Experience and longevity really has little or nothing to do on how well you react to the news of an food inspection. Even the most seasoned restaurant owners and chefs still feel the jitters and nerves that come with having inspectors right at the door. What you learn along the way, however, is how you prepare for it to successfully get all the good marks.
With most health inspections being completely random and unannounced, there is not a one-time-big-time kind of preparation. Getting past a food inspection successfully is something that comes from great habits – weekly habits.
Here are a few things that you could do regularly in your restaurant so you, your staff, and the rest of your establishment are ready for inspection – whenever they may happen:
Always have an inspection sheet handy. Try as best as you could to keep your inspection sheet as close to the real ones as possible. This will guide you in your own self inspections – which leads us to number 2;
Self-inspect on the weekly. Like any genuine food inspector, come unannounced but ready. Bring in useful tools that your food inspector would come with – chemical testers, flashlights, etc;
Quiz your employees. The food inspector will quiz them so why not make sure they are completely ready for whenever that strikes? It’s also a good way to get the newbies aboard;
Look at your restaurant unattached. Look at it like a stranger, a customer, or a food inspector would – meticulously and doubtfully. Avoid being defensive about your restaurant – the more detached you are, the better your perspectives would be on inspecting your restaurant.
Invest in educating your staff. You won’t be the one cleaning your bathrooms or the sinks or personally preparing the food regularly so the daily upkeep of your restaurant is in your staff’s hands. The better-trained they are, the better-kept your restaurant will be – and the more likely you are to pass your inspection successfully;
Know your city’s health code. This should be your restaurant’s Bible, follow it precisely and make sure everyone on board knows it just as well.
Keep these tips in mind at all times to avoid hefty (nasty) fines or worse, suspensions! Good luck!