What Is Digital Food Safety? A Restaurant Guide

by | 24-Oct-2022

You’ve probably noticed the prevalence of tablets in top-performing restaurants the last few years, most notably with industry leaders like Chick-fil-A.

Customers only see this technology when they order, but it’s leveraged in the kitchen by the back of house staff, too.

Digital Food Safety, or DFS, is the latest revolution in efficiency for restaurant kitchens.

Instead of taking manual temperatures and relying on employees to accurately write those in a paper binder, DFS instantly records and stores temperatures in your daily food safety checklists.

Not only does this remove human error, but transferring food safety to a digital medium means management can access temperature logs from anywhere—not just when they’re in store with employees.

Below, we outline what digital food safety actually is, it’s advantages, and how you can make the switch.


What is Digital Food Safety?

Digital Food Safety (DFS) is the practice of digitizing manual food safety practices into a centralized software solution. Because it removes human error, DFS makes it easier for owners to stay compliant so they pass inspections with ease.

A comprehensive Digital Food Safety solution should include 4 things:

  • Temperature logging (with probes)
  • Temperature monitoring (with sensors)
  • Automated food and date labeling
  • Food safety and cleaning checklists (FOH & BOH)


What are the advantages of Digital Food Safety?

Digital Food Safety has quickly become a best practice for top performing brands due to the real-time visibility it brings, but restaurant owners love it simply because it’s faster.

Below we break down each aspect of Digital Food Safety and and its direct advantages to management and employees.


Digital Temperature Logging Is Fast & Accurate

While paper checklists and manual temperature logs provide a record, their accuracy is often in question, and the collected information is not leveraged in real time.

Logging temperatures in Jolt helps you ensure safe food each time, and prompts you to take corrective action when temperatures are out of range.

On average, temperature logs with Jolt are three times faster than their analog counterpart. But best of all, temperatures go directly from the probe to the software, meaning no human error or interference will alter your critical food safety measurements.


Temperature Sensors Protect Your Inventory

A complete DFS solution also includes temperature sensors that monitor your coolers, refrigerators, and freezers.

Wireless temperature sensors keep a constant eye on your food product, and alert you by text and email if temperatures fall out of range.

This is a major step up for protecting inventory, and has saved many owners from learning a hard, five-figure lesson in food storage.


Automated Labeling Improves Accuracy and Speed

When it comes to food and date labeling, you’ll find digital food safety is a significant improvement over practices like colored dot systems or handwritten labels.

Labeling solutions like Jolt auto-calculate expiration dates and times to ensure your food is perfectly labeled each day.

Digitizing your daily food labeling process will not only make it go faster, but it will ensure you’re compliant without even trying.


Food Safety Checklists Cover Your Bases

Lastly, food safety checklists for cleaning and sanitization should be part of every digital food safety solution.

These basic restaurant checklists ensure your store is both clean and consistent in its food safety practices, and gives managers visibility over these tasks from anywhere.

Maintaining food safety checklists in Jolt ensures there’s an accurate and accessible record of each day’s food safety practices.


What’s the return on investment (ROI) of Digital Food Safety?

The cost of digital food safety solutions varies depending on your provider. At Jolt, DFS is one of our three main solutions for restaurant success, and is included in our regular pricing.

However, the return on investment (ROI) of Digital Food Safety is clear in that the solution quickly pays for itself. Many owners pay for the investment through cost savings in employee time alone.

Chick-fil-A franchisee Sam Class said, “at an average wage of 12.50 an hour, saving two hours every day in wasted time with temp logs and labeling, the savings quickly add up.”

“Using a conservative estimate,” said Sam, “I’d say Jolt saves us over $650 every month.”

Sam is one of 1,300 Chick-fil-A locations using Jolt to improve digital food safety, and his results are not uncommon.

“In an environment with one leader and 19 teenagers, Jolt really helps us be more productive. We have fewer wasted hours on the schedule.”


Digital Food Safety Is Key to Restaurant Success

Digital food safety is a key component to achieving the 7 Pillars of Restaurant Success.

These pillars are a data-driven framework to help restaurant owners increase revenue per store, return on investment, and long-term growth.

Jolt has helped thousands of restaurants make the switch from paper processes to digital food safety compliance.

If you’re interested in faster food safety, request a free demo of Jolt software here.

We’ll show you how to achieve digital food safety compliance to help ensure you pass every inspection.