This past year has been a turning point for many businesses throughout the world with no exception made for food and beverage operations. Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, restaurants were forced to make decisions daily that changed how they operated. Managers were constantly examining how food products were purchased, how and where employees were working inside the facility, how to keep sales up despite the ban on in-door dining, and so much more. Frankly, the list of business decisions was overwhelming. Because of COVID, managers relied heavily on their compliance staff to help think through processes and make decisions on how to apply the protocols to their specific operations.
Compliance Managers, At a Glance
A food compliance manager takes care of ensuring that a food service operation is in full compliance with all regulatory obligations set forth by the state department of health and company standards. Compliance managers are responsible for:
- Food code regulations
- Food recalls
- Food safety and allergen awareness
- Alcohol training and certification
- Liquor license
- Implementation of COVID protocols
- Crisis plan construction and implementation
- Sewage and waste removal
- Building codes
- Equipment maintenance
- Insurance regulations
- And more
Why to Hire a Compliance Manager
Every food and beverage operation should consider hiring a compliance manager to oversee the operation’s regulatory and operations compliance standards. A restaurant’s compliance manager is an active member of the management team that would ensure all licenses, certifications, and federal, state, and local regulations are up to date and maintained. This person oversees all employees and their ability to do their jobs from a regulations standpoint. A compliance manager, or someone who operates in a food safety role, is not hired to replace the dining room manager, kitchen manager, or restaurant manager. In fact, this person is hired to enhance the job performance of all the managers in the operation by removing the regulatory elements from their responsibility and thereby allowing them to focus more on their area of expertise as it pertains to the structure of the restaurant.
Compliance Management in Practice
For Bloomin’ Brands, a corporate partner of JWU, compliance management is critical to business success. The company—which owns Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill, and Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar—maintains food-safety compliance by continuously teaching and training employees. According to the company, all managers are certified with a Food Handler’s Certification/License, which certifies them with the highest food-safety standards in the industry. Upon hiring, each hourly employee also receives extensive training around food safety and sanitation, and is required to recertify every year.
Since the beginning of COVID-19, the company has re-evaluated their already-high standards to ensure all communities are served in the safest and most comfortable manner possible. The planning process spans across multiple departments in the company, though everyone has one common goal: Making sure all protocols work for the restaurants while keeping employees and guests safe and comfortable. According to the company, restaurants are doing a few things differently since the onset of the pandemic. Changes include mandatory symptom surveys for all employees, requiring masks, increasing handwashing, implementing ongoing sanitation of high-contact surfaces throughout the restaurant, and minimizing table settings.
It is clear that COVID protocols will be present in the restaurant industry for years to come. Having staff dedicated to compliance standards will ensure that all of the food safety, sanitation, and food protection protocols are exceeded long after the pandemic is over. If you’re interested in earning your BS — Food Industry Compliance Management, complete the Request Info form or call 855-JWU-1881.