ResQ, a software platform that lets restaurants manage repair and maintenance tasks, announced today the launch of its Checklists feature. With it, the company aims to help restaurants better handle “the exhaustive list of health and safety guidelines for reopening to reduce the spread of COVID-19,” according to a press release sent to The Spoon.
The new feature is available for free to restaurants in the U.S. and Canada, and joins ResQ’s growing collection of tools, which also includes maintenance management and invoicing, asset management, and workflow management for maintenance tasks. ResQ counts Pizza Hut, Tim Horton’s, and other well-known chains among its restaurant clients.
Checklists digitizes the old pen-and-paper process of assigning daily upkeep tasks to restaurant staff. In a pandemic era, that list of tasks is considerably longer and might include things like disinfecting high-touch surfaces much more frequently, wiping down all screens (POS, kiosks, etc.), cleaning the lobby more frequently . . . the list goes on and on.
The problem is that there is no industry standard for that list. Back when restaurants first started to reopen, the National Restaurant Association released some suggestions around cleaning and sanitizing, but those are more guidelines than detailed instructions. Nowhere is there a definitive guide to sanitizing a restaurant during a pandemic.
ResQ’s Checklists doesn’t claim to be the definitive guide, but it does go pretty far in addressing the many tasks restaurants must do on a daily basis in order to meet the new standards for sanitization. With the feature, managers can create customized checklists specific to their business and space, and also take advantage of pre-loaded “COVID-19 prevention” checklists:
Via the ResQ app or website, a restaurant manager can create a new checklist or edit an existing one. Each checklist can be assigned to a specific staff person and given a frequency (e.g., “hourly”). For restaurants with multiple locations, checklists can be assigned to specific stores, ensuring standardized cleaning and sanitization processes across a brand’s locations.
Managers can track the progress of each task and, because the entire system exists in the ResQ app, pretty much anything except the cleaning itself can be done remotely.
ResQ joins a number of companies using tech to help restaurants keep up with new expectations around cleaning and sanitization. PathSpot’s scanner uses visible fluorescent spectroscopy to monitor how well employees have washed their hands. Fujitsu’s AI-enabled sinks can also closely monitor hand washing. Elsewhere in the restaurant, some businesses are putting their touchscreen kiosks behind glass, which is easier to clean and doesn’t disrupt operations.
Keeping a restaurant extra-sanitized is paramount at a time when many consumers are still wary about going out to eat and COVID-19 cases are on the rise in some states. Like I said above, there’s no one set of rules every restaurant in the country must follow, which makes the proper sanitization something of a juggling act these days. Software like ResQ’s can at least standardize the process for restaurants across their own locations, not to mention help track how well their staff adhering to their tasks.