In our webinar "ROI of Food Safety—How to Invest for Your Budget," Opus CEO and cofounder Rachael Nemeth sat down with a panel of food safety experts: Christine Schindler, CEO of Pathspot Technologies, Deric Rosenbaum, President of Groucho’s Deli, and Nick Eastwood, President of Always Food Safe, to discuss the critical importance of food safety in the restaurant industry. During this session, our panelists covered a lot of ground from trending issues in food safety and the long-term impact of COVID-19, here are three key takeaways from the conversation that highlight how investing in food safety can significantly impact a restaurant’s success.

Enhancing Operational Efficiency Through Technology and Training

One of the central themes of the session was the role of technology and training in enhancing operational efficiency. Christine Schindler emphasized the importance of integrating technology to streamline food safety practices. She explained how tools like digital audits, temperature monitoring, and hygiene tracking can automate routine tasks, allowing staff to focus on customer service and food preparation.

Nick Eastwood also highlighted the importance of timely and effective training. He mentioned that providing training within the first 30 days of employment can lead to an 82% retention rate, significantly reducing turnover costs and ensuring that staff are well-prepared to maintain high food safety standards. This not only improves operational efficiency but also builds a knowledgeable and committed workforce.

Building Customer Trust and Loyalty

The discussion also underscored the direct link between food safety practices and customer trust. Deric Rosenbaum from Groucho's Deli shared compelling data showing that customers who trust a restaurant's food safety practices are more loyal and spend more. For example, customers with gluten-free dietary needs, who feel confident in a restaurant's ability to cater to their requirements, showed a 78% higher lifetime value compared to the average customer.

Rosenbaum's insights highlight that when customers feel safe and valued, they are more likely to return and recommend the restaurant to others. This loyalty translates into increased sales and a stronger brand reputation, which are critical for long-term success.

Navigating Regulatory Compliance and Reducing Legal Risks

Another critical aspect discussed was the importance of meeting regulatory standards and reducing legal risks. Food safety is not just about avoiding foodborne illnesses but also about adhering to local and national regulations. Failing to comply can result in costly fines, legal battles, and damage to a restaurant's reputation.

Nick Eastwood stressed the importance of certifications like those provided by ANSI (American National Standards Institute) and ANAB (ANSI National Accreditation Board). These certifications help ensure that food safety practices meet rigorous standards, providing a layer of protection for the business. By investing in proper training and certifications, restaurants can navigate the complex regulatory environment more effectively, minimizing the risk of non-compliance.

Investing in food safety is not just a regulatory necessity but a strategic business decision that can drive significant returns. By leveraging technology and comprehensive training, restaurants can enhance operational efficiency, build customer trust and loyalty, and navigate regulatory compliance more effectively. As the industry continues to evolve, those who prioritize food safety will likely see the greatest rewards in terms of customer satisfaction and overall business success.


00:00 Introduction and Context
02:25 Full Spectrum of Strategies for Restaurants
09:12 Defining Food Safety and Statistics
11:07 Trends in Food Safety Approaches
24:29 The Impact of Food Safety on Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty
26:48 The Role of Technology in Improving Food Safety Practices
32:44 The Importance of Customer Education and Communication
38:18 Collaboration between Food Safety Providers and Regulatory Bodies
49:16 The Future of Food Safety: Predictive, Holistic, Data-Driven, and Staff-Focused