Restaurant cleanliness is one of the top factors in whether a customer sits down at your restaurant or quickly escapes out the door. Dining out is an experience. Customers expect a clean, welcoming environment. And they should. Restaurants are part of the hospitality industry and as owners, operators and employees, it’s vital to take every step possible to give a customer a great experience. That’s the only way your customers will come back for more.
In our social media-centric world, that experience can start even before a customer leaves home. If s/he looks at online reviews and finds that another customer found the restaurant dirty, it could prevent a new customer from stopping by. That’s why it’s vital to maintain cleanliness all the time. So how do you make sure your restaurant is in top shape? Take a look at these five things – and clean them:
1. Floors: They’re one of the first – and largest – things a customer notices upon entering your restaurant. A recent survey found that 68% of people would leave and never return if the floor is dirty. To prevent dirty floors, make sure to clean up all spills immediately. Spot clean frequently throughout the day. Sweep and mop regularly (frequency is dependant on how busy your restaurant is and how dirty that makes the floors).
2. Restrooms: Restrooms can be the number one source of complaints in a restaurant (or any business for that matter). Anything from empty toilet paper and paper towel dispensers to dirty floors and odors. It’s important to keep restrooms clean before someone can complain. Make sure to clean visibly dirty areas in the restroom often. That includes restocking any dispensers and picking up trash. Clean and sanitize germ hot spots at least once per shift.
3. Tables: No one wants to sit down at a restaurant table that’s sticky or piled with crumbs. Tables should be wiped down and sanitized after each customer leaves. Don’t forget to clean chairs and floors around your tables as well.
4. Staff: Personal hygiene matters. Staff appearances reflect your business. If you want to showcase your business focuses on cleanliness, your staff need to look the part. Clean clothing, well-kept (and short) fingernails and pulled back hair (in a hair net, hat, bandanna, etc.) will all help you accomplish this goal.
5. Kitchen: Kitchen cleanliness is a top way to prevent foodborne illnesses. Proper cleaning and food storage all play a role, even if customers never see your kitchen. Make sure to follow proper cleaning and sanitizing procedures, as well as those for keeping raw meats separate from other foods. Keeping your kitchen clean as you move from one task to the next will help reduce cleaning time and make the entire process easier.