How a digital food safety system relieves the daily pressures of a Head Chef
July 29th , 2022 by Monika Australia & Asia Pacific
It’s no secret that the life of an Executive or Head Chef is a pressured one – the juggle is real, between managing changing menus and budgets, coordinating multiple kitchen staff, maintaining inventory and equipment, and ensuring the highest standards of food safety and quality. So if there’s one thing that a chef doesn’t need, it’s more paperwork – or worse, an unexpected food safety, equipment or inventory problem.
In this blog post, we compare how key elements in the daily routine of Head Chef change when they move from a manual system for managing food safety to a digital system like MonikaPrime.
The problem with manual food safety processes
Manual processes can slow down the daily routine of a Head Chef and their kitchen staff to the point of exasperation during busy periods. Consider the requirement to take twice-daily manual temperature logs of all refrigeration and hot-holding units – a task that takes time to retrieve the paperwork, move between the cabinets, write down the temperatures and file the paperwork.
Then consider the cumbersome task of probing and writing down temperatures during food preparation and service. For a busy kitchen team working a production line for a large event, for example, this is quite impractical – not to mention posing a cross-contamination risk between pen, paper and food.
Let’s not forget the many kitchen hygiene and cleaning tasks that need to be verified and recorded each day. A Head Chef may not be present to ensure these are completed and the relevant documents signed off. Paper records will also usually mean more time and effort must be put into ongoing training and oversight – due to the lack of staff accountability with manual systems.
Finally, with a manual system, a chef has no way of knowing their stock has moved out of safe range due to an equipment malfunction while they are off site. This can mean a costly, last minute scramble to replace lost stock, or even a potential food safety catastrophe.
Improving the daily routine of a Head Chef with Monika
In a busy food operation, a Head Chef is pulled in multiple directions on a daily basis. But you can’t be in five places at once – so when it comes to food safety, remote visibility is key. For example, with a Monika digital food safety system, a chef can be in a management meeting or sitting at their desk while simultaneously verifying live refrigeration readings and equipment performance. This proactive management ensures no unexpected incidents occur that may compromise stock.
Issues with food quality or temperature at the point of delivery can be addressed from anywhere – the staff member simply records the non-compliance at Goods Inward, and the Head Chef receives immediate notification to follow-up with the supplier. The status of routine hygiene tasks such as post-service kitchen cleans can also be verified and signed off from anywhere, thanks to photo evidence uploaded by the staff member.
Equipped with their own devices for managing food safety tasks, kitchen staff can work methodically through temperature and hygiene tasks without the need for a Head Chef to be present. Staff are both empowered and accountable, guided step-by-step through each procedure from their device. This ensures consistency, particularly for large operations across teams and sites.
With live KPI performance tracking, a Head Chef can be notified if an activity falls below a daily or weekly benchmark – such as hygiene or hand probing tasks (see below screen shot).
Most importantly, with access to live data and more proactive management of food safety standards, a Head Chef can avoid the unexpected – a crisis of lost stock or unsafe food – and focus on what they do best, delivering food excellence to customers.