Restaurant Cleaning Supplies to Help Keep Customers Coming Back
In its 2021 State of the Restaurant Industry Report, The National Restaurant Association found that the impact of coronavirus caused restaurant and foodservice industry sales to fall by $240 billion in 2020 from an expected level of $899 billion. Additionally, as of December 1, 2020, more than 110,000 food and beverage businesses were temporarily or permanently closed. As a result, the eating and drinking place sector finished the year nearly 2.5 million jobs below its pre-coronavirus level.
For those restaurants that were able to navigate and survive the evolving landscape of dining restrictions and transmissions, they will need to continue to adapt their operations to keep their staff working and their guests confident in their ability to remain safe and healthy in the restaurant setting, specifically for inside dining.
While restaurant operators have always prioritized cleaning and disinfecting, the injection of the coronavirus has certainly placed these routine procedures under a more critical lens. As restaurants reopen for dine-in business and restaurant patrons re-emerge, they’ll expect a higher level of cleanliness so that they can feel safe while dining out. Food service professionals too will need to feel that their health is protected by the cleanliness of the environment in which they work.
A key factor in keeping staff employed, patrons coming in and in general, business open, is the restaurant cleaning supplies and equipment chosen to get the job done to successfully keep transmissions at bay.
Front of The House Cleaning and Disinfecting
The notion that people eat with their eyes first is true – visual stimuli have been shown to alter the perception of taste, smell and flavor. So when a patron enters a restaurant, if they’re met with a dirty floor or cobwebs in corners, what are they left to think? If they suspect that the restaurant is cutting corners in the front of the house, most likely they’ll question what’s going on in the back of the house, making the front of the house presentation ever more important in attracting and retaining patrons.
Within the dining and bar areas, staff need an efficient way of cleaning even the hardest to reach windows and glass surfaces, as well as tabletops, walls, stainless steel and plexiglass surfaces. Sourcing indoor window and surface cleaning tools that incorporate telescopic poles to access hard to reach areas, will eliminate the need for ladders or moving tables, both of which require additional time and pose an avoidable safety risk. Additionally, the telescopic extension poles create a safe distance between the employee and the cleaning surface which could harbor potentially harmful germs. These poles can be combined with dusting accessories to create an easier and safer ceiling and fixture maintenance experience.
To assist with cleaning prior to disinfection, we also recommend using microfiber-based cleaning tools, such as microfiber cloths and pads, opposed to other materials, as they will help achieve the highest level of clean, making the disinfection process more effective.
Because microfiber is made up of thousands of tiny strands that are each 10-50 times smaller than the diameter of human hair, when woven together these strands create a surface area covered with millions of spaces between the fibers to trap moisture, dirt and debris. This composition makes microfiber a superior cleaning technology to other materials on the market, such as cotton, for tabletop and bar cleaning applications. Cotton’s fibers are far too big to reach into tiny areas and instead wind up simply pushing around surface dirt and germs. If debris are left behind, it will block the disinfectant from doing its job on the surface.
To meet the unique needs of your dining area floors, you should also consider using microfiber floor cleaning solutions, in addition to dual-bucket floor mopping systems to gain dramatically better results. Dual bucket technology separates clean and dirty water, ensuring the charge bucket always stays clean. This method provides a healthier, cleaner alternative to traditional mopping with a single bucket and a constantly contaminated mop that leaves behind potentially dangerous germs and carries them to other parts of the restaurant.
Cleaning the Back of the House
The fast-paced nature of commercial kitchens, combined with the food and beverages being prepared, creates a recipe for surface level contamination. When food debris, liquids and grease accumulate on the floor and surfaces, the conditions exist to promote germ spread to other areas of the restaurant.
To keep floors clean and avoid potential cross contamination with the front of the house, look for floor cleaning kits that offer a wider mop head spread than traditional mop heads, as these mops allow workers to clean a larger area, faster. In a fast-paced kitchen, quickly addressing debris and spills can not only make or break the productivity of your kitchen but can remove pathogens from the surface before spreading to other areas of the restaurant. As with front of the house floor cleaning, utilizing a dual bucket floor washing system in the kitchen will isolate dirt and maximize usage of the cleaning solution.
For maintaining healthy, uncontaminated cooking surfaces, staff need to be able to use food service cleaning tools quickly, easily and safely. Just like the high access dusting tools for the front of the house, high heat grill squeegees and double-sided scrapers can be attached to extendable poles, allowing staff to effectively and safely hand clean kitchen hoods and perform high access cleaning to ensure the kitchen adheres to the highest cleaning and safety regulations.
Restaurant Restroom Cleaning
Before the coronavirus pandemic, statistics showed that more than 80% of consumers would avoid a restaurant with a dirty restroom—not just avoid the restroom, but avoid the restaurant altogether. Can you imagine what that same statistic would be now in a pandemic world?
Clean restrooms go far beyond first impressions when it comes to impacting the financial gain of repeat business. With the health and repeat business of so many people at stake, supporting the continual upkeep of your restroom facilities is just as important, if not more so, than the front of the house first impression.
Dual bucket technology and microfiber mop heads continue to play an important role in the arsenal of highly effective floor cleaning equipment. In addition, complementing those features with color coded technology offer an extra level of defense against germs. Restroom cleaning equipment, such as Unger’s SmartColor line of cleaning equipment, is designed to designate specific cleaning zones within a facility. This type of system allows restaurant cleaning staff to organize equipment and prevent cross-contamination between work zones (example: using restroom cleaning mops in restroom areas only, floor cleaning mops in dining spaces only).
Distinct color-coding makes it easy to separate tools into their correct areas of use or cleaning task, reducing bacteria and cross-contamination between high and low-risk areas. Using a combination of color-coded microfiber cloths and microfiber mops results in better restroom sanitation that can carry over to other areas of the restaurant.
What’s Next in Restaurant Cleaning?
Across industries, we’re seeing more of an emphasis on disinfecting as we deal with concerns over more contagious pathogens, such as Covid-19. Often this means less of a focus on cleaning, but to achieve the best results, equal weight should be given to both processes, as proper cleaning leads the way to better disinfection.