Perhaps the cornerstone of any good restaurant is the proper hygiene and food safety practice maintained by the establishment. Poor sanitation can lead to a lower rating and subsequently earn a bad reputation. But keeping food safe and the restaurant clean can lead to satisfaction from consumers and staff.
It Begins with Hand Hygiene
Earning an “A” sanitation rating is exciting; after all the hard work that goes into starting up a restaurant, the “A” can be the icing on the cake by leading new customers to the establishment. But maintaining that rating throughout the year can become a chore, especially during the summer months when things start heating up and tourism increases. But, there are simple steps managers can take to make sure the front of the house remains clean.
Before guests are seated, keep an alcohol-based hand sanitizer available while they’re entering the restaurant. This helps reduce the spread of illness-causing germs, such as E. Coli, Listeria, Salmonella and flu. It’s commonly mistaken that the cold or flu will only go around during the winter, but many people can still contract these viruses during summer months as well. An alcohol-based hand sanitizer, like PURELL®, will reduce the spread of this, especially when it gets busy. Doing this is a convenient way to show your guest that you care about their health and well-being before they sit down to enjoy their meal.
Or keep hand sanitizing wipes nearby, or on tables when they’re seated, so guests can grab them individually to clean and sanitizer their hands before eating. Keeping these at beverage stations, condiment area or any self-serve areas can encourage customers to keep their hands clean before eating.
“Cleanliness is key to winning occasions,” says Consumer Brand Metrics, Technomic Inc. “In fact, when selecting a restaurant for a meal, consumers consider cleanliness more important than value, convenience or service”
When customers walk into an establishment and notice an effort by the staff to keep consumers’ hands clean to prevent the spread of illness-causing bacteria, it sets the tone for a clean and thoughtful meal.
When the lunch or dinner rush begins to storm the doors, maintaining a clean environment while dealing with hangry customers, impatiently tapping their feet, can become a burden. Using ready-to-use cleaning products that don’t require a second wipe-down after, can be a more efficient way of cleaning.
“In public health, one of our priorities is to prevent the contamination of food contact surfaces.” Suzanne Krippel, program manager of food protection unit in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, says. “Products that make the cleaning and sanitizing processes easier help food operators reduce the threat of foodborne illness.”
Using ready-to-use products that provide quick, but trustworthy, results can help turn tables faster than the typical cleaning agent. Products that can also be used on hard, or soft, surfaces can also improve efficiency.
These qualities are critical to keeping food, and customers, safe and prevent foodborne illness but it’s equally important to find products that do not contain harsh chemicals or fumes that may irritate guests or employees. The PURELL® Foodservice Surface Sanitizer is one of the only ready-to-use products on the market that can kill norovirus, E. coli and salmonella in just 30 seconds without the use of harsh chemicals.
Implementing these simple tips can help earn, and maintain, an “A” sanitation rating all year round.