Compulsory display of Food Safety Ratings – How much could your business suffer?
The Food Standards Agency are continuing to push the fact that all local authorities in England and Northern Irelandare being ‘strongly encouraged’ to sign up to adopt the Food Hygiene Ratings Scheme voluntarily ahead of the Olympics. There is little doubt that soon after this target date the scheme, which includes the requirement for food businesses to display their individual ratings for all to see, will become compulsory.
There are in excess of 250 local authorities already up and running with the FHRS, and many others are preparing to launch it. The transfer of local authorities currently using the “Scores on the Doors” scheme continues at a rapid pace with several authorities having completed the change over from April 1st.
The continued amalgamation of the two main schemes is making access to information much simpler for the public and other businesses and means that consumers know that from Padstow to Preston, Brighton to Birmingham, the same criteria are being used to rate all premises.
This brings the food industry closer to providing readily accessible ratings for consumers and consistency for businesses, and will drive up hygiene standards.
Would you be happy for your food outlet, your hospital, your care home, your school to display a rating of 2 or less, when local competition are all displaying 3’s or above? What affect would that have on your local trade & potentially your income?
When customers call to book a table in your restaurant and ask for your rating, would you be proud to declare “We only have a rating of 1, but we intend to improve!!”? Sorry, too late, they’ve hung up & will book a table somewhere else where there is a rating of 4.
Consumers are becoming much more discerning about where they spend their money and the quality that they expect, when money is tight the buying public are able to carry out detailed research, making full use of the internet, on line reviews and other sources of information before buying. Most have heard of how hotels and holidays have suffered at the hands of poor online reviews – do not for a minute think that this will not spread to food outlets….. & this will be fuelled by access to Food Hygiene Ratings.
Don’t let your business suffer – it doesn’t have to!
Much of the information and advice is readily available and training and help does not have to be expensive. Many issues that contribute to a low rating can be resolved successfully without huge expense – although there are always the exceptions where, quite frankly, it’s probably best to bomb the place and start again!!
Once it’s sorted, then you can get back to running your business, proudly displaying your 4 or 5 star rating and have confidence that you have done all you can to keep your customers safe, well and happy – if you do that, they’ll be back to spend again!!
Contact Jill for further help.