ComplianceMate Blog

What's the true cost of ownership when automating your brand checklist?

Calculating the true cost of ownership of a digitized checklist system is tricky. Obviously, it includes the cost of the equipment, but it also includes many costs that restauranteurs may not realize or consider. 

That’s because solutions like ComplianceMate aren’t just hardware; they’re full-fledged safety systems that include software, and restaurant owners must also consider the cost of operating that system.

Labor costs must also be considered; and here automated, digitized checklists truly begin to show their worth.

How much time and effort do you and your staff spend while using the system, and what does the cost equal? Digital checklists almost always reduce the time spent on checklists. One major client of ours was spending 75 minutes a day total checking 150 items. With our automated system, they doubled the number of items to 300 and still decreased their daily time spent to an average 45 minutes daily.

There’s also the cost of inaccuracy. Erroneous entries can lead to bad operating decisions and increase the risk of fines, penalties, and even litigation.

People make mistakes, and simply human error can lead to missed checks or incorrect records. People also sometimes commit fraud, unfortunately. The restaurant industry knows this as pencil whipping, or fraudulent entries in paper checklists and records. Automating all but eliminates pencil whipping, considering that the wireless temperature probe and monitors submit the data to the system without the user ever having a chance to enter or edit the data.

Then, you have to consider the cost of mishaps, accidents, and occasional problems.

For example, what if you have a cooler that goes out? Just two nights before the Grand Opening of his new franchise, one of our clients discovered his walk-in cooler had been wired incorrectly, and it shorted out. Product worth $10,000 could have spoiled (potentially also ruining his Grand Opening and reducing future sales through tarnished reputation), except he had our automated temperature monitoring system in conjunction with the checklist system. Everything was saved.

Finally, you cannot escape the cost of failure.

What was the total cost of ownership for Chipotle’s checklist and safety system, when you consider that its stock value plummeted 47% after its 2016 E. coli outbreak?

All of that must be reflected in the trust cost of ownership.

One system may be significantly cheaper, but when you include the cost of managing it and actually using it, it could end up being significantly more expensive.

Read more about food safety checklists, or contact ComplianceMate with questions.