Food Safety Initiatives: Your Competitive Differentiator

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Competing to Win New & Recurring Customers

By James Bailey, CPA

The Problem: patrons of your restaurant believe they’re at higher risk of getting food poisoning from restaurants, like yours, versus cooking and eating at home.

The Solution: Keep reading to learn more about this issue and what you can do to boost food safety standards, better compete, and market your restaurant more effectively.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) agrees with the public.  “The CDC estimates that each year roughly 1 in 6 Americans (or 48 million people) gets sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die of foodborne diseases.”  Of these figures, 75% of foodborne illnesses originate in the hospitality industry.  Ouch! 

These alarming statistics frighten even most experienced restauranteurs.   Chipotle’s outbreaks, dating back to 2015, have been so widespread that they prompted the FDA to initiate criminal investigations.  Today, insurance carriers discuss and promote foodborne illness coverage as a standard next to property and workers’ compensation coverage.

 

With the potential threat out there, how are you minimizing risk and increasing opportunity?

The typical restaurant, also known as your competition, continues to take pride in meeting the basic food safety regulations.  As long as their violations are out of customer sight, it’s business as usual.  Their undeveloped procedures are your branding opportunity! 

The Kansas Restaurant & Hospitality Association’s Trusted Table food safety initiative assures customers that a higher standard of food safety procedures are an integral part of your operations.  To be a member, your organization must commit to the following enhanced standards.  You must:

  • have one employee (or more) with a ServSafe Manager Certificate onsite during your hours of operation,
  • be in compliance with the most recent Kansas Department of Agriculture inspection, and
  • be a current, active KRHA member.

Enhancing Pre-existing Food Safety Procedures into Your Revenue Stream

Trusted Table provides an avenue to market your superior food safety standards to your consumer base.  However, many owners are not fully capitalizing on this initiative.  It is easy for customers to walk past the provided logo decal or branded pens as they focus on reviewing and signing the credit card slip.

Successful marketing plans have incorporated social media platforms to get the message out with impressive results.  Whether it is Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or “insert your favorite social platform,” the message is direct.  “We are as passionate about food safety as we are about our food.”

Further, your servers and wait staff will enjoy spreading the word that your restaurant takes extra steps to ensure a higher food safety standard.  Back of house flyers are regularly used to help train staff on how and what they should say to a customer when asked about the program.

 

Ready to talk about how you can differentiate your restaurant from your competitors and increase revenue? Let’s talk about what the KRHA’s Trusted Table initiative and a strong marketing plan can do for you! 

 

About James Bailey

James Bailey, CPA, Senior Manager, leads Adams, Brown, Beran & Ball, Chtd.’s Restaurant Industry niche.  With over fifteen years of public accounting and restaurant consulting experience, he strategizes with ABBB’s Restaurant clients on the unique challenges they face. Additionally, James is a keen researcher of cutting-edge technologies in the industry.  For more information, visit abbbstg.wpengine.com or contact him at jbailey@abbb.com.

How to Use Trusted Table as a Competitive Advantage