In your restaurant, a mistake from the kitchen can happen at any time. The back of house staff is incredibly busy and they maybe forget to include an ingredient, forget to remove an ingredient, or do something incorrectly.
The flipside, however, is that there are multiple times for your front of house staff to catch any potential mistakes. This is called quality assurance or quality checks; doing quick checks to insure a dish is correct takes less than 30 seconds. So even on a busy night, it can make the difference between an unhappy guest and a satisfied guest.
Why We Encourage Quality Checks
It’s easy for servers, food runners, and more to get in a groove. They grab dishes; they run them; they repeat. They may not have taken that tables order; they may not really know who ordered what.
But quality checks can help prevent a serious issue in your restaurant. Whether it’s a dissatisfied guest or a guest with a food allergy, you don’t want a guest feeling like they weren’t listened to when they requested an item change.
Quality checks keep this from happening. As well, they may also prevent foodborne illness, if a food runner or server spots a piece of meat that was inadequately cooked or a vegetable that doesn’t look quite right to them.
( Click here to learn more about food safety
Now, let’s talk about when to perform quality checks.
1. Pick Up
The first quality check should be when picking up dishes. Check the ticket, check the dish, check any specializations. If it looks good, grab it; if the server, food runner, etc., has questions, they should ask immediately. It never hurts to double check that something was done, especially if it’s something they can’t see (like holding the mayo or adding extra cheese on a burger).
( Click here to learn about keeping employees safe too
2. Before Delivery
As a server or food runner walks back to the table, they have a second opportunity to do a quality check. A brief stop before delivery to double check everything may make them see something they didn’t see before, like a plate that is dirtier than it should be or lettuce that is wilted.
( Click here to learn how to handle aggressive guests
3. At Delivery
As your server or food runner sets down plates, they might spot something: a tomato with a spot, undercooked or overcooked meat, an allergen. They have a third chance to react and while it might be awkward to say to a guest, “I see something wrong with your dish. I’m so sorry.” It can make a huge difference. If this happens, have your employee grab you or a manager immediately to speak to the table while the employee gets a new dish made ASAP.