serves more than 15,000 customers across 100,000 locations globally. For more information, please visit fourth.com.  


Creating a Scalable Food Safety Program for Growing Chains

How technology can help communicate procedures and hold your teams accountable as you grow.

Is your organization's food safety training scalable? According to the World Health Organization's latest data, an estimated 600 million – almost 1 in 10 people in the world – fall ill after eating contaminated food, and 420 000 die every year. Foodborne illnesses in Asia-Pacific alone sickens 275 million annually and threatens trade. While food safety has always been a concern of restauranteurs, the post-COVID environment means there is a heightened expectation for sanitation and food safety when consumers eat outside the home. Now more than ever, this topic must be well-documented with clear operational guidance and a solid training program.

Food safety is one of the most critical issues in any restaurant, but it can often be taken for granted. While employees know how important food safety is to the guest's overall health and store, when a 45-minute wait has built up, and everyone is rushing, food safety standards can get lost in the shuffle. Now take a single store's lapse in food safety protocol – something that could happen during any busy lunch rush – and multiply it by 20, 50, or even 400 units.

Food safety oversight becomes more challenging as the organization grows. Those operators who put plans early in their growth will benefit from consistency across their owned and franchised units over time.

In 2017, for example, restaurants were increasing their spend on training. That's great for training, learning, and development departments charged with rolling out food safety training and accountability programs alongside their auditing teams.

Four Steps to Build a Better Food Safety Culture
How do you make your food safety program scalable? You make it part of your company's culture. Leadership must ingrain food safety practices into daily operations so that every employee understands the expectation and incorporates the approach into every shift.

Mitigating the risk of foodborne illness in a growing and franchised business requires a solid training program, transparent communications, and verifiable, electronic documentation of your food safety procedures. The key pillars of building a food safety culture include:

Food safety and compliance start with education. Take-home guides and rushed training periods don't fully benefit your workers in an increasingly complex supply chain. Give your employees easy access to their materials and track their progress in an online environment. Food safety and responsible alcohol service training and certifications should be followed online so that managers know when an employee needs to recertify. Reinforce these procedures and training requirements with broadcast messages sent regularly to your teams.

If your employees are unaware of your food safety program, it's impossible to implement it correctly. Don't leave the understanding of your food safety program to chance or hearsay. Document your policies and procedures and communicate them broadly, reinforcing the practice as an essential part of your company culture. Regular check-ins with your employees show you're invested in their success and the importance of these tasks. Ensure that team members know what is expected, have the training they need, and the online tools for collaboration and shared learning.

Provide clear expectations of what you need from your team. Build accountability into your line checks and food safety programs with a task management tool that keeps everyone on track. Ensure that your task management program is customizable to accommodate the unique requirements in all the geographies you operate in.  When you can quickly review time-stamped daily activities, like follow-up actions on out-of-tolerance temperature readings, you can have peace of mind. Your employees have an easy-to-follow procedure, and everyone realizes the importance of the task.

When your food safety program is integrated with your technology, it's genuinely possible to show an electronic documented account of your food safety practices which will become important in an audit or an outbreak. Consider systems that integrate thermometer readings with cooling and warming equipment to track temperature readings. Mobile alerts issue quick notifications of possible problems and limit food safety concerns and potential product loss. Consider a technology partner that offers an open API for third-party software integrations if this type of documentation is important to you.

Stock rotation 
First in, first out is a well-known rule that restaurants abide by for stock rotation and use. When you receive a new product from your distributor, pull the existing stock to the front in cold and dry storage. Not only is this key to food safety, but it also reduces waste as you won't have goods stored past their expiration dates. While this all seems obvious and logical, the question to ask is, have you educated your employees, and have you documented your procedures. Even the most minor procedures can get lost in the shuffle as a large organization expands in size and geography.

Food Safety – at scale
Food safety needs to be a priority for every single employee because it is an issue that lives and dies in the details. It demands the attention of everyone on your staff. Create an environment and culture where food safety is an integral part of everyone's duties in providing a great restaurant experience. Hospitality is at the heart of the restaurant business, and that all starts with your guests' safety and well-being.

To learn more about Fourth and our applications that support a scalable food safety program, please visit Fourth.com.

