During the pandemic, quick-service restaurants rode a roller coaster of openings and closings. Today, they are riding a new wave of challenges where traditional manual processes are becoming less and less viable. The good news is that technology exists that allows restaurant operators to take inventory in a matter of minutes, while achieving 99.9 percent accuracy, saving labor, reducing waste and making food safer across the enterprise.  

As automated solutions are becoming more essential for success, quick-service restaurant operators often discover that identifying solutions that align with their specific challenges can be difficult. However, online tools such as AD Explore can help simplify the search. Presented on an animated, self-guided platform, multiple segmented supply chain environments encompass the full gamut of food use cases, challenges, and the identification solutions to solve them.

For example, one use case within the virtual food supply chain allows the user to click on a freezer in the stockroom of the virtual kitchen, where they will discover cost- and labor-efficient methods of managing expired inventory (FEFO), minimizing food waste, and keeping consumers safe.

Let’s take a look at three traditionally manual processes conducted in quick-service restaurant environments that have automated solutions that can be identified with just a few clicks:

Visit the Stockroom: Find Inventory Accuracy—As quick-serves continue to move from a first-in first-out model to a first-expired first-out model, having accurate inventory means ensuring proper rotation. 

Inventory needs to be taken at frequent and regular intervals to avoid stock-outs, reduce waste and ensure proper rotation. This can be a challenge especially if the restaurant is using manual processes which can be slow and error prone, and with the current labor shortages, there also may not be the labor to accomplish this task as often as needed. 

Check the Refrigeration: Take Temperature & HACCP Checks—Taking food temperatures and conducting HACCP checks is a critical process and the cornerstone of food safety. Despite its importance, the process is often error prone. The manual nature of HACCP has long been susceptible to fraudulent logs and pencil whipping: approving documents without taking time to review them.

Go to Recall: Get Tracking—Recalling or withdrawing products from quick serve restaurants is often a manual process involving phone calls and emails with little to no visibility into recall incidents. This often leads to low recall compliance and high labor costs for franchisor staff managing recall incidents.

For quick-service operators looking to automate slow, labor intensive manual processes, identifying automated solutions that improve speed and accuracy has never been more important. Luckily, aligning industry challenges with successful solutions is just a few clicks away.

Ryan Yost is vice president/general manager for the Avery Dennison Corporation. In his role, he is responsible for worldwide leadership of and strategy for the Printer Solutions Division, focused on building partnerships and solutions within the Food, Apparel and Logistics industries. For more information, visit www.freshmarx.com.

Outside Insights, Story