The QSR checklist check-up: How intelligent is yours?
Quick-service brands - as their service-category name implies - move at lightning speed to keep rushed customers happy and that's why checklists are so critical in this category to keep tabs on the hundreds of moving parts and people involved in the hopefully smooth daily function of each independent and chain location. Not just that, but potentially life-saving duties, that protect food and worker safety, are also pinned to thorough consistent use of daily checklists in any QSR operation.
That's where the dawn of intelligent checklists stands to be a game-changer. In order for a checklist to be "Intelligent" it must either provide new information, or better still, it should be dynamic. Using mobility, apps, wireless, and cloud technologies, we are now able to make static data active and alive. And in doing so, we create new checklists for our employees that are relevant, time-bound, and measured. These technologies enhance efficiency, while ensuring accountability.
In the case of a traditional restaurant daily checklist, an employee uses a binder to walk around the store to make observations and record them. In this scenario, the data required is inert and fixed. But that's not the way life really works.
An intelligent checklist "knows" far more, right from the get-go. It knows the date and time, who the employee is, and it can lead the employee through the process in the most efficient manner. It will not ask for redundant data, but rather seek out the meaningful information that drives safety and efficiency.
Today, we are working on exception-based, real-time, intelligent checklist creation. Historical data can be used to record the use of equipment - a grill, for example. The data can compute and even predict maintenance of the grill based on use, time of year, and menu changes.
An IoT sensor in the freezer can alert a manager immediately to a temperature problem and alert a manager by sending him a mandatory checklist, which includes a physical inspection, temp records, corrective actions, and follow-up measures. Such a checklist can be shared with another employee, say on the morning shift the following day, that she now has a task to temp frozen products or call for refrigeration maintenance.
Quality control, safety, and cleanliness are all foundational to a successful business. These attributes are achieved only through culture, training, and management. Intelligent checklists are much more than digital records. The combination and use of technologies are evolving such that apps are running stores and sensors are providing the visibility.
Topics: Back Office, Business Strategy and Profitability, Equipment & Supplies, Food & Beverage, Food Cost Management, Food Safety, Internet of Things, Online / Mobile / Social, Operations Management, Software - Supply Chain
As SVP and GM of SureCheck, John Sammon III is a leader in information systems and food safety. He has a passion for technology solutions that breed operational efficiencies while improving and protecting human health. PAR leads the industry in food safety technology for retail. In his present role, John helped to develop and now leads SureCheck®, a cloud-based food safety solution. He is also a champion for the use of machine to machine (M2M), Internet of Things (IoT) and mobility solutions to improve global food chain tracking, monitoring, and safety. He works closely with many of the largest food retailers and logistics partners to provide visibility and security of temperature-controlled products. Before holding his current position, Sammon held the position of SVP OBRCOMM INC. and President of PAR Logisticswww