The most challenging part of auditing your restaurant chain for operational consistency isn’t the collection of data—it’s the analysis and follow-up. Operators used to spend weeks deciphering data and navigating options. New mobile technology turns weeks into seconds.
Earlier this year, I was in a restaurant where a window shattered. It was an unexpected result of a heat lamp fighting the cool night air. I watched as the closing crew debated who they should call. Perhaps this could wait until tomorrow morning. No one was certain which vendor should handle follow-up.
But that is an ad hoc, irregular incident. Imagine the daily checklists, reminding exhausted employees to mop floors and clear tables. Operators always need to stay one step ahead of a one-star Yelp review. Whether it’s exterior maintenance, the kitchen, or a customer service problem, restaurant operators know that problems can’t wait and a timely response has tangible effects on a brand’s reputation.
Generally, restaurants audits must focus on three key criteria:
- Customer Service
- Food Safety
A location’s cleanliness is perhaps the biggest determinant of whether you make or lose a new customer. You need to ensure that garbage in the parking lot is picked up, your signage is clear, and the bathrooms are clean.
And it’s not just about the appearance; it’s also about safety. Use mobile safety checklists that require photos of clean parking lots, functioning lights, sturdy railings, and clear walkways.
Moving inside, the dining experience requires even more attention to detail. Is the garbage being taken out regularly? Are the floors clean? Is the food preparation counter clean? Is the floor free of trash or food debris?
You can’t always be in your restaurants to check that your team is providing high-quality service. Solutions like Zenput serve as your eyes and ears in the field. Create mobile forms to clearly outline your service standards and track execution. It isn’t about spying on employees; rather, it’s crucial to the overall brand image. You can also use Zenput to identify an exceptional staff member and reward their efforts.
Begin with restaurant equipment safety: appliances, make-lines, tables, and floors all need a frequent inspection to ensure safe operating conditions. Zenput lets you score features on a scale of 1 to 10. Get an automatic notification if cleanliness falls under the accepted threshold.
Know that food products are checked regularly and train your team on safety precautions, including refrigeration and cooking temperatures.