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Streamlining the compliance process at Inamo
03/03/2017 - 15:20
Pan-Asian London restaurant group Inamo has been championing technology since its launch in 2008. In the past year it has grown to three sites and partnered with technology company Checkit to improve its food safety compliance. Andrew McClean went along to the Camden site to find out more.
The concept was born when Inamo’s founders were left waiting too long at a table to order a beer. The idea grew from wanting to be able to order using technology to a fully interactive table service. Guests can play games, order food and drink, and watch a video of their food being made all on the table in front of them.
Last year, Lee Skinner, Inamo’s CEO and managing director, was looking to improve the restaurant’s compliance with food safety by doing away with a paper system. He reasons that there are cases where operators have been awarded a one star rating because the paperwork had not been completed, despite good standards.
Inamo serves a lot of fish and rice dishes, which makes food safety compliance paramount. A Checkit survey revealed that 75% of people would never visit a food outlet implicated in a poisoning or hygiene incident. Checkit presented a technology solution that alerts staff when checks have not been completed and allows comparison for multi-site operators, all without the cost of training staff.
Although Inamo was already compliant, Skinner says it has streamlined the process: “What it has given us is more visibility of what’s going on. It has allowed the leadership group to understand what’s going on without physically going to each restaurant and checking it.” Checkit stores data on a cloud-based system for remote access.
He continues: “That’s made a massive difference in streamlining the conversation between head chefs, executive chefs, front of house managers and operations managers. To the point where they don’t have to have a conversation about this unless there’s a problem.”
Checkit’s technology speeds up the recording of information like refrigeration and delivery temperature checks. It is also used by front of house staff for jobs such as toilet checks, as Skinner explains: “If on a Monday there are 15 jobs to do, we always know they’re going to get done because there’s always a report at the end of it rather than someone saying, ‘yes it’s been done’. Now we’ve got a record of when and it’s time-stamped.”
Skinner says that the increased ability to comply with food hygiene regulation, the reduction in cost of paper management, and the collection of data for insight has proved cost-effective for Inamo.
He explains: “It’s improved cleanliness standards and compliance standards. This way there are no excuses with it and now all the temperatures are taken every day. We’ve even used it on a couple of occasions when environmental health officers have came in, which is a massive step forward.”