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How to avoid a food safety disaster in your coffeeshop

Blog banner of food safety in coffeeshops and our tips

After a year that most of us would love to forget, hospitality is getting ready to reopen. And more than ever, food safety in coffeeshops is on everyone’s lips. As coffee and brunch enthusiasts are flocking to their favourite independent coffeeshops, no one wants a food safety disaster. We might have caught you in the middle of the (daunting) task of drafting of your ever longer checklist for the big reopening. We feel you! Between the coffee grinder’s maintenance checks, non-dairy milks restocking and staff training on new food safety measures, your very own flat white might get cold. The good news is that we have come up with a quick guide of actionable steps to help you reopen smoothly. You will also discover the perks of digital food safety to nail that 5* hygiene rating.

Not convinced? Imagine displaying on your coffeeshop’s door: Welcome back. We are a 5* food hygiene coffeeshop. We hope that didn’t make you drop your coffee beans! Read along to find out more.

What we will go through

Reopening your coffeeshop: rate your stress level from 0 to 10

Whether you are the owner, head chef, operations manager or even a barista, your starter pack for the reopening of your independent coffeeshop would likely look like this:

coffeeshop owner pain points isummarised

We get you here at Navitas. Our 33 years of expertise in food safety have made us well aware of the pain points you may face. This pandemic urges coffeeshops to build resilience and adaptability in terms of food hygiene. Customers are indeed on the lookout for food safety reassurance whilst enjoying their beloved independent coffeeshop experience. If gluten-free options, takeaway cups and non-slip trays weren’t enough, masks and hand sanitisers are likely to stay on management’s priority list for a while.

Running an independent coffeeshop can indeed become very overwhelming. And especially due to reduced team size and a lack of global HQ support that chains may have. On a positive note, you can follow simple steps and opt for more holistic control and smoother workflows. How? By fully digitalising your food safety processes. Don’t think that automation and digitalisation are only beneficial for big chains and franchises. But we’ll come back to that so sit tight!

Why coffeeshops are not immune to food safety incidents: when almond milk meets dairy

Coffeeshops are one of a kind in the hospitality industry. Every second counts in the kitchen and on the coffee counter. Whilst baristas are juggling between long queues of rushed pre-work coffee drinkers and brunch enthusiasts, another team is doing a parkour-inspired service between tables in very narrow premises. “Coffeeshop-typical” you might say. On top of that, everything tends to be visible – making coffeeshops specifically vulnerable to food safety incidents. Customers have all eyes on baristas’ hand’s pouring coffee, picking up the milk out of the fridge and displaying fresh cakes. So occasionally it does happen that allergens get mixed up in the rush, baristas get burned by the toaster and the milk isn’t put back in the fridge. Boom! Here comes the bad reviews and social media PR disaster. This is where digital food safety management comes into play.

coffeeshops are also vulnerable to food safety issues

Actionable tips to master your coffee and food safety standards

Coffeeshop food safety management is a time-consuming task. So let’s see how you could make your cappuccinos be in even safer hands with digitalised food safety processes. Whether you are new to running a coffeeshop or perhaps you’ve been there for years (have you kept track of how many espressos you’ve served?), this little refresher can’t hurt.

☕️ 1. Run through a food safety pre-audit checklist

Below is our version of a quick pre-audit checklist before reopening:

  • Check your coffeeshop’s structure (layout, lighting, pest control, ventilation, floor signage)
  • Review your food hygiene processes (storage, allergen traceability, temperature, labelling)
  • Scan the safety culture in your team (adequate training, COVID-secure, cleaning routines)

Here’s a gift from one coffeeshop lover to another – a free, coffeeshop-inspired food safety inspection pre-audit checklist to lift some weight off your shoulders!

download free pre-audit checklist for food safety inspection

☕️ 2. Opt for digital food safety to gain control and time

Food safety compliance is still very much a paper-based and time-consuming procedure. With such a quick customer turnover and less global support, overwhelming feelings of stress can quickly get to independent coffeeshops owners and head chefs like yourself. By digitalising food safety you can streamline all processes. Let it run in the background and focus on what truly matters to you, whether this is greeting your customers in person, making latte art or just spending more time with your family and friends.

So a warm hello again from Navitas. As a partner, we commit to work with you and your teams hand-in-hand to get complete control of your coffeeshop’s food safety management systems by combining high-tech hardware and software. Do you like the sound of automatic temperature checks and allergen traceability? 94% of kitchens using our digital food safety solution are rocking the 5 safety rating. Hence keep frothing the almond milk and let the system stay alert and run in the background for you!

And don’t forget to get ready for the new law on calorie labelling starting April 2022. Not sure if this will apply to your coffeeshop? Find out here!

infographic explaining digital food safety for coffeeshops

☕️ 3. Empower your baristas with online food safety training

The coffeeshop experience isn’t just about coffee and buttery pastries. Staff friendliness and hygiene processes are certainly just as key. Empower your teams with a comprehensive online food safety course to polish their knowledge. This will allow your entire coffeeshop to work together with a positive food safety culture and progress towards (or maintain) that 5* food hygiene standard. Coffeeshop food safety made simple! Level 2 is often considered as a good and comprehensive course for Front- and Back-of-House staff, as well as for anyone involved with food. Explore more!

☕️ 4. Streamline food safety to focus on your latte skills and customers

This is it, you’re in control and have a 360-degree visibility on your independent coffeeshop. Digital food safety is a key asset to help owners and head chefs like you to delegate the work to trustworthy food safety technology. Then you can concentre on what is essential to you. Here’s more free time for you to brainstorm on a a new coffee menu, type of pastry and some new latte art skills to WOW your customers. Or even to go on a reinvigorating coffee walk yourself! Running local and independent businesses can be daunting at times. But nothing can prevent you from reaching this lovely 5* rating and strengthen your speciality coffee’s reputation when working hand-in-hand with Navitas. And it’s also a more sustainable option for your business! On other good news, you will not feature in coffee bloggers’ top-10 of worst coffeeshop experience repertoire. Brand protection nailed!

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Let’s conclude (espresso level is low)

It’s now probably time to end the story and go grind some coffee for tomorrow. Here’s our key message to you today: running (and working for) independent coffeeshops can be challenging. However, nothing can go wrong when you let digital food safety do the background work for you. We want you to have your flat whites in safe hands with a no-hassle digital food safety management system. As the warmer season is approaching, let’s avoid a climate change disaster in your very own kitchen. You know, that melted ice issue on the day of peak demand for cold brews. Let’s get that espresso machine on a mission. Can you smell the fresh grounded beans yet?

We hope this was insightful and relevant, feel free to explore more around digital food safety. We’ve got you covered from supplier to plate… and coffee cup!

If this peaked your interest, get in touch with us at [email protected]. Alternatively let’s have a quick informal coffee break chat together to find out more about your business.

Book a chat with usUntil next time… we wish you a smooth and safe reopening!

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