How to Incorporate These Necessary Ingredients to Keep Your Guests and Employees Happy
For the past few years, restaurants have felt the heat amid concerns about COVID-19, labor shortages and rising food prices. But the industry is on the verge of a comeback according to a recent survey by the National Restaurant Association – it found the restaurant workforce is set to grow by 400,000 jobs. There is also pent-up demand from consumers to return to restaurants as often as before the pandemic.
With this expected influx on the horizon, it’s important for your restaurant to take stock of proper cleaning and hygiene measures for the key areas of the Fore-Hall (FOH) and Back-Hall (BOH) ).
Don’t put the toilet on hold
While there are many areas of a restaurant that customers encounter while dining, one of the most important is the restroom. These spaces are heavily trafficked and carry a lot of weight when it comes to how diners perceive your business. In fact, a recent Harris Poll found that nearly three in four Americans (74%) say a dirty restroom causes them to have a negative perception of a business.
To keep your washroom inviting and hygienic, consider the following best practices:
- Schedule regular restocks. The aforementioned Harris Poll found that more than two in three people say that when restaurant restrooms aren’t stocked with enough hand soap, toilet paper and paper towel dispensers, it negatively impacts their eyesight. of the company. Make sure your staff restocks the restrooms regularly by working out a schedule or appointing a certain person to check on restroom supplies, especially during busy times.
- Encourage good hand hygiene. It is unfortunate that toilet and urinal flushes can spread pathogens through the air and onto the surfaces and hands of toilet users. This makes good hand hygiene vital. In addition to having hand hygiene supplies like soap, sanitizer, and properly stocked paper towels, also educate guests and employees via signs on handwashing techniques, like hand washing. soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Opt for paper towels. To reduce the spread of germs, consider replacing air blast dryers with paper towels or adding towel dispensers near sinks. A Cambridge University study found that using paper towels to dry your hands resulted in lower contamination rates than jet air hand dryers. Additionally, research reveals that people overwhelmingly prefer using paper towels in public restrooms over air dryers.
- Quickly deal with toilet clogs. Your restaurant’s toilet clogs are a major deterrent to customers. In fact, 86% of Americans agree that a clogged toilet gives them a negative perception of a business. To limit the risk of customers refusing to return to your restaurant, consider stocking toilet paper that actively reduces the occurrence of toilet clogs. This toilet paper works by releasing good microorganisms once it comes into contact with toilet water, which eats away the buildup in the pipes. This type of toilet paper also allows staff to spend less time cleaning up messes and more time focusing on customers.
BOH processes gain visibility in FOH areas
Customers often don’t know what’s going on in restaurant kitchens due to their closed designs. However, more and more restaurants are bringing BOH to the fore. This can take the form of buildable dining models like Subway or Chipotle and open concept kitchens at full-service restaurants. These designs have changed the way restaurant staff prioritize cleanliness and hygiene.
Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced restaurants to leverage their reliable cleaning protocols in other areas to reduce the spread of pathogens. The kitchen staff have always been accustomed to cleaning regularly to ensure food safety. Now, customers have higher standards and expect thorough cleaning and sanitizing practices to take place where they dine. Additionally, six in ten shared concerns if restaurant workers lack personal protective equipment (PPE) – ensure kitchen staff are prepared with appropriate PPE.
Whether a kitchen is out of sight of customers or in plain sight, it’s important to reassure diners that your restaurant is following infection prevention and food safety best practices where food is prepared and where they are tasted. Consider developing a cleaning checklist to ensure that all key areas and surfaces that customers may or may not see are properly treated on a regular basis.
BOH employees should also follow good hand hygiene to reduce the risk of transmission of pathogens. Keep soap, disinfectant and paper towels in the kitchens at all times.
Cleanliness and hygiene: the new bread and butter
Right now, your restaurant may not be experiencing foot traffic like it did before the pandemic, but that doesn’t mean it’s easier to maintain cleanliness. Many restaurant operations are struggling to hire enough workers, and customers are taking a closer look at cleanliness and hygiene. Be sure to consider the impact FOH and BOH zones have on your reputation and bottom line to keep your restaurant safe and welcoming. Cleanliness and hygiene are a vital duo that supports public health and customer satisfaction when performed correctly.