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What Technology can Do to Reduce Food Waste and Safety Risks in Hotels?

Food and Beverages | Monday, July 11, 2022

Through digital technology, hotels may streamline their paper-based processes and make them more efficient while improving accuracy, speed, and convenience.

FREMONT, CA: Hotels that invest in digital temperature sensors with reliable software can avoid food spoiling, food wastage, food safety violation incidents, ultimately saving them a significant amount of money.

Modernizing their commercial kitchens with the most up-to-date equipment is highly advantageous for hotels of all sizes, from huge chains to single-unit establishments. Many resist this transformation out of concern that implementing technological tools will be costly, complex, and overwhelming. As digital solutions grow more prevalent in the restaurant and hotel industries, they have become more economical, accessible, and user-friendly. And digital systems offer numerous and essential benefits.

While many businesses have embraced technology, discovering digital solutions to enhance productivity, safety, and profitability, the hotel industry has slowly accepted these innovations. Historically, hotel kitchens have utilized pen and paper systems for ordering, inventory management, and safety inspections, among other things.

This obsolete system makes it challenging to:

Access historical logs from a mountain of paperwork: This is problematic, particularly if the hotel experiences an outbreak of foodborne diseases, norovirus, or hepatitis A and management needs to locate specific documents for the Department of Health or legal action.

Analyze data quickly and efficiently: Reporting is practically tricky with paper forms, whereas it is quick, simple, and precise with digital tools. Viewing more integrated data enables hotel management to make better informed, well-informed judgments on various crucial topics.

Validate vital information: On paper logs and line checks, the likelihood of human error (or cheating) is significant, putting guests and businesses at risk. However, many hotel cooks and managers continue to utilize pen and paper for vital quality and safety checks because they are averse to change and have always done so. Tools equipped with time stamps and geolocation provide digital "evidence" that inspections were performed accurately and on schedule.

While many in the hospitality business continue to use outmoded "clipboard systems," adopting technology can result in real improvements in productivity, accuracy, and safety, as well as a substantial reduction in food waste. The greatest "victories" include:

Enhanced safety measures: Digital technologies enable personnel to execute faster, more precise, and more efficient line checks, improving safety measures. The most recent digital solutions are user-friendly and practical; team members can use their smartphones to conduct vital inspections and offer "evidence" of critical safety procedures (e.g., photos of the walk-in temp, etc.).

Chefs and managers may instantly access this data in real-time, review the information from any location, and verify that all relevant tasks (e.g., inspections, ordering, inventory, etc.) were accomplished correctly, precisely, and on time. Additionally, electronic solutions eliminate the need to decode illegible handwriting on paper forms, resulting in more precise, helpful information.

A more holistic perspective: It is essential for hospitality organizations to have access to enterprise-wide sales figures and other vital data. When examining paper documents, obtaining an entire, significant picture perspective is impossible. In contrast, technology solutions give more precise, comprehensive, and integrated data, enabling hotel management to swiftly and readily identify data trends across the enterprise. Additionally, records are readily accessible; it no longer is necessary to sift through towering stacks of paper in search of a particular document.

Reliability, scalability, and adaptability: It is simple to build and deploy an integrated digital system that offers uniformity from one unit to the next, establishing value and scale across all concepts. Scalable systems develop alongside a hospitality brand as it opens new sites.

More accurate temperatures: Foodborne illness outbreaks and food waste can be prevented and minimized by cooking and storing foods at the appropriate temperatures. Digital sensors and thermometers ensure that meals are held and cooked correctly, decreasing food safety concerns such as human mistakes.

In addition, the most recent sensors can notify personnel of temperature variations, which might be caused by equipment failure, power outage, or human error (such as leaving a freezer door open).

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