Restaurant Disaster Preparedness: How to keep everything safe

Posted On: May 9, 2018
Food Recall

One of the bitter truths of operating a business is the uncertainty of your surroundings. Mother Nature follows no law. Businesses have learned the hard way about the need to establish safety and disaster management protocols. This is arguably more important for restaurants and fast food chains. Being prepared beforehand is the best way to respond to natural calamities.

Not every restaurant is capable of surviving the outcome of a natural disaster. Only 43 percent of businesses have been seen to resume operations after being struck by a disaster, according to the U.S National Archives and Records Administration. Click To Tweet

There is nothing worse than seeing your hard work wash down the drain. It is crucial to establish disaster management, just as it is important to develop good ethics in day to day operations. Let us discuss some of the points to help you prepare against unexpected disasters. Assess Your Business and Likely Disasters Before disaster management policies can be drafted, it is necessary to examine the business first. For a restaurant, disasters can range from power outages, disruption in water supply, floods, fires, earthquakes, and hurricanes. Be prepared for all such potential disasters. Floods and hurricanes, for example, can cause power outages for up to multiple days. Restaurants have food as valuables and cannot afford to lose them. Appropriate food safety training will help identify hazards that can affect food and quality of service. Floods can often contaminate water supply. So it is recommended to have clean water as backup in case of such an emergency. When disasters occur, infrastructure takes a hit and there can be potential injuries. For this reason, there should be medical assistance present on the premises. Emergency kits can help save lives and treat injuries. There should be at least one person in the restaurant who knows how to use first-aid kits. Connecting with those who have been in the business longer than you can help in providing insight. Use their experience to be prepared for any and all kinds of disasters.

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Train Employees: Disaster management is carried out by the people you employ. If employees of a restaurant are not prepared to expect and how to respond during a disaster, then drafting disaster management protocols is merely a useless exercise. During a disaster, your customers will be in as much stress as the staff of the restaurant, but proper training will ensure that employees hold their ground and assist customers. Disabled and elderly customers will need attention first. Then, employees need to coordinate the situation and cooperate with first responders, as well as keeping close communication with vendors and suppliers. An effective way to ensure this is to conduct drills with mockup customers. This will put employees right at the scene. Evaluate their performance and provide feedback accordingly. Food safety management principles training is an effective way to provide employees exposure to best practices during disasters. Protecting Valuable Assets: We are not in the 60s anymore. Businesses operate on the use of electrically powered devices. Value assets such as a business database that includes transactional data, employee records, payrolls, customer information, and other business documents, are stored locally in computers. Prepare for the disasters by backing up data daily externally or on the cloud. In case of physical documents, secure them quickly before they are victim to any damage. Other important data includes surveillance footage from the cameras on the premises. In cases where the source of the disaster was the restaurant itself, surveillance footage will help identify the cause of the disaster and how it occurred. In some cases, a mishap by an employee could be a reason for damages. In all such cases, the restaurant will need video evidence to improve its operations. Be Quick to Operate Again If it was not enough that your business had to suffer through a disaster, every day that you are out of business are days that you do not make revenue. Businesses do not have this kind of luxury. Getting up and running quickly will help your business recover the damages incurred. Check with your insurance company and have all the information about your business ready for such cases. It is also important that customers do not perceive you as a dead franchise. Keep them engaged through social media, let them know you will be back soon. The important thing to know about disasters is that they are not in our control. The best bet against it is being prepared. Having employees trained in food safety management training will ensure the restaurant upholds its quality, even after a disaster.

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