Keeping customers safe is the underlying responsibility in every sector of the foodservice industry. When it comes to delivery, restaurants are responsible for keeping their food safe from the time it starts in the kitchen to when it arrives at your customer’s doorstep. In addition, operators want orders to arrive in quality condition that inspire positive reviews. We encourage operators to follow these equipment and procedural strategies for a safe and successful delivery operation:
Keep food safe from start to finish
Food safety is just as important inside the kitchen as it is outside. Although your restaurant follows strict food safety protocols while they make an order, it’s important to consider how you’ll maintain food safety while a delivery order is waiting to be picked up and while it is on the road to the customer. If you’re using a third-party delivery app service, you have little control over how long it takes a drive to pickup the food and what happens to it afterward.
To keep food at temperature before pickup, we suggest keeping food held in food safe, temperature-maintained equipment. Cambro’s Cam GoBoxes hold hot or cold temperatures for at least 4 hours and Delivery GoBags hold for 45 minutes, ensuring your customer’s order stays fresh and out of the danger zone while you wait for a driver to come get it.
To keep food safe while it’s in the process of being delivered, Leslie Nguyen, co-owner of Bosscat Kitchen and Libations, began using to-go bags that seal closed. This allows food to stay untampered with until it gets to the customer, eliminating any fear of mishandling and emphasizing your commitment to their safety. Check out the sealable, tamper-proof versions on the market.
Create a 🚗 delivery-friendly menu
Some foods travel better than others, and many customers don’t realize that. When they order an item, they assume it will come in good condition and at the right temperature. However, some foods on your menu just won’t hold up to your standards during delivery like they do in your restaurant. If your business doesn’t typically handle delivery, this could be a lesson that takes a few complaints to learn. We’re here to tell you that choosing delivery-compatible foods for your to-go menu is very important. Just as important, are the containers you pack them inside. Customers are much more likely to order delivery from you again if their order arrived piping hot and in great condition. For example, delicate fried foods and liquid-based items, need to be in containers that will prevent softening and oils from leaking out.
PRO TIP: After choosing the right container for you, use Cambro’s To-Go Container Solution to find the right Delivery GoBag or GoBox to transport them. With Cambro’s delivery products, heat stays in—food is kept safe while preserving its taste, flavor, texture and appearance.
Ensure order accuracy
Delivery customers’ worst nightmares include realizing they were given the wrong order, missing cutlery or condiments and food at the wrong temperature. Matters can be made even worse if a customer with a food allergy is given an incorrect order that’s made with one of those allergies. At this point, one small mistake could have a huge impact on your business. Don’t let it happen to you. Instruct employees to denote orders with special requests with a color-coded sticker or write an abbreviation with permanent marker on the top. This will help them catch mistakes while they’re double checking orders for accuracy, cutlery and condiments. When drivers arrive, confirm the name on the order and the contents of the order before allowing them to take it.
Create an aggressive Back of House cleaning schedule
A clean kitchen produces clean food. Modern Restaurant Management suggests several cleaning tasks to do during and after shifts, versus leaving it all for closing time. Click here for their check list, which includes washing slicers, grinders, mixers, microwaves, coffee makers and other prep equipment frequently, wiping down and disinfecting prep station surfaces after preparing food, place dirty kitchen rags and linens in the laundry and more. Ensure employees are completing the items on this check list frequently throughout their shifts and before they leave. Follow the deep cleaning suggestions before everyone leaves for the end of the night. While prep and cooking surfaces are a more obvious place in need of cleaning, don’t forget your storage areas too. Dried food spills and dropped ingredients can leave a layer of residue on your shelving. Keep cross-contamination at bay by cleaning your shelving regularly. Camshelving shelf plates easily lift off traverses and can run through a dishwasher. Cleaning Camshelving takes minimal effort with a hefty reward.
Monitor employee hygiene
In case you haven’t heard: wash 👏 your 👏hands 👏. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, we suggest employees also wear gloves and keep their uniforms clean. You can’t afford to have employees working who aren’t following these protocols to a T. Frequently check to make sure your employees are coming to work in good health and are taking the necessary hygienic precautions during service. Use this time to take a closer look at the food safety strengths and weaknesses in your BOH and tighten things up where it’s needed. See our latest Real World Food Safety Violations to see what you could be missing.
Above all, it’s always good to be transparent about your food safety protocols so that customers feel safe and confident ordering your food time after time. Leverage your food safety processes on social media to emphasize your efforts and inform customers that are likely unaware of the lengths you go to achieve a hygienic BOH environment. Click here to find your nearest retailer, online retailers or to contact your local Cambro representative.