"We cut down the time involved in food safety checks from one week to just under an hour. This is quite impressive."
Food safety control is a time-consuming job for large hospitality businesses, particularly when it is still done with pen and paper. Multi-site hospitality businesses can save significant time and reduce costs by digitizing their food safety management.
When Auckland Council made temperature monitoring of fridges containing perishable foods compulsory, Matt Farley, Group Chef of AUT Hospitality Services, started to look at fresh ways to implement the new requirements without hindering staff from performing other key tasks like serving their customers.
The iMonitor solution
Time savings with automated temperature monitoring
With 48 fridges and chillers across AUT’s different cafés, one employee would have been kept busy for a whole week just to perform all safety checks that are required as part of the Food Control Plan. iMonitor were able to offer a solution that could cover the temperature monitoring of all cold store units across all sites automatically. “With iMonitor’s temperature sensors and Food Safety Plan software, we were able to cut this down to under an hour. This meant significant cost savings for our business” said a relieved Matt.
Digital checklists to free up staff
Alongside the automation of temperature monitoring AUT were able to proactively manage food safety tasks with iMonitor’s Food Safety Plan software, In doing this Matt and his team were able to reduce the time involved in daily food safety tasks as much as possible. Instead of time-consuming paper recordings, the team now use daily digital checklists via an intuitive app that is accessible from any mobile device. Matt’s front of house and back of house teams now perform their food safety checklists much quicker, having more time to serve customers. “The system has instantly paid itself off” says Matt. “Our team now has to put much less effort into getting the same food safety results than with the paper-based food control plan we had before.”
The system has prevented thousands of dollars of inventory loss
iMonitor’s system monitors the temperature of all cold store units in real-time, even when the cafés are closed. One sensor detected when a walk-in-chiller went down on a weekend. Matt was instantly alerted via SMS, so that his team could save the food and get the walk-in chiller repaired quickly.
“This happened twice and therefore saved us several thousands of Dollars. It is good to know that the system can detect fridge failures,” says Matt. “The data lets us even identify patterns over time. For example, the slight increase of fridge temperature over time might hint at decreased refrigerator performance.
”By automating their temperature monitoring and proactively managing food safety tasks with iMonitor’s Food Safety Plan software, AUT Hospitality Services prevented stock loss due to fridge failures, eliminated paperwork and freed up staff for other tasks.
Loving the audit trail to facilitate food safety audits
iMonitor’s Food Safety Plan includes an audit trail that facilitates the auditing process. “With paper-based processes, you always have the inaccuracy of manual measuring as well as the problem with human errors or data manipulation. Automated monitoring eliminates these risks. It can’t be fudged’” says Matt.
The reporting module enables Matt to do daily internal audits on the status of all food safety processes. “The software provides me with full 24/7 visibility on all food safety processes across all our sites from anywhere I want”, says Matt. “I do not have to flick through piles of paper documents to find the information I need”.
AUT Hospitality Services manages three campus cafés, three onsite coffee carts as well as the catering business of Auckland University of Technology. The group is currently taking a fourth café under management. AUT Hospitality Services aims at providing reasonably priced and healthy food of high quality to AUT students and staff. Matthew Farley is AUT Group Chef of 17 staff and supervises the food safety control across all sites. The group complies with the New Zealand Food Act (2014).
Never before has the hospitality industry been as fluid and dynamic as it is today. As one of the largest employers in the world, it now hires more casual and seasonal employees than in almost every other industry.