Moe’s Southwest Grill is a fast-casual brand with more than 700 locations throughout the United States and Jamaica. Except for four locations, Moe’s is almost completely franchised and works with a diverse group of 158 franchisees. To serve the needs of many different franchisees, Moe’s must set their food safety standards at the corporate level and ensure those standards are being upheld. After evaluating their food safety needs, Moe’s determined that their ServSafe certifications needed to be tracked at every location.
Tracking Food Safety Certifications
With multiple franchisees, Moe’s is faced with different levels of manager and employee engagement. Engagement levels are a huge challenge to the training department and the restaurant industry in general. A study by TDn2K reports that 51% of general managers are not engaged and nearly 15% are actively disengaged. Battled with this statistic, Moe’s was tasked with getting all team members on the same page with the same understanding of the importance of tracking food safety certifications.
For all restaurant brands, food safety is the operations and training departments’ number one concern. Every rollout and program must be focused on food safety and bettering their safety initiatives. With DiscoverLink Talent, a learning management system (LMS), Moe’s implemented a certification tracker for all locations to track food safety certifications. Back in 2015, Moe’s determined that this type of visibility and accountability of Certified Managers was important to progress their food safety initiatives. Ultimately, they decided to make food safety a part of their annual recertification process and saw great results from their franchisees. Now all Certified Managers’ histories are loaded into the LMS with an issue date, date of expiration, and certification number.
One year ago, the Moe’s team realized that some Certified Managers were attempting to by-pass the requirement with fictitious certification numbers. In order to combat this, Moe’s sought out a solution that would officially validate food safety certificates and disallow fictitious numbers to be inputted. Moe’s jumped on the opportunity to test a solution that integrated the National Restaurant Association’s ServSafe Program with DiscoverLink Talent. After getting set up with the integration, Moe’s officially tested the program during their most recent annual recertification for Certified Managers. They were able to ensure that 100% of their Certified Managers had a valid food safety certificate.
“The opportunity to integrate the ServSafe Program with DiscoverLink Talent came along and we jumped on the opportunity like a hippie into a tie-dyed shirt,” said Jessicah Pounds, Senior Director of Training and Ops Services. “The integration has been a success in enforcing food safety standards in an easy and familiar way. The best part was team members were able to adhere to the food safety standards online through a platform they were already associated with.”