If there’s something that diners value the most aside from the food, it’s the cleanliness of the restaurant. As an owner of this type of food business, it’s your responsibility to provide your customers with a clean and safe environment where they can enjoy your amazingly scrumptious food and drinks.
Being careless and neglecting the importance of food safety and cleanliness can damage your business. Customers even inquire about what you have on the menu if your place looks dirty and messy to begin with. Here are a few steps on how you can maintain a clean food place where diners feel comfortable eating.
1. Create a cleaning checklist
If you’re already running your restaurant for quite some time now, you might already have a cleaning task list and routine with your staff. If this is the case, update it now. Communicate with your team, including both the front-of-house and back-of-house staff, about how you can double down on the cleaning of the place. You can list down every task time for the sanitization of the equipment and high-traffic surfaces. Ideally, any surface that comes in contact with your utilities and food should be sanitized.
To give you an idea, your checklist for the front of house should include employee and guest restrooms, table condiments and menus, point-of-sale terminals, service stations, counters, and high-touch surfaces. As for the back of house, it must include all your food equipment, cupboards and walls, prep area surfaces, storage areas and freezers, and waste disposal area.
2. Train and educate staff
All your effort will be useless if your staff members are clueless about the proper cleaning and food safety practices. In a food service business like a restaurant, the food will go through several hands before the customer receives it. So, it’s highly valuable that you guarantee overall cleanliness, food safety, and proper hygiene in your restaurant.
Educate and train your entire team about the cleaning and food safety standards that should be live up to. Bear in mind though that this isn’t a one-time training. It’s important to ensure that your staff will be reminded regularly of the cleanliness and safety procedures. You can share short training videos, post reminders, and keep cleaning behavior in check.
3. Maintain equipment health
Maintaining the health of your equipment plays an important role in the taste and quality of your food. If you’re using deep fryers, make sure to regularly clean them to avoid grease buildup. You can check the manufacturer’s instructions on how to properly clean and maintain the particular fryer that you have, ensuring it’ll be in its high-functioning condition. Doing so is also beneficial for preventing unwanted pests, service breakdowns, and even fires in your restaurant. Your staff should also be fully aware of the maintenance tasks to ensure everything will be done as it should be.
4. Prevent pest proliferation
Another important thing you should prioritize is making sure that the entire place is pest-free. Most common pests that are infesting food service businesses and commercial kitchens are cockroaches, rodents, and flies.
Generally, a high standard of hygiene can help prevent these pests from infesting your restaurant. Some practices you can impose include storing food in airtight containers, wiping up food residue on surfaces, getting trash bags into the dumpster regularly, and cleaning the equipment after use.
But usually, you’ll need to put in some extra effort to keep your place pest-free. For instance, if you’re having a fly and mosquito problem, you can buy fly screens and mosquito traps for sale and place them around the restaurant. You should implement proper waste disposal to avoid attracting these flying creatures into your restaurant and disturbing your customers.
5. Encourage customer participation
Last important thing you should do is to make sure your incoming guests will also participate with your goal of keeping the restaurant clean. It’s best to carefully explain to them how important it is for the restaurant that they follow your cleanliness and safety procedures.
The easiest way to do this is to put up signs in the place. Some general rules you can implement are using provided hand sanitizer, avoid doing unhygienic habits inside, and informing the staff if their table needs cleaning.
Having a clean establishment is an impressive reflection that your restaurant offers great food and a safe environment for the diners. It is also a good representation of good and safe food that is worth a try for everyone. It can attract more diners into your establishment, giving you more sales than ever. Create an action plan now and get on with the improvements.