As the foodservice industry is becoming increasingly competitive, restaurants cannot solely rely on the quality of their food and customer service. They must also maintain cleanliness to encourage positive reviews and repeat visits. According to Technomic’s Consumer Brand Metrics, 93% of customers say cleanliness is important or very important when choosing a restaurant. In addition, more than 89% of customers surveyed said kitchen cleanliness was important.
Restaurants present unique cleaning challenges as both front-of-house (FOH) areas like restrooms, dining areas and bars and back-of-house (BOH) areas like kitchens and storage areas have their own specific cleaning needs. Implementing a comprehensive cleaning schedule, using effective cleaners and disinfectants and focusing on minimizing environmental harm can help restaurants uphold their reputation.
The Power of Negative Reviews
In an age when a picture of a restaurant’s dirty restroom or dining area can go viral on social media, restaurants must carefully maintain cleanliness. This is especially crucial in areas that can heavily impact future business, like restrooms. According to a 2018 Harris Poll, 89% of Americans would not visit a restaurant based on negative online reviews about their restrooms.
To reduce the risk of negative reviews, restaurant managers should ensure that their restrooms are always clean. Creating a cleaning schedule reminds employees to regularly check in on restrooms and restock supplies. This is also an opportunity to use safe and sustainable cleaning and disinfecting products to ensure surfaces are clean.
Successful and Sustainable Restaurant Cleaning
Some cleaning chemicals contain irritants that can negatively affect the well-being of customers and employees. In addition, many cleaning products come packaged in single-use plastic, a well-known detriment to the environment.
Restaurants should focus on the following in their cleaning programs:
- Safety. Choose cleaners and disinfectants without irritants that are deadly to germs while being gentle on people and facility surfaces. Look for solutions that can kill 99.999% of bacteria without exposing restaurant employees to harsh chemicals.
- Sustainability. To reduce your carbon footprint, consider purchasing products that help a restaurant minimize waste and water usage. Some systems allow facilities to create cleaning solutions on site – known as on-site generation. This process allows employees to use refillable plastic bottles and cut down on environmentally harmful plastic waste in the process.
Great meals and excellent customer service are great ways to build customer loyalty, but a clean facility also plays an important role. Properly and consistently cleaning FOH and BOH areas communicates that the restaurant cares about food safety, its customers and its reputation. An effective restaurant cleaning program will rely on safe and sustainable solutions that can be quickly and easily generated on site as needed.