Hygiene and cleanliness are important for all businesses, but restaurants are particularly at risk from bacteria and negative customer reviews. If the kitchen or dining area is unclean and disorderly, it can lead to a poor experience for patrons. This can ruin your restaurant’s reputation and kill new business. In addition, any illnesses caused by unhygienic cooking procedures could land you in legal trouble or force you to close the doors.
While many restaurant owners believe that their business is clean and hygienic, this is not always the case and the truth may come as a surprise. Staff need to be properly trained in hygiene standards and cleaning needs to take place continuously. If your restaurant needs a once-off deep-clean or routine cleaning services, then a professional contract cleaning company, such as IWESCO, will be your best bet.
Tips on keeping your restaurant spotless
1. Staff cleanliness is a must - Chefs, waitrons and cleaning staff should maintain high personal hygiene standards at all times. The owner of the restaurant should ensure that there is always adequate sanitation, soap and running water in staff restrooms. Consider setting a hygiene ‘test’ for potential employees to answer or complete during an interview. This will help to establish cleanliness standards and ensure that all staff members know how to stay hygienic.
The hygiene protocols for kitchen staff and chefs must be strict and clearly signposted. Washing of hands, wearing of hairnets and cleaning spillages immediately are examples of hygiene standards that must be followed at all times. Continued training in hygiene and food health should be compulsory for all employees. These personal standards will form the foundation for a clean and hygienic restaurant.
Provide staff members with big lockers where they can safely store their personal belongings while on shift. Their work uniforms must be clean and presentable too. An unkempt waitron can give a customer the impression that the restaurant is unclean. Smart, professional staff members will always have a positive impact on the establishment’s reputation. Provide staff members with rubber gloves to be worn when washing dishes or handling leftovers, food scraps or waste items.
2. Routine inspections and checks should be conducted - The owner or manager of the restaurant should conduct routine inspections of the entire premises on a regular basis. This means checking the stoves, ovens, cold rooms, freezers, kitchen floors, countertops, preparation surfaces, bathrooms, and the dining area. Any food scraps, grease, grime, dirt and stains should be removed and cleaned immediately.
This will prevent cross-contamination of foods, bacteria outbreaks and potential hazards from affecting your reputation. All spaces within a restaurant must be thoroughly cleaned at the end of a shift. It is then the manager or owner’s responsibility to inspect the cleanliness and address any potential issues before they cause bigger problems.
3. Address any pest infestations immediately - One obvious sign of an unhygienic restaurant is the presence of rodents and other pests. No customer wants to see cockroaches or mice scurrying around, so address these problems immediately. IWESCO offers pest control services in addition to contract cleaning. The best way to tackle pests is to eliminate their breeding sites and access to food or water. This means removing waste, food scraps and open containers.
Empty out any standing water and clean cupboards and the back of ovens regularly. A clean kitchen may still attract pests if there is enough food and water for rodents and insects to survive on. The strict cleaning and hygiene protocols outlined in points one and two should help to minimise the chances of a pest infestation.
4. Create a cleaning schedule - This point is the most obvious. All restaurants need a strict cleaning regime that follows a schedule. This list should be printed out and stuck around the kitchen and preparation areas. Cleaning staff should adhere to this schedule closely. Include the following items to be completed after every shift:
Clean the grill, fryer, oven and surrounding areas.
Wipe down and sanitise all preparation surfaces.
Wash all utensils, cutlery and crockery. Place them in an area to dry properly.
Check for stains in tablecloths, carpets, seat covers and curtains.
Wash down tiled floors and vacuum carpets.
Wash linen and tablecloths with a high-pressure jet or steam.
Sanitise all surfaces in the dining area.
Tidy and organise the fridge, cold room and freezer.
Check the expiry dates of all food items.
Clean the toilets, sinks, basins and urinals with disinfectant.
Check for broken light bulbs, fixtures, taps or pipes and fix them.
Empty bins and clean the insides with soap and water before placing a new plastic bin liner.
Check that there is no cross-contamination between meats, vegetables and other food items.
IWESCO offers specialised cleaning and waste control services to industrial and commercial customers in South Africa. These services are aimed at minimising our customers’ impact on the environment. Our services also include pest control, garden maintenance, fogging and disinfecting. Our staff are highly trained to offer the most professional services. IWESCO is a Level 2 B-BBEE supplier with ISO 14001 certification for environmental management.
We are a one-stop shop for all your contract cleaning and waste control needs and have a national footprint. Our head office is located in Tshwane but we can provide services to any industrial and commercial client in the major metropolitan areas around South Africa, including Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Mbombela and more.