If you’ve ever walked into a restaurant and immediately wanted to walk out, you’ll know that restaurant cleanliness is important. A clean restaurant is not only a matter of appearances – it’s also a health issue. Customers need to trust that the food that they’re being served was prepared and cooked in a hygienic environment, not one that could potentially result in food poisoning.

How a restaurant carries out their cleaning routine could be the difference between enjoying a great meal— or just being completely turned off. When visiting a restaurant you’ve never been to before, look for these key signs that a restaurant is keeping it clean (or not).

Check the Reviews

A surefire way to tell if a restaurant isn’t clean is by checking what other people have to say. The experiences of others are a good indication of what you can expect. If the majority of reviews are less than complimentary and focus more on the look and cleanliness restaurant than the actual food, it’s a good sign to stay away.

Before You Even Go In

When it comes to restaurants, what’s on the outside really does count. Take a look at the state of the property. If you notice that it’s on its way to deteriorating fast, this could show that the restaurant owner is not too bothered about upkeep. Overflowing garbage cans and rubbish chucked carelessly aside are another sign of unsanitary conditions.

Look Around You

Once you’re inside, take a quick glance around you. If the walls, furniture and décor look like it hasn’t seen a duster since the day it opened, it could mean that cleaning is probably not at the top of their priority list. Dust may not seem like a huge deal, but it can aggravate allergies in patrons and it is also a sign that the staff might not be cleaning in other areas of the restaurant, too.

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Do Your Business

In a restaurant, the only place that should be cleaner than the kitchen is the bathroom. Dirty sinks, overflowing sanitary bins, unpleasant odours and a lack of hygiene equipment could be enough to break out the hand sanitiser. The rule of thumb? If you wouldn’t go to the loo at a restaurant, why would you eat there?

Take Note of Employees

A good restaurant is only as clean as its staff. These are the people that handle your food, after all. Dirty and unkempt employees not only sends a negative message about the restaurant but also suggests that they’re not too worried about washing their hands as frequently as they should. Another red flag is waiters who are ill at work – coughing and sneezing around food is a definite no-no.

Tabletops Don’t Lie

Firstly, notice how many tables are left uncleaned after customers leave. Next, watch how an employer cleans away a table. It’s not enough to spray a cleaner on your table if the rag you’re using is dirty, Cannon says. “If you watch a waitress use a wet towel to wipe off the table but it’s the same cloth she used on the next table, that’s not going to  disinfect the surface,” he says. “It’s even worse if she uses the same towel to wipe off the tops of the condiments on the table. (Safebee.com)

Spot the Critters

Seeing signs of a pest infestation, whether it be flies hanging around the food, a cockroach near the kitchen or a mouse scurrying for cover, is definitely a cause for concern in a restaurant setting. All restaurants should have an integrated pest control management programme in place to comply with health codes.

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Are you a restaurant owner in need of some help?

If you think your restaurant could improve its hygiene practices – we can help! Get in touch for a cleaning and pest control quote today.