Sausalitos has been operating in system gastronomy since 1994 and is currently represented with 48 restaurants in almost all of Germany. Inspired by the Californian-Mexican cuisine, Sausalitos offers both food and drinks and is a cheerful mix of restaurant and bar according to a modern and lively concept.
Since 2019, Sausalitos has been using Lumiform software for its daily cleaning tasks and HACCP concept. Ralf Weiss tells us how he works with Lumiform, what advantages a digital application brings and what he thinks of digitalization.
IN WHAT WAYS HAVE YOU BEEN USING LUMIFORM’S SOLUTION IN YOUR BUSINESS?
We originally wanted to use Lumiform exclusively for our HACCP system, but after realizing how versatile and flexible the software is, we decided to use Lumiform for auditing purposes and action tracking as well.
For us, digitization is a step into the future.
WHAT DID YOUR AUDIT AND INSPECTION PROCESS LOOK LIKE BEFORE LUMIFORM?
We used to implement our HACCP concept with pen and paper, for which I had to print out HACCP books for each operation. However, this made it difficult for us to carry out any type of analysis. If you wanted to evaluate something, you first had to digitize the relevant documents.
Lumiform saves us all of this work thanks to the automatic analysis function and also allows us to immediately react to certain situations while a form or checklist is still being filled out. For example, if an employee inserts a temperature value during food monitoring that is either too high or too low, then the software automatically gives them a predefined follow-up task to immediately solve the problem .
Previously, when we had similar situations, we used to send tasks and actions via WhatsApp chat, but with the Lumiform App we have everything collected in one place. Thanks to this we can make sure that nothing is overlooked.
WHAT PROBLEMS HAS LUMIFORM BEEN ABLE TO HELP YOU SOLVE IN YOUR WORKFLOWS?
Lumiform has mainly helped us to bring structure to our audit processes. Before we digitized our operations, we often lost track of things and could not properly track many situations.
We also lost or misplaced our HACCP books from time to time, but now, thanks to Lumiform’s application, I have access to all documentation and can track everything from home using the analysis function. For our organization, digitization is therefore definitely a step into the future.
DIGITIZATION IS A HUGE TOPIC RIGHT NOW AND HAS BEEN FOR SEVERAL YEARS. WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ABOUT THE PAPER VS. DIGITAL DEBATE?
For Sausalitos, digitization also has a financial incentive. We used to have to print out all of our HACCP books to be compliant, and now if we were to do it again it would be more expensive for us than the software, even though we had already switched from color printing to black and white.
In addition to this, we use Lumiform not only as an HACCP concept, but also for auditing, where we would have incurred additional costs if we had to purchase a separate application.
The practical thing about Lumiform is that I can still export the report and print it out if I ever need or want to have a hard copy at hand.
DOES THE APP OFFER YOU OTHER BENEFITS BESIDES COST SAVINGS THAT CAN ONLY BE ACHIEVED WITH A DIGITAL SOLUTION?
The Lumiform app allows us to automatically evaluate our HACCP documentation so that we can check how well our hygiene method or system is being implemented at every individual site. Thanks to this, I can constantly evaluate which branch is performing positively and what areas of improvements it might have..
For example; thanks to the software, we were able to find out that one of our restaurants was performing poorly in their cleaning tasks. When we analyzed the problem, we found that it only happened when the chef was out. The staff cleaned but did not update the lists.
With the software, I could easily track this just, by using filters to create a search pattern.
Lumiform is so simple that even someone who has never used it before understands it immediately.
LUMIFORM’S SOLUTION OFFERS NUMEROUS HELPFUL FEATURES, SUCH AS FILTERS AND ANALYTICS. DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE FEATURE?
One of the most important features for me is that I can keep track of the names of people who fill in the forms, so I can see exactly how long it takes for someone to complete their work. This data is invaluable to me and the company as it allows me to optimize work processes. Time remains the most valuable commodity we have.
In the context of my work at Sausalitos, I actually use all of the features, so I don’t want to emphasize only one of them. In my opinion, it is the interaction of all of its functions that makes Lumiform so special.
HOW EASY IS IT FOR YOU TO DESIGN TEMPLATES WITH LUMIFORM?
After learning the ropes a bit and realizing what the app can actually do, the software is very easy to use. After a short familiarization phase, I quickly learned to grasp the processes and ask the right questions.
Thanks to Lumiform’s guidance, or if you use the pre-made templates Lumiform offers you can easily build your own forms later in the app. For example, I like to use the point system to assign values to different areas. Lumiform is so simple that even someone who has never used the software before will understand it straight away.
DO YOUR EMPLOYEES ALSO BENEFIT FROM THE SYSTEM?
For my employees, Lumiform means one thing above all: “I always get exactly the information I need. I use info buttons when I create my own forms: This means that a note can be selected in the checklist, where it says, exactly which food may still be used, at which temperature, or when it must be disposed of.
Thanks to Lumiform, I have achieved a significant reduction in workload for me personally, and at the same time observed a significant improvement in performance throughout the company.
Meanwhile, in the app, we have also been storing data safety sheets or operating instructions for specific tasks.For example, while cleaning, employees are asked to put on safety goggles or wear their PPE directly in the app.
Normally, employees have to search for such lists and safety requirements first, but in the app they only have to press the corresponding info button and get exactly the information they need at the moment.Many other providers on the market for HACCP do not offer us such functions at all.
HOW HAS LUMIFORM CHANGED YOUR DAY-TO-DAY WORK?
Thanks to Lumiform, I now only have to press one button and receive all the analyses and evaluations that I need. This enables me to perform my managing tasks better and to have a much better overview of all of the branches.
Through Lumiform, I have achieved a significant reduction of my workload and, at the same time, noticed a significant overall performance improvement throughout the organization.