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The Importance of Being Clean

Clean Restaurant

The Importance of Being Clean  

“If you have time to lean, you have time to clean.” It’s a mantra heard in restaurants from coast to coast. If your staff is not hearing it in yours, they should be. 

Customers evaluate restaurants in many different ways. How good is the food? How prompt and friendly is the service? How expensive are the drinks? But one the most important criteria customers use, before they have a chance to experience the service, get a drink, or taste the food, is how clean the place is—inside and out. This one instance—the cleanliness of your restaurant—where customers will judge your “book by its cover.” The consequences of not cleaning are severe. Guests will forgive an off night in the kitchen, or with the service, but not unsanitary conditions. When presented with a mess, especially in a sluggish economy, diners will take their dollars elsewhere, and they won’t come back. A dirty restaurant can also result in costly health code violations/citations and potential shut downs. 

The ability to hire a cleaning service is great, but most restaurants have to rely on their staff to get the day to day job done. Here are a few tips that can help you incorporate a “clean routine” into your operation: 

  • Create an hourly, daily, and weekly cleaning schedule. Set up checklists for prep areas, cooks line, floors, wait aisles, dining room, bathrooms, receiving areas, parking lot, etc..., and make sure your staff is trained to leave everything a little cleaner than they found it. During down times, have staff move from project to project. Establish accountability and responsibility, and watch pride in each clean area grow. 
  • Even deep cleaning is a cycle and needs to be done continuously. Don’t forget to add refrigerators, freezers, the ice machine, and walls to the schedule. 
  • Do hourly bathroom checks, especially on busy nights. Give your front of the house managers chits of paper with a smaller check list (stalls, sinks, mirror, floor, toilet paper, garbage cans) to hand to servers throughout the night. Have these check lists initialed and time stamped. 
  • Let customers and vendors tour your establishment. Another pair of eyes will help everyone keep cleanliness in the front of their minds. 
  • Make sure your staff—in the front of the house, and the back—has clean uniforms. Also, make sure they have the proper tools, cleaning solutions, multiple cutting boards, clean rags, and sanitizers at the ready. Hunting around for a rag or a mop to clean up a spill, wastes time and money. 

Keeping your establishment clean will not only help eliminate problems with fruit flies and other pests, it will also help make sure your customer’s overall experience is a positive one.

At Boelter we’ve been helping health care facilities, restaurants and hospitality customers find better cleaning solutions for years. Please, let us know how we can help you.