As the world continues to recover from COVID-19 restrictions, operators must prepare for the surge in foot traffic and restaurant cleaning expectations while addressing the hiring challenges.
In particular, the increased hygiene and safety requirements of consumers in the age of pandemics require more than ever to focus on a hygienic environment.
To help restaurants prepare for lifted restrictions and labor shortages, Cintas, which offers a variety of facility services for cleaning and hygiene in the front and back of house, gives six important tips.
“From closings to limited capacity and other restrictions, the restaurant industry has adapted remarkably to keep its business running during the pandemic,” said expert John Engel. “As restaurants prepare for a return to ‘normal’ this summer, they face new challenges such as labor shortages, increased demand and maintaining a higher level of cleanliness.”
Some top tips to prepare for and continue to worry this summer for a surge in guests are:
Washing of objects and cleaning tools
Washing items such as microfiber towels, bar towels, mop heads, and uniforms is often a time-consuming process undertaken by restaurant owners or managers. Operators can save time and achieve better results by outsourcing garments and bulk goods that are cleaned in a professional and industrial laundry process.
Restaurant workers need access to cleaning products and personal protective equipment (PPE). Operators are advised to install chemical dispensers that are connected directly to the water supply and dispense properly diluted chemicals at the push of a button.
Similarly, restaurant managers and owners may want to consider investing in disposable disinfectant and disinfectant wipes to maintain their supply of quickly and easily available hand hygiene and hard surface solutions. Having PPE such as disposable gloves on site is also vital for food service workers who interact with food and lots of people on a daily basis.
Thoroughly clean toilets
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, negative online reviews of toilets would deter 89 percent of Americans from dining, according to a Harris Poll.
It is important that restaurants perform a thorough cleaning on a regular basis, which includes disinfecting surfaces and removing debris, dirt, and bacteria. For example, high-pressure cleaning extracts dirt and dirty water to avoid cross-contamination and odor-causing bacteria.
Many restaurants removed mats and replaced them with floor stickers as a reminder of social distancing. When restaurants return to full capacity, they will see high levels of pedestrian traffic and wear and tear on the floors prior to the pandemic. Mats can help extend the life of floors by preventing dirt and debris from being abrasive.
Consider an outsourced mat service provider to remove dirty mats and replace them with freshly laundered mats. Washing your own mats is time-consuming and puts a strain on your equipment.
Maintenance of kitchen drains
Fats, oils, greases, and other kitchen debris build up in drain lines over time, often causing bad smells and clogs that require time-consuming pumping. Maintaining kitchen drain lines can help liquids flow freely.
Installation of touchless soap, disinfectant and paper towel dispensers
Consider installing touchless dispensers to prevent the spread of germs on high contact surfaces in restaurants. Dispensers without touchless functions can harbor more bacteria and viruses. Installing paper towel dispensers to replace air dryers can help prevent this from happening Spread of germs in all toilets.
“Restaurants may want to adhere to their pandemic cleaning protocols to meet the increased cleanliness expectations,” added Engel. “Researching an outsourced model can help restaurant owners save time and allow them to focus on what matters most while promoting a positive image.”