Opening a restaurant is not an easy endeavour. It is widely understood that businesses within the hospitality sector are more likely to close when compared with others and there are numerous reasons why this may be the case. However, the high-risk nature of a food-based concept does not prevent many from continuing to open their own cafes and restaurants around the UK.
While quickly changing food trends and financial issues tend to get the better of many new restauranteurs, health and safety risks prevail as a common indication as to whether a business will succeed or fail in the hospitality industry. Low food hygiene scores deter customers from dining at an establishment and customer displeasure can spread online tarnishing a reputation. In an even worse scenario, negligence of health and safety can lead to the harm of employees or customers.
Due to a restaurant’s unique risk assessment, involving many food-related safety concerns that are not found elsewhere, the industry requires a specific understanding. And, for those who enter without having fully grasped the essentials of food safety and hygiene, it can lead to great potential risk.
Store Your Food
While some may enter the kitchen with a good knowledge of how to create delicious dishes and present them in a stylish way, a smaller number are fully experienced in how to safely store food items, especially in the quantity a restaurant will require.
There are a wide variety of guidelines from the Food Standards Agency that clearly outline how and why food should be stored. Fridges and freezers must be monitored regularly to ensure that they are keeping food at the correct temperature. If they fail to do so, the resulting food will be served tainted. Other aspects, such as how food is stacked in accordance with its variety, also come into play, such as placing meat below fruit and vegetables.
A restaurant’s kitchen will typically have multiple units that are capable of reaching significantly high temperatures, most commonly a fryer, which can heat oil to hundreds of degrees. This leads to a greater fire risk and there are specific designs and safety assets that must be maintained to operate your business safely.
In addition to proper ventilation and gas-cut off points, fire exits must be kept clear of deliveries to ensure that timber fire doors and walkways are never obstructed.
In recent years, allergies have become a deservedly sensitive issue as numerous restaurants around the UK have failed to maintain clear guidance on the ingredients of their dishes leading to injury and, in some cases, death. There are now laws in place to ensure that restaurants prevent cross-contamination and have clearly-defined ingredient lists of each dish.
Be sure to establish your kitchen with your potential menu in mind. Doing so will prevent complications when trying to prevent cross-contamination further down the line. For example, if your preparation area is next to flour storage, preparing gluten-free meals will become more difficult. While it is not restricted to cook with any of the fourteen major allergens, doing so without clarifying them to each customer risks not only their health but your business too.