Every restaurant has their own unique flavor, and it is the dozens of little details that make it right. Although different systems have their own recipes, there are certain things, such as fresh water and food temperatures that are relevant to everyone.
In the big picture, having high quality food not only helps your franchise, but it also helps families in your community. Having a quality meal at a restaurant can help children try new foods and a family “tradition” of eating out can foster bonds and even enhance brain health.
According to the family dinner project, “recent studies link regular family meals with the kinds of behaviors that parents want for their children: higher grade-point averages, resilience and self-esteem. Additionally, family meals are linked to lower rates of substance abuse, teen pregnancy, eating disorders and depression.”
We explored dozens of food quality audits and took a look at questions that are most relevant to a general audience. While it is important that each question connect to a back-end process, we thought these questions could serve as inspiration, to ensure that your guests get that great experience that keeps them coming back for more. We also have related posts on Food Safety Audits and Marketing Audits in this popular series.
- All food is prepared and served according to current, approved operational standards as defined in the recipe manual and training guides.
- No unapproved ingredients or menu items present or being served. All food supplied comes from the approved supply chain including produce.
- All branded proprietary food products, ingredients and packaging fully utilized.
- Any cheat sheets in use are accessible, accurate and clean.
- All required menu items are available.
- Pastries look eye appealing with a minimum of 3 and are made fresh daily.
- Appropriate system in place to track 2-hour shelf-life of coffee pots.
- Observe and verify recipe accuracy and presentation.
- Timers are programmed correctly and are in use according to “items sold” projections.
- Chicken nuggets are being dipped and agitated in milk wash properly.
- Chicken nuggets being breaded and put on colored tray properly.
- Chicken nuggets being put into fryers properly.
- Fried foods are draining for at least 15 seconds.
- Pizza recipes and assembly are correct with ingredients evenly spread to ensure “flavor in every bite”.
- Dough tastes to recipe standards.
- Donut fillings were prepped according to recipe standards.
- No pre-making of product.
- Was product being held for next-day sale or consumption?
- Frosting light and fluffy – not a glaze – no time temperature abuse apparent.
- All recipes followed for dough and toppings.
Warm and Hot
- Rice is moist, fluffy, served with slotted spoon and does not exceed 12-hour life.
- Steak is moist, a good color with steak sauce flavor evident, served with 2 oz spoon and does not exceed 1-hour life.
- Chicken is diced in 1/2″, not overcooked and caramel in color, served with a 2 oz spoon and does not exceed 1-hour life.
- Bacon is brown in color cooked crisp without white spots and free of clumps served with a 2 oz spoon and does not exceed 6-hour life.
- Record the weight of a random meat portion. Medium: 2.2 oz. Large: 4.4 oz
- Order a random sandwich. Check weight and compare to standard. Take picture.
- Soups should be monitored throughout the shift, stirred, hydrated as needed to keep the original consistency and prevent scorching. Pans with scorching on the sides must be changed out as needed.
- Brewer calibrated and clean, including spray heads.
- Espresso machine is kept clean, steam wands sanitized after every use.
- All selections of coffee offered at appropriate time of day.
- Coffee grind is accurate.
- Check coffee flavor – ensure there is no evidence of grounds.
- Final bake temperature is verified for all products with a calibrated digital thermometer.
Cool and Cold
- Chips are fresh tasting, crisp, properly salted with consistent color.
- Water filtration in use, cartridges must be dated when changed (every 6 months to a year), filters clean.
- Shaved meats are sliced as thin as possible without shredding.
- Bun interior characteristics feel soft and moist and have an open, honeycombed grain structure.
- Bun top exteriors have smooth surface with no significant cracks or ridges.
- Mayo properly spread and going from “coast-to-coast”.
- Creamer carafes are stored appropriately and meet temperature requirements.
- Ice machine producing flaked ice in an appropriate volume, kept clean.
- Ice tea bubbler clean and in good repair.
- Proper ice tea procedure followed with flavor check.
- Donut standards followed on handling, cooking and assembly.
- Lettuce standards followed on storage, presentation and assembly.
- Buns are being buttered according to procedure.
- Cookies are baked to standard, chewy and moist, baked daily and properly dated (24 hours)
- All baked goods selections meet quality, weight and presentation requirements.
- Fruit donuts ONLY strawberry, lemon and raspberry.
- Pastry eats moist throughout without being over or under done.
- Proper amount of frosting used on pastries – it is evenly spread and appears moist.
- Macaroni and Cheese: 160F-170F
- Sliced Tomato: 35F-45F
- Coffee Brew Temp: 190F-200F
- Coffee Serving Temp: 170F-178F
While your individual food quality audit will be associated with your own brand and recipes, we hope that these sample questions have served as some inspiration.