How FrogPubs strengthened hygiene processes in the kitchens of its café-restaurants
With 8 pubs in Paris, 1 in Bordeaux and 1 in Toulouse, FrogPubs serves meals to its customers continuously, or every night depending on the establishment, through a wide range of burgers, sharing plates and desserts to accompany their beers of the House. The brand has strengthened its hygiene procedures, with the help of an external service provider (Mérieux Nutrisciences) and internal processes, overseen by Bruno Brown, head of kitchen assistance. His role is to monitor compliance with the hygiene standards of each of the restaurants, but also to implement a training program, as well as improvements (oil control instrument, installation of a second thermometer in the cold room, etc.). The new employees also have to carry out an internal hygiene audit exercise, for example. Kitchen managers can get a bonus following checks.
Can you tell us about your role at FrogPubs?
Bruno Brown- I am responsible for kitchen assistance at FrogPubs. One of my roles is to help restaurant managers achieve our hygiene quality goals by building teams on an ongoing basis and providing the resources needed to maintain good habits. I am in direct contact with a service provider who carries out hygiene audits in our restaurants and carries out microbial analyzes of samples of our preparations, as well as surface smears. Every day I go from one restaurant to another to check on the state of the kitchens and above all to talk to the kitchen teams and managers about the difficulties they are encountering but also about their progress. Every month I carry out a kitchen hygiene audit in each of the pubs. These audits assign a hygiene score to the restaurant and result in an action plan to be completed within the month.
How do kitchen teams work to keep these processes going for long hours?
All our staff is committed to compliance with hygiene standards. These additional, repeated and proactive checks demonstrate the requirements of our restaurants in terms of compliance with hygiene standards. In practice, the important thing is to make every employee in the chain responsible. Good practices develop as second nature, they become a reflection. The kitchen manager monitors the work of his team and rehearses or trains them if he observes any slack. The room team provides support: the shift manager (room manager) and the plant manager intervene in the kitchen if necessary. Essential hygienic processes such as temperature control, food traceability, cleaning, oil quality control, represent from 15 minutes to 2 hours of daily work. It may seem short, but once these processes are integrated into the kitchen managers organization and the tools are working properly, it becomes natural, fast and efficient.
What processes have you modified to improve hygiene in the kitchen?
To scrupulously check the compliance of our restaurants with the regulations in force, we have set up a very demanding external and internal control chain. There are three levels of control. First, in accordance with the regulations, an external company (Mérieux Nutrisciences) carries out a hygiene audit, which covers both the cleaning of the kitchens and that of the restaurant storage areas (refrigerators, freezers, dry stores, etc.). .). The company also carries out samplings of foodstuffs and carries out bacteriological analyzes on the preparation of meals in restaurants. Following this audit, any action plan to be implemented is subject to extreme attention: the goal is to complete any missing criteria in a very short time.
“We don’t aim to train only cooks, but managers”
What are the other levels of control?
Second level, in addition to these mandatory quarterly audits, we carry out monthly and weekly hygiene checks, carried out independently and on our own initiative. Therefore, based on the analysis grid used by Mérieux Nutrisciences, I personally verify compliance with the hygiene standards in each of our establishments. The analysis grid I developed is more specific to FrogPubs equipment and their protocols. I study in detail the health analysis plan, relating to the traceability of the products and compliance with the temperatures of the refrigerators. Finally, at the third level, this same audit is repeated every week, in each restaurant, by internal staff. Another development has been to offer restaurant managers and kitchen managers monthly bonuses based on the results of their internal audits. Exemplary behavior is rewarded with a bonus. It’s one more motivation.
How does team training integrate these issues?
We make hygiene one of the pillars of management: for both kitchen staff and dining room staff, I offer a two-hour training course for new hires. The aim is to make newcomers aware of the hygiene rules to be observed, in particular the risks of bacteriological contamination and their prevention. New employees must therefore carry out an internal hygiene audit exercise, which is essential to validate their training. The objective is to inform the teams of the potential risks of our business and the prevention of these risks, but the most interesting thing is to integrate them into the management process, into the action plan, to understand how to solve a background to prevent it from happening again. We don’t aim to train only cooks, but managers.