Due, in large part, to consumer fears regarding COVID-19 infections, restaurant cleanliness has risen in importance to diners, ranking just below food quality and taste.
Commercial Kitchen Cleanliness Ranks High With Diners
Unsurprisingly, consumer fears surrounding the potential for becoming infected with the COVID-19 virus are still high.
As a result, prospective diners are increasingly aware of restaurant cleaning and infection control practices.
Additionally, consumers expect increased communication from restaurant management to diners regarding enhanced cleaning and hygiene practices.
In a recent survey of 974 U.S. adults conducted by Proctor & Gamble Professional, diners stated:
- Bathroom and kitchen cleanliness, spotless tables, chairs, and surfaces and pleasant smells were the top signals that a restaurant is clean or not.
- More than 70 percent expect more thorough and frequent cleaning, saying bathrooms, buffets, tables, chairs, and counters are the most important areas to clean.
- Diners support changes to staff procedures to ensure safety, testing sick employees before they return to work, and having employees wear masks and gloves, and;
- Cleanliness ranked as the second most important attribute for a diner's experience behind only the quality and taste of food.
- However, seventy-four percent want to know how restaurants are cleaned and sanitized and what is being done to ensure food safety.
- P&G Professional Survey Reveals Majority of Consumers Would Patronize a Business If They Know and Trust the Cleaning Brands Used
Cleaning Commercial Kitchen Hot Spots and Touchpoints
Cleaning commercial kitchens and restaurants for health requires a continuous effort to maintain high levels of hygiene in several critical areas, including:
- General kitchen surfaces, including floors, walls, and ceilings.
- Food prep and serving areas, and;
- Food storage and waste disposal areas.
- Wipe down the walls from the bottom up to avoid streaking.
- Clean and disinfect all cooking surfaces, including the inside of ovens, stovetops, grills, toasters, microwaves, and fryers.
- Wipe down and sanitize coffee pots, soda guns, and beverage dispenser heads.
- Clean out, scrub, and sanitize sinks and faucet handles.
- Sweep out storage areas, walk-in refrigerators, and the kitchen floor.
- Mop the kitchen floor, and;
- Remove trash and sanitize the space around indoor trashcans.
- Sanitize the inside of stoves, microwaves, and other food prep equipment.
- Deep clean sinks.
- Thoroughly clean and boil out or disinfect fryers.
- Wash out the inside of freezers, and;
- Vacuum scrub the kitchen floor.
- Clean out and scrub behind the hotline.
- Sanitize the inside of coffee and ice machines and soda dispensers according to manufacturer recommendations.
- Clear out, wipe down, and disinfect walk-in freezers.
- Service refrigerator cooling coils.
- Empty, clean, and disinfect grease traps, and;
- Wipe down and sanitize ceilings, vents, and vent hoods.
- Use smart microfiber towels and other color-coded microfiber equipment assigned to specific areas or surfaces to avoid cross-contamination.
- Use no-touch cleaning and disinfection appliances to reduce the amount of time it takes to complete cleaning tasks, reduce the physical burden on custodial staff, and improve surface and facility hygiene.
- Only use chemicals recommended for use in commercial kitchens, specifically for the surface being cleaned, and follow all manufacturer instructions regarding handling, disposal, and dilution.
- Never mix cleaning chemicals.
- Use a chemical management system to eliminate issues with incorrect dilution.
- Maintain a duty chart and checklist to ensure all tasks are completed and to eliminate the potential for accidental chemical mixing or exposure.
- Always wear the appropriate personal protective equipment and ensure maximum levels of ventilation when applying commercial disinfectant products, and;
- Ensure all staff are trained on how to respond in the event of accidental chemical cloud creation, including emergency medical response and evacuation routes.
Before the current pandemic, the U.S. restaurant industry was experiencing wide-spread growth.
Now that the country and restaurant dining rooms are opening back up, diners are eager to return but cautious about where they choose to eat.
Restaurant managers can ease consumer fears and take advantage of an in-demand market place by implementing enhanced cleaning and infection control procedures in their kitchens and throughout their establishments, and then clearly communicating those protocols to diners in the form of signage and pamphlets.
While daily cleaning and touchpoint disinfection will typically fall on restaurant staff, outsourcing weekly and monthly deep cleaning efforts can help ensure the highest standards of cleanliness and hygiene for a fraction of the cost of attempting to manage the same services in-house.
If you would like more information regarding the effectiveness of high-performance infection prevention and control measures, or if you would like to schedule a free, no-obligation onsite assessment of your facility's custodial needs, contact us today for a free quote!
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