Category Archives: Food Safety

Don’t risk a crack in your reputation

“Glass, china, and reputation are easily cracked and never well mended,” American political legend Benjamin Franklin said in the 1700s. In the age of social media and online reviews, this insight has never been more relevant to the food services business. Night after night, event after event you can build a stellar reputation, for one negative customer experience to ‘crack’ it.

Reinforcing what any food services business knows from experience, a good reputation online equals dollars. An academic study cited in the Harvard Business Review, showed that a one-star increase in Yelp (online review site) ratings for a restaurant led to a 5-9% increase in revenue.

google-is-biased-to-negative

On the flip side, bad news travels fast online. According to this recent article, Google tends to bias towards negative content. As the author explains it, “. . . on the information superhighway, when there’s an accident, people tend to be rubberneckers.” For food service businesses this means not just negative reviews, but incidents such as fire or food safety failures can have a significant and immediate impact.

According to insurers GIO, top risks restaurants have to be aware of and prepared to deal with include:

  • Fire damage: they identify as the main risk, and include electrical sources as common cause;
  • Food poisoning: refrigeration can be a root cause of this major risk area.
  • Customer injury: a lesser risk, but still the potential remains for customers to be injured in your premises from equipment failures. Worker safety could be added to this.

You can insure against these risks as GIO suggests to limit the financial impact, but the reputational damage of equipment related problems can be much harder to mitigate.

In terms of the potential impact of commercial refrigeration equipment failures on your reputation, you can reduce the risk relatively easily. In Australia and New Zealand clear standards exist to ensure equipment is mechanically and electronically safe. Ensuring your equipment is compliant can give you confidence it will be safe and reliable, and that there is a credible supplier to provide support.

We’ve prepared an eBook for food services providers “The cold, hard facts about technical compliance”, that helps you understand the key areas of compliance and how to easily check if your equipment is likely to avoid any risk to your reputation.

Download the eBook “The cold, hard facts about technical compliance” or contact SKOPE to discuss your compliance questions.

It’s all about food quality

A survey result that wouldn’t surprise many in the food services sector across Australia and New Zealand, 89% of patrons cite poor food quality as the main reason they will avoid returning to a restaurant. The study, cited on the Restaurant Association of New Zealand website, was carried out with a sample of New Zealand consumers by a marketing agency specialising in the food and beverage industry.

Other factors such as poor service (61%) figured highly also, but food quality remained at the heart of attracting repeat customers. The fact 95% relied on word of mouth and online reviews reinforces the importance of getting the customer experience right.

While delivering quality food is part-art and part-science, refrigeration is a fundamental to delivering food and beverage that exceeds a consumer’s expectation. The challenge for food service businesses can be having confidence in their refrigeration equipment, a category which is often outside their own expertise.

There are many excellent food service consultants and equipment suppliers that can provide useful advice, as well as online sources of information, about refrigeration options.

9975136_lAnother key way of having confidence in your refrigeration equipment is how they stack up to various compliance standards. As any food service business must meet standards around the quality and safety of their produce, reputable manufacturers of commercial refrigeration equipment have to do the same with their products.

The correct compliance for your refrigeration equipment can give you some confidence it will perform as expected, and that your supplier has invested in its own production process to ensure its products meet the standards.

For commercial refrigeration, there are three areas of compliance that are relevant:

  1. Safety: Australia and New Zealand have agreed standards on what constitutes mechanically and electrically safe equipment.
  2. Electromagnetic compliance: any electrical equipment emits electromagnetic energy, which needs to be within proscribed Trans-Tasman standards to avoid interfering or damaging other equipment.
  3. Energy efficiency: minimum energy efficiency standards exist to ensure your equipment is cost-effective and environmentally acceptable.

Refrigeration compliance may not be the first thing you think about for your food service business, but understanding the basic standards will help you assess whether your current equipment is going to help deliver on food quality day-in and day-out. It’s also a useful check when you are evaluating new equipment purchases.

tickCompliance may seem complicated, but it is actually relatively quick and easy to check. We’ve put together a simple guide to help you understand the three main compliance standards, and how to determine whether your equipment makes the grade.

