The New Era of Restaurant Cleaning and Hygiene
The COVID-19 pandemic caused everyone to reconsider how they clean, resulting in increased cleaning and sanitization standards across every industry. The restaurant industry has been no exception, and restaurant owners and management have had to completely rethink how they conduct their cleaning and hygiene practices. Customers have always been concerned with the cleanliness of the restaurants they frequent, but their concerns were more focused on the visual cleanliness and less on the effectiveness of the cleaning efforts when it comes to hygiene and sanitization. There are many new standards – both legally and socially – in restaurant cleaning and hygiene practices, and restaurant owners need to stay up-to-date on these practices.
Meeting Your Customer’s Standards (trust, results they can see)
After over a year of limited in-restaurant dining, consumers are more excited than ever to go out to dine. However, along with this, they are also more concerned with how clean, hygienic, and overall safe they feel while dining. Before many customers were concerned with how clean restaurants appeared, but there was little concern with how clean the space truly was. If you kept up with appearances and conducted regular vacuuming, dusting, surface cleaning, mopping, and the likes then you were considered clean and hygienic. Customers put little thought into how often restaurants conducted deep sanitization, and just inherently trusted that kitchen countertops were clean and hygienic. However, in this new era of restaurant cleaning, customers want to see the results, and the credentials of your cleaning and sanitization practices. Customers have higher standards when selecting where to dine, and research has even shown that about 86% of consumers want to see proof that there are proper, consistent cleaning practices being conducted in restaurants.
As a restaurant owner or management, there are many ways that you can prove to your customers that you practice consistent restaurant cleaning. Some of the most productive ways to communicate your restaurant cleaning standards and practices to your customers include:
Posting signage in high-trafficked areas
Conducting cleaning and sanitization during hours of operation
Maintaining handwashing and sanitizing stations
These are some of the more popular ways to communicate your restaurant cleaning practices to your customers, and you can alter your efforts as needed to align with both CDC mandates and customer feedback. Overall, consumers want restaurants to prove that they maintain proper cleaning and hygiene practices, and no longer automatically trust that the correct standards are in place. The secret to reinforcing your customer’s trust by ensuring that proper restaurant cleaning is practiced lies in employee training and support.
Establishing a Cohesive Clean (staff training and support, contracting external)
Proving to your customers that you follow the best restaurant cleaning and hygiene standards starts with proper employee training and support. If your staff is trained and confident in restaurant cleaning, the results will show. When devising your restaurant cleaning plan, you should consider what cleaning and sanitization is truly necessary, and what is more “for show.” Your restaurant cleaning strategy should cover:
High traffic areas
Food preparation areas
Customer seating areas
Food disposal areas
These are the main sections of a restaurant where cleanliness and hygiene really come into play. To achieve the most optimal results, staff should be thoroughly trained on how to clean each area of the restaurant. Along with this, your staff should be trained on where and when to clean verses sanitize, as both are important but not needed every single time. Cleaning should be conducted daily or even hourly to maintain the general hygiene and appearance of the space, sanitization on the other hand should still occur regularly, but less often. Although sanitization is required hourly in some spaces within a restaurant such as food preparation and customer seating areas, it is not necessary in every area such as the entryways or hallways. When it comes to deeper restaurant cleaning, it can also benefit owners and management to contract the help of an external facility cleaning company. Enlisting a professional cleaning company to service your restaurant regularly not supports your staff in facility hygiene, but also reinforces your customer’s trust that you are taking proper measures to guarantee cleanliness. Having a specific company that handles the more complex aspects of your restaurant cleaning practices can bring peace of mind all around when it comes to the hygiene and safety of your space.
Technology as a Cleaning Tool (touchless payment, sanitizer systems) The rise in technology use throughout the pandemic was not exclusive to any one industry, and it has been especially common in the restaurant industry. Technology can be integrated into restaurants in many was and is viewed as promoting a more hygienic experience for both consumers and employees. Some of the most popular applications of technology in the restaurant industry include:
Touchless payment systems
Hands-free restroom facilities
With nearly 75% of customers preferring that restaurants offer touchless payment, it is increasingly important that you integrate the technology into your payment system. It is a common rule of thumb that those handling money should not also handle food without handwashing and changing gloves in between, and touchless payment eliminates that concern for both customers and employees. Touchless payment prevents the potential cross-contamination of processing cash or card and allows for a seamless and hygienic checkout. On a similar note, integrating hands-free technology into your restroom facilities can prevent potential contamination that can be incredibly harmful to customer and employee health. By eliminating the need to touch toilet flushers, sink handles, paper towel dispensers, and doors you are encouraging cohesive hygiene standards that reach every aspect of your restaurant. Touch free bathroom facilities not only increases the hygiene of customers, but also promotes workplace hygiene for the staff that prepare and handle food. Touch free technology supports your restaurant cleaning by reducing the amount of surfaces and areas being contaminated, while promoting an easier clean.
You Cannot Go Wrong with a Professional
Regardless of how detailed or specific your restaurant cleaning plan may be, enlisting the help of a professional cleaning company can be incredibly beneficial. Restaurants are sensitive environments by nature for dealing with the preparation and consumption of food, and enlisting the help of a professional can bring restaurant owners and management peace of mind that their restaurant cleaning strategy is being executed correctly and thoroughly. Instead of the burden of restaurant cleaning falling on your staff, professional cleaners can work with your schedule and needs to devise a routine that works best for your facility. Likewise, being able to assure consumers that your restaurant cleanliness and hygiene is handled by a professional commercial cleaning company will improve their trust in the health and safety of your restaurant. If you are ready to revamp your restaurant cleaning strategy to align with the new era of clean, reach out to the professionals at Partner Solutions.
About Partner Solutions Facility Services
With over 30 years in owners combined experience, Partner Solutions Facility Services has come together to create a company model that believes superior quality service can't be compromised. Extensive training with intelligent supervision and ownership helps us keep a clear vision of our goals and commitment. Give us a call today for a free consultation and let us be the solution for your facility's needs. We look forward to forming a partnership with you.