As lockdowns start to ease around the world, restaurants are reopening – but with a very different look and feel due to the coronavirus pandemic. An essential part of restaurant management is to ensure that the kitchen and dining area stay clean and hygienic while implementing the social distancing measures and protection for staff. If you succeed, it will give you better ratings from the health department, protect your team from illnesses, and also your customers will enjoy the ambiance cleanliness creates. Before reopening your F&B business, you could use Maslow’s hierarchy of needs framework to help them prioritize smart solutions for their facility safety readiness during a pandemic.
Sanitation and Regular Cleaning
The health of customers should always be a priority. Clean linens must be hygienic without unsightly stains. Napkins, tablecloths, and curtains should be cleaned daily. Keep the kitchen area clean all the time as it is exposed to a variety of possible contaminants. Cooks, servers, bussers, and even cashiers have access to the kitchen and could potentially contaminate food products.
To properly clean a restaurant kitchen, employees must consistently sanitize equipment, kitchen utensils, and surfaces that come in contact with food. It is essential to sanitize the inside and outside of the fridge and freezer consistently to ensure the food is fresh and germ-free. Clean and disinfect the handle of the refrigerator and freezers frequently to protect your staff from diseases.
Many people have food allergies and could become seriously ill if their food was cooked on contaminated surfaces, or with contaminated utensils. Cook on sanitized surfaces when working with raw meat. Anytime a new dish is being prepared, cooking surfaces need to be cleaned, and new utensils need to be used. Clean surfaces throughout the day with an antibacterial spray, prepare raw meat and fish in a separate area from cooked food.
Once customers leave, and the plates have been cleared, wipe table surfaces with an antibacterial spray. Wash and replace cleaning cloths every day to ensure that bacteria and germs are not spreading around the restaurant. Kitchen items such as cutting boards, blenders, grills, and countertops should also be disinfected. The best practice is to sanitize everything after each meal is cooked.
Workers must sweep and mop near the restaurant’s entrances and exits, underneath booths and tables often to keep these areas clean. Regular deep cleaning with soap, water, and liquid bleach helps remove soil buildup in tile grout. If a spill occurs, workers must promptly section off the area, clean up the spill, and dry it to avoid a slip-and-fall incident. Ensure that a wet floor hazard sign is always put up and displayed to reduce the risk of slipping when cleaning floors.
Creating a cleaning system where employees track what they’ve cleaned individually will ensure that your restaurant is as clean as possible.
Pest Control / Fever Screening / PPE
Pest Control is also vital before you reopen your restaurant. Ensuring that your restaurant is pest-free is essential and can have some significant effects on your business. An infestation may affect the health of your employees and customers. Pests can carry a substantial amount of diseases that can quickly spread to humans.
Many restaurants are empty or operating with low occupancy during the lockdown. Without pest control services, there is a possibility that your premise might have an infestation that ends up passing on some diseases or other ill-effects to your customers. The last thing your business needs after reopening is a warning from the health and safety authority due to an uncontrolled infestation in your business.
Governors and public health officials across the country have implemented stringent measures to help contain the spread of COVID-19, including requiring employers to screen the health of employees, often as they begin a shift. It is recommended for you to scan the body temperatures of each person trying to enter the restaurant, and not let them in if it detects a fever to protect people inside the restaurant from those displaying COVID-19 symptoms.
You must ensure adequate supplies to support healthy hygiene behaviors. Supplies include soap, hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol, paper towels, tissues, disinfectant wipes, cloth face coverings (as feasible), gloves, and no-touch/foot pedal trash cans. Providing PPE is not only an obligation but an assurance that you are taking the best precautions possible in a challenging environment.
Promote using gloves among your staff to avoid direct bare hand contact with ready-to-eat foods and encourage them to wash their hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Face coverings are essential in times when physical distancing is difficult. Information should be provided to staff on proper use, removal, and washing of cloth face coverings. Cloth face coverings can protect other people in case the wearer is unknowingly infected but does not have symptoms.
Customer and Employees Wellness and Happiness
Customers appreciate quick service, but they expect food safety and their health to be your top priority. Looking after your dining and eating area is also necessary for safety reasons, as well as to maintain the overall appearance of your establishment. The dining room is typically the first area customers see when they enter a restaurant, and visitors may decide to leave if the dining room appears unsanitary.
Dirty restaurant floors are unsightly and pose a safety risk for restaurant employees and patrons alike. Your workers can properly clean dining areas by thoroughly sanitizing the bar tops, tabletops, and chairs. Use clean towels that have not been used on surfaces in other areas of the restaurant, such as the restroom or kitchen.
Customers will often-times judge an entire restaurant experience on the restroom cleanliness. Properly cleaning restrooms helps prevent cross-contamination from employees to food products and eating utensils. Restrooms should be checked hourly by your staff to ensure that the restrooms are up to standards. All door handles and sinks faucets must be disinfected. Dispensers for soap, paper towels, and toilet paper should also be fully stocked.
Signs should be hung in the kitchen and the restroom by sinks, reminding employees when they should wash their hands, and for how long. Employees should be educated about the health hazards associated with improper hand washing.
Growth and Brand Images
The goal of our businesses is to earn a profit while keeping our employees and customers safe. When you make your restaurant customers happier, you’ll increase your revenue and your restaurant’s profitability. Happy employees and customers are people who get what they ask for. Walt Disney had a great outlook on his customers. He said, “Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends.”
You want to make your customers so happy with your food, your ambiance, and your staff. Satisfied customers will return and bring new friends with them each time. When your team goes the extra mile – greets customers personally and treats them with respect, you’ve earned a customer for life. Besides, when you put your employee health and customer as your priority, you build a trusting relationship on both parts.
When your business reopens, it will have to follow new rules and hygiene protocols. Thus, it is better to prepare and plan to minimize the loss of business and lives. ATALIAN is always ready to help you take the first steps into the new normal. Contact us now for further discussion on property reopening cleaning and pest control services.