 

Download the eBook “The cold, hard facts on commercial
refrigeration compliance” or contact SKOPE to discuss your compliance questions.

Are your frozen assets costing you money?

Are you seeing your refrigeration system as an asset to your business or just another piece of necessary kitchen equipment?

The reality is that choosing and maintaining the right refrigeration systems can make a significant difference not only to your trade, but to your bottom line.

So what really makes a difference?

1. Food Safety is Paramount

Ensuring food safety is the most obvious.

Serving food that has spoiled is only going to lead to costs to your business in terms of wasted and compliance requirements, a potential shutdown if there is a food poisoning issue, and of course the cost in lost business, reputation and good will from your customers.

Think of these potential costs to your business

  • Compliance requirements
  • Potential shutdown to get standards back up to code
  • Lost business while the kitchen, restaurant or café is closed
  • Loss of patronage and goodwill from affected customers
  • Loss of potential new customers through word of mouth or media coverage of the negative experience

Food SafetySo how do I get it right?

  • FIFO – First in, first out. Make sure you clearly write dates on food containers and use the oldest food first.
  • To assist this place new stock behind older items to ensure regular turnover.
  • Ensure containers are airtight to eliminate the chance of oxygen spoiling the food.
  • Invest in an internal thermometer to ensure food temperatures are consistent. This is crucial in a busy environment where doors are continually opened and closed.
  • Don’t overload. Refrigerators need a good airflow between items to work efficiently. Crowding fridges not only leads to an increased risk of spoilage but also makes the motor work harder – which costs you more in power.

Education of staff is crucial:

  • Remind staff about the importance of storage, and especially storing uncooked and cooked meats at the bottom of the refrigerator units to avoid it contaminating other food.
  • Ensure staff carefully wrap food and store in containers that are not punctured.
  • Date every product – that way there is no confusion on how old an item actually is.
  • Keep items off the floor. Ensure shelving keeps the product off the ground (stainless or galvanised shelves are perfect) and doesn’t rest directly against walls or ceilings to avoid stale air.
  • Keep things organised. Food products and cleaning products should be stored well apart, chicken away from fish and the like.
  • Don’t forget that what staff bring with them to work can be a hazard too. When in doubt throw or leave it out.

2. Choosing the Right Equipment Matters to your Bottom Line

The refrigeration unit you choose makes a tremendous difference to the performance of your business as a whole.

Refrigeration options can vary to suit your specific requirements. SKOPE offer a variety of units from glass door front of house display fridges that can display your products and drive sales, through to fit for purpose industrial chillers.

One aspect that doesn’t change when you choose SKOPE however is our ongoing commitment to reliability, quality of build, and energy efficiency.

Minimise your electric bill and increase your efficiency.

We have all read an article that demonstrates the fallout noted above when a restaurant makes a customer ill through poor handling, hygiene or equipment.

However have you also considered that choosing an energy efficient refrigeration unit can provide significant cost savings that help to build your profitability, as well as ensuring the ongoing quality of your products.

At SKOPE we continue to redevelop and redesign our products to ensure industry leading energy efficiency. A SKOPE cabinet today uses approximately 70% less energy than one made just ten years ago – and our work in this area continues.

By understanding your needs you can ensure you choose the ideal SKOPE option for your business using the easy product selector tool on our website.  All SKOPE units feature our smaller but more powerful, higher performing fan motors ensuring outstanding chilling and maximum energy efficiency. Look out for the ‘High Energy Effeciency’ icon throughout the product portfolio, this signifies the very best in engineered efficiency and performance.

High Energy Efficiency

The choice of door type and additional features – self closing doors, long life magnetic door gaskets, low/e argon glass, slotted back panels designed for precise temperature control  – can improve efficiencies and drive cost savings further.

No matter the environment, SKOPE have a product to suit. It’s an easy decision and a smart choice to pay less in the long term while ensuring your products – and what you deliver to your customer – are kept in optimum condition.