Operating a well-run establishment in the Food and Beverage marketplace can be enormously rewarding, and it can be quite complicated. Managing all the different compliance needs of your state and local regulations, employee training and performance, and customer health and safety can put a strain on the most experienced operators. So what can you do about it?
Well first, what exactly IS compliance?
Compliance, let’s face it - sounds kind of boring. But let’s explore the various meanings. Broadly, according to the FDA, compliance in the food and beverage industry means adhering to laws and regulations governing the safety of said food and beverage products - such as preparation, handling, hygiene and sanitation. Each state has its own governing body for legal ages for alcohol consumption, and training of employees in these areas.
You know all that already. But there’s a deeper meaning of compliance - and it’s about Risk Management. Managing your risk in this industry STARTS with being compliant with mandatory guidelines - and continues into the responsible and ethical best practices that make your establishment a successful one.
So what if there really aren’t any mandatory regulations in your area for say, training your employees? Does that mean we don’t need to train ? No way - and here’s why:
- Business Success - In order to stay legal, keep your doors open, and make money - you will have to know and abide by your food and alcohol laws - pretty simple.
- Employee Safety - When your business is compliant and your employees are trained properly, you reduce the risk of accidents and illness on your team. Accidents can dramatically affect the productivity of your team, increase health insurance premiums, and increase workers’ compensation claims.
- Public Safety - This one is critical. If your employees aren’t properly trained and your business isn’t compliant you could make people sick. A foodborne illness outbreak tracing back to your establishment is enough to shut it down for good. Likewise, selling or serving alcohol to underage or intoxicated people puts the public at risk in many ways - injuries, accidents, and even fatalities can result from improper selling and/or serving of alcoholic beverages.
- Local Regulatory Ratings & Record - Your health department rating and your license record with your state’s alcohol licensing authority are important. Word gets around pretty fast when businesses fail their health department inspection. If you slip up and serve an underage customer or fail an undercover sting, regulatory bodies can determine fines and penalties based on how many total infractions you’ve had.
- Reputation in the community - Traditional news media, social media, and hugely popular crowd-based rating forums (e.g. Yelp), can have a “do or die” impact on your reputation. As mentioned above, just like one bad experience can have an exponential ripple effect on your good name, so can a positive review - increasing your customer base and your profits.
- Responsible Best Practices, a.k.a “Doing the right thing” - Sometimes amid the hustle and grind of daily business and trying to succeed in a competitive marketplace, we might lose sight of this old fashioned adage. Ethical business includes obeying the law, keeping people safe, and making others happy. Running your business in compliance with laws and regulations and training your employees to do the same isn’t just something we need to do to survive, it’s the right thing to do.
Achieving and maintaining compliance with laws and regulations is key to the survival of your business, but it’s also the best risk management. By reducing risk and operating safely, you’re protecting your business from costly and even devastating circumstances that can arise from non-compliance. For the safety and health of your business, your employees, your customers, and your community - it’s doing the right thing!
Click here to download our eBook “Challenges & Opportunities: Regulatory Compliance Training in the Food & Beverage Industry” to deepen your knowledge about the array of risks, challenges, and consequences - and let us help you create training, tools, and an action plan to mitigate any danger to your business!