Fast paced and often stress-inducing, a day in the life of a restaurant operator is never dull. From the morning’s breakfast and brunch regulars to the evening’s one-time eatery explorers you and your staff are constantly moving orders while trying to find ways to efficiently cut corners without jeopardizing quality. If that means installing top of the line restaurant equipment, integrating new technologies into your day-to-day, or simply tracking waste management it’s the little improvements that go a long way.
Luckily there are innovators out there like Jon Christensen who have your establishment’s needs in mind. Taking everyday routines and adding a digital ingredient to the mix, Christensen has developed an app that makes food safety easy. The app is called CheckWise and it replaces the pen and paper method of tracking your food safety procedures with an everything-in-your-hand alternative.
Currently in the pilot program stage, CheckWise is designed to outline and initiate food safety checklists that managers would regularly assign to their staff via paper instructions and a clipboard. Unlike a clipboard and paper instructions though CheckWise has a treasure trove of features meant to enhance your food safety program.
Tracking food safety throughout the day couldn’t be easier using CheckWise. From a separate web application management can:
• create checklists for staff members & push those checklists down to mobile devices
• set food “safe zone” temperatures
• assign corrective action prompts like “call manager” or “dispose of item”
• schedule checklist to be completed once or multiple times a day
• monitor completion of checklists in real-time
• print daily and customized summary reports
“With the pilot program we are looking to get CheckWise to one or two participants in each of the markets we want to enter,” Christensen says. “Our pilot customers have the opportunity to influence some of the upcoming features of the product by giving us feedback on what they need most. It’s a chance for [participants] to use the product for free for a couple months to make sure it is something that helps them.”
Christensen hopes to see CheckWise used in the QSR, table service, grocery, hospital, university, and K-12 markets. The service is optimized for the iPod touch, the company’s choice for the least expensive, most reliable device of its kind, but can be used on other Apple products with IOS 5 like the iPhone, and iPad. Slated to be released as a free app with a charge for services, CheckWise is set to revolutionize the in-house approach to food safety.
“Right now we’re looking at $25 per device per month,” Christensen explains. “We definitely want some feedback from potential customers to make sure this pricing will work for everyone, but we don’t believe in being secretive about pricing. If the service isn’t worth what we’re asking for then we have some looking in the mirror to do.”
The in-the-works pricing structure also takes into account businesses that might need multiple devices. Whereas a small restaurant may only need one, a large grocery store may need a handful of handhelds to accommodate more staff.
The technology looks promising, and the possibilities for individual industry use uncover a number of inherent benefits. By putting the opportunity to test and contribute to the evolution of CheckWise on the table for free Christensen is letting potential customers weigh in on what a digitally optimized food safety program could look like.