What to Expect When Switching from Paper to Digital Checklists

Restaurant owners are busy. The thought of switching from a traditional and trusted analog process to a new digital platform can sound overwhelming. So, why go through the hassle of upgrading your food safety program?

There are plenty of benefits to making that decision, but here are 5 of the most common:

1. Your employees will become more accountable.

Every employee in every industry has felt a higher sense of accountability when a stakeholder is watching. And accountability in the workplace is especially important in a restaurant environment, where mistakes can lead to health and safety issues. With paper checklists, there is no concrete motivation for employees to complete tasks in a certain time window or to adhere to required standards.

Digital checklists open the door to transparency and accountability by giving managers and operators the ability to see when and how tasks are completed in any store, at any time. In comparison to paper checklists, where tasks are reviewed only when the operator has time to visit the store, sit with the papers, and read.

This isn’t a scare tactic meant to put stress on employees, but a way to encourage that tasks are completed in an appropriate window of time while adhering to health and safety standards.

2. Your employees will become more engaged

As the workforce welcomes more members of the Millennial and Gen Z generations, their workplaces must adapt in order to make them as successful as possible. By replacing systems of the past (or pretty much any process still relying on pen and paper) with digital solutions, you engage and encourage employees who are more familiar with technology and who rely on it to work effectively.

3. Increased trust between employees and managers

When digital checklists create more accountability and transparency, managers and operators will feel less of a need to micromanage their employees. When managers can see that employees are completing tasks in real-time, confidence, and trust will grow, allowing for more autonomy.

In addition to the saved time and increased productivity that comes with less micromanagement, this trust will lead to better collaboration and communication across the board.

4. Employees become more efficient

When using a paper digital food safety solution, tasks often require two or more employees to complete – one to actually perform the food safety check, and another to document and report. After switching to a digital solution, you’ll notice that most tasks can be completed by just one individual, freeing up resources for other critical tasks that need to be completed in your restaurants.

5. More efficient management

In addition to seeing increased efficiencies in employee tasks, digital solutions will make you and your managers more efficient as well. Preparing for corporate visits and audits is a cumbersome and time-consuming task when you’re relying on paper books and reports. Once you switch to a digital platform, you’ll cut out the time you would spend rifling through papers and aggregating data and instead, instantly pull valuable food safety stats and data from your centralized and customized dashboard.

If you’ve been interested in switching your paper checklists to digital but have put it off, consider how these improvements would impact your operations in the long-term. Do your research to ensure that the digital food safety platform you choose makes the transition simple, and results in little to no downtime for your stores.

Learn more about using digital checklists from our guide, “Digital Checklists: The Ultimate Guide for Restaurants”.