For any SA restaurant, café, coffee shop or fast food outlet, cleanliness should undeniably be top of mind. The best restaurant managers know that their reputation, not to mention the health of their patrons depends on it. After all, it’s one of the biggest factors that determines whether a customer sits down to enjoy their meal, escapes out the door or, even worse, complains on social media.
Nevertheless, even the highest rated restaurants have been found guilty of overlooking some pretty important areas in their cleaning and sanitation efforts.
How confident are you that your restaurant’s cleaning schedule covers everything it should? Here’s a list of the seven areas that restaurants often ‘forget’ to clean.
Because dirt doesn’t show up as readily on walls as it does on floors, many restaurateurs don’t give them a second thought. However, for a vertical surface, walls can pick up a notable amount of dirt and grime – and with it, bacteria and other harmful germs. This is especially true around kitchen equipment and appliances where oil, liquid and other food particles may splatter or spray.
- Outdoor Garbage Area
The garbage section is often the area of a restaurant which, because out of sight, it stays out of mind when it comes to cleaning. Your garbage bins are a breeding ground for rats, flies and other problematic pests which could lead to a nasty infestation that is hard to get rid of. For this reason, it’s important to make sure that this area is kept clean and tidy, garbage lids sealed tightly and containers hosed down regularly.
- Ceilings & Light Fixtures
Like the walls, restaurant ceilings are often pushed to the back of the cleaning roster because the dirt and dust that accumulates there is not clearly visible to the naked eye. However, a dusty, dirty or stained ceiling can impact the health of your customers by reducing the air quality in your restaurant. Keeping your restaurant ceiling clean, and regularly dusting off fans, light fittings and other fixtures should all form part of your regular cleaning schedule.
- Under & Behind Equipment
Servers and kitchen staff may do a good job of cleaning on and around cooking equipment, tables and booths, and serving stations, but they often neglect the in-between spaces that accumulate the most dirt and grime. Restaurants should be mindful to incorporate a deeper clean on a regular basis, ensuring that equipment and furniture are pulled away from walls so they can be cleaned properly on the sides and underneath. It’s also essential for any commercial kitchen to get their extractor canopy and grease trap cleaned frequently to prevent fire hazards, ensure food safety and keep working conditions safe.
- Drink Nozzles
Think about the last time you cleaned the nozzles on your soda fountain, draught machine or coffee dispenser. Was it last year? When you bought it? Never? Most of these nozzles are easy to screw off and clean, but many restaurants don’t, giving a whole host of bacteria and mold the chance to build up, ultimately affecting the quality of drinks that are served up to customers.
- Food Storage Areas
As far as food safety in restaurants are concerned, how you take care of and clean your storage area is directly reflected in your restaurant. Proper stock rotation, food labelling and temperature control are all important to prevent the build-up of bacteria and other biological hazards, but so is taking the time every day to thoroughly clean all shelves, containers and storage units.
- Cleaning Equipment
It’s also worth noting that many restaurants that do clean frequently are using the same cleaning tools and equipment to scrub the place day in and day out without being cleaned itself. Damp mop heads and dirty cloths can harbour germs and will spread them onto the surfaces that they ‘clean’ if not properly disinfected themselves. Moral of the story: ensure that all cleaning equipment is cleaned before use!
Is your restaurant taking the necessary precautions to keep every nook and cranny as clean as possible? Not doing so could cost you more than you think in the long run. Contracting a professional cleaning service will help you maintain the cleanliness of restaurant and ensures your ongoing peace of mind.