4 Ways to Save Time in Your Foodservice Kitchen
By Cindy Rice, RS, CP-FS, MSPH Eastern Food Safety
Time is money, or so the old adage goes. Foodservice operations need to balance multiple factors every day - control food safety risks, comply with regulations, and still focus on producing quality food. Through it all, controlling costs is always top of mind for a successful operation. Besides managing food costs and reducing waste, there are 4 key ways to save time in a foodservice kitchen, and they all focus around using more efficient, automated label printers.
Time-Saver #1: Eliminate Handwriting Tasks
Automated labeling systems eliminate the need to handwrite information on labels, and it especially helps to have a reliable thermal printer that can withstand a fast-paced kitchen. This saves considerable time in physical labor over the course of a workday, with the added benefit of improved legibility and consistency of information on the label, especially during busy periods. A direct thermal printer also eliminates the need to locate supplies, markers, and replace ink, ribbons or cartridges. In short, the labels are always accessible and ready for use.
Time-Saver #2: Pre-Programmed Information
A huge time saver is having pre-determined information for your menu items (i.e., shelf-life, ingredients, allergens, etc,) which can be pre-programmed into your machine. This helps ensure accuracy on every label, eliminating the need to gather specific information for every food item during the preparation stage. The information can be customized for your operation and changed if needed, which cuts down on costly mistakes and improves food rotation and safety. Bluetooth technology pairs to an Android or iOS device for rapid information retrieval and updates, and can even be used for tamper-resistant and grab and go labeling.
Time-Saver #3: Clearer Communications With Staff
Training staff can eat up immeasurable chunks of time in your workday, including how to label, what information to record, for the variety of menu items and prepped products before storage. In many food establishments, there is an added challenge of different learner levels and language barriers. An automated label printer streamlines the training process through its pre-programmed data, and reduces time supervising staff and correcting mistakes. This type of labeling system also helps enhance your FIFO program, through clearer identification of datemarkings, and helps comply with FDA mandates for labeling, e.g., expiration dates, ingredients and nutritional information.
Time-Saver #4: No More Deteriorated Labels or Sticky Residues
There is nothing more frustrating than labels that degrade over time, fall off in the freezer, or don’t peel off completely and leave a sticky residue on the container. Daydots unique plastic and waterproof DuraLabels adhere well to multiple surfaces, withstand steam or cold environments, and keep your label intact even after washing containers with the labels still on, eliminating the need to replace damaged labels. These labels are also totally removable- they peel off easily from containers and leave no sticky residue which can be frustrating and time consuming to scrape off. This cuts down clean-up time considerably and also helps eliminate adhesive buildup and residue on containers, which could harbor bacteria and be potential health code violations.
Taking advantage of technology solutions for labeling can help you save time in your kitchen, improve food safety practices and be compliant with regulations too. These all add up to a more successful, profitable business operation.