About Fourth
Fourth provides end-to-end, best-in-class technology and services for the hospitality, leisure and retail industries. Its procurement, inventory, and workforce management solutions, coupled with a complete data and analytics suite, give businesses the actionable insights they need to increase efficiency within operations, control costs, scale profitability, improve employee engagement, and maintain compliance.

Since its merger with US-based HotSchedules/ MacromatiX, Fourth serves more than 7,000 customers across 120,000 locations globally.

Fourth works with multi-national companies across the hospitality, leisure and retail industries, including McDonalds, KFC, Pizza Hut, Hungry Jack’s, Nando’s, Oporto, Starbucks & Taco Bell.

For more information, please visit www.fourth.com

Other Articles

How mobile solutions drive back-of-house efficiency in the QSR industry

As the world adjusts to the new normal brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, the quick service restaurant (QSR) industry turned to digital channels to serve the changing needs of the customers. In such a fast-paced industry, it is crucial to consider the role of mobile technology in creating the best customer journeys whilst ensuring restaurant efficiency especially as QSR brands strive to provide convenience without losing valuable connections with its customer base.

Manager Adoption is Key to Back Office Technology Success

Back-office software has been around for a long time. So long in fact that there is a lot of legacy software out there that can hold operators back from efficiency gains as they grow.

Putting people first: Overcoming the QSR labour crisis with Fourth

The global labour shortage has become a growing concern for businesses across the world. The shortage is being felt across industries, from hospitality to manufacturing, and is being attributed to several factors including aging demographics, a decline in birth rates, and a lack of skilled workers.

Fourth's Workflow: A QSR's Essential Tool For Task Management 

 Find out how Fourth's Workflow can help your QSR business improve efficiency and drive profitability through task completion. 

This platform is helping QSRs manage a collaborative workforce

In a fast-paced industry, managers need to keep everyone on the same page and work together.

KFC improves demand forecasting, inventory management with  Fourth’s  solutions 

Better forecast accuracy leads to better inventory management, overall efficiency. Understanding the demand-supply concept is easy, but efficiently managing supply to meet demand without sacrificing quality could be one of the most challenging tasks for businesses, including quick service restaurants (QSRs). That is why brands such as KFC recognise the importance of accurate demand forecasting as the key to efficiently manage production and inventory.  

Why data is the most crucial currency for QSRs

Adopting data-backed solutions can spell the difference between savings and losses.

Three ways QSRs need Fourth

Find out how Fourth helps QSRs achieve efficient BOH operations.

How to achieve operational efficiency after months in lockdown

Controlling food costs, lessening waste, and forecasting demand accurately are crucial.

The 3Rs QSRs must do for an efficient workforce management

Find out more about solutions that will benefit both the employers and the employees.

Fourth GM Paul Tregoning discusses how QSRs can better manage operational challenges

The quick service restaurant (QSR) industry has been one of the hardest hit by the pandemic’s crippling challenges. The stay-at-home orders and social distancing restrictions have changed the industry as we know it. Technology has been a key enabler to keep the lights on for many businesses as brands pivot to digital in order to survive.

Big data in hospitality: The operational benefits

The exponential growth of so-called Big Data is unprecedented and is matched by its enormous potential to change the way we all live, work and think.

Drowning in data? Integrated analytics can be your lifeboat

Fourth Analytics provides not only data and insight from our MacromatiX inventory solution, but also brings in feeds from a whole raft of integrated systems.

Why it’s high time for QSRs to look into data-driven demand forecasting solutions

Imagine closing the restaurant at the end of the day with half of your supplies allocated for the day still on the shelf: this is one of restaurant operators’ worst nightmares.

For improved efficiency, automation is key

Efficiency has always been a hot topic in the QSR industry and brands exert their utmost effort in driving efficiency both at the front- and back-of-house. Over the past year, COVID-19 not only redefined efficiency but also forced QSRs to reorganise their priorities given the pressing need to provide customers with safe and effective means of placing and receiving their orders.

Why embracing big data is key to deliver a better customer experience

Digitalisation has long been a buzz word amongst businesses across all industries, but those in the quick service restaurant (QSR) sector have been relatively slow to embrace it. Over the past year, QSR brands were amongst the hardest hit during the pandemic, and this forced businesses to accelerate their digitalisation efforts not only to stay afloat but also to meet the continuously evolving needs and demands of their customers.