What, Why, and How
Restaurant cleaning and disinfecting has always been an integral part of any successful food-service business. In today’s world, disinfecting restaurants is crucial to keeping customers safe and coming back for more. Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the focus has gotten a lot narrower on the cleanliness of public places. People care about what they eat as much as the cleanliness of where they eat. To achieve and maintain consumer satisfaction and retention, restaurants need to deliver and understand the correlation between the physical cleanliness of the space and repeat business. Here are some steps to take to ensure that you’re following best practices when it comes to restaurant cleaning and disinfecting.
Establishing cleaning and disinfecting standards for your entire staff to follow is key. Make sure these standards are easily referenced and have training sessions to help staff understand how to adhere to them.
Focus on things like:
- Cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces: Some surfaces will frequently be touched and shared such as tables, door handles, workstations, payment registers, trays and it is necessary to clean and disinfect them.
- Establish a scheduled cleaning and disinfecting schedule using products that meet the EPA standards and follow the directions.
- Train and educate staff on the proper cleaning procedures and application of products.
- Provide your staff with gloves and protective wear when using cleaning products.
- Have an outline of your cleanliness standards clearly visible for customers to review.
Ensuring that everyone is on the same page about restaurant cleaning and disinfecting is key to keeping your business operational during these uncertain times.
High-touch surfaces should be disinfected frequently during the day and even more frequently during a pandemic. Disinfecting restaurants in addition to cleaning frequently can help slow the spread of infection. Some places to disinfect often are:
- Doorknobs and handles throughout your restaurant including bathrooms
- Bar tops, tables, and chairs
- Ticket and check holders
- Rails and elevator buttons
- Keyboards, POS systems, phones, and pens
- Faucets and sinks
Depending on the volume of customers coming into your restaurant, you’ll want to clean and disinfect these areas at least every hour if not after every use for some items.
Cleaning vs. Sanitizing vs. Disinfecting
Everyone wants to eat at a restaurant where they feel confident that food is prepared responsibly and that surfaces are safe to eat on. But what’s the difference between cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting?
Cleaning is the practice of removing dust, debris, dirt, stains, spills, and more from surfaces. Cleaning is the first step in the process of ensuring that your restaurant is safe for customers.
Sanitizing removes bacteria and germs that can be potentially harmful from surfaces according to the CDC. It’s a practice that can inhibit the growth of bacteria, but does not kill viruses. Food-safe sanitizers are often used on surfaces where food is prepared like countertops and cutting boards. Food-prep areas should be sanitized frequently throughout the day to control bacteria and germs.
Disinfecting is the practice of using disinfectants to kill both bacteria and viruses on non-porous surfaces. The EPA calls this the most effective way to kill viruses that can be transmitted to humans, which means you should be disinfecting high-touch surfaces frequently throughout the day. Places like door handles, light switches, bathroom surfaces, point-of-sale systems, tables, ATMs, and more should be disinfected frequently to reduce the risk of transmission. While disinfectants can be used on many surfaces, they should never come into contact with food directly. Be sure to check the directions on any disinfectant you purchase for use in your restaurant as some require rinsing and others do not.
Restaurant owners and staff have become even more responsible for customer safety in this ever-changing landscape. With people coming back to dining out, ensuring that your restaurant is clean and disinfected is key. Not only will it make people feel safe, it will keep them coming back when not every outing feels as secure.
At Action Unlimited Resources, we offer a range of products for restaurant cleaning and disinfecting as well as expert consultants to guide you in your journey. We also offer training to ensure that you’re following the most up-to-date standards. We believe training and education in the cleaning industry provides our customers the tools to maintain a safe and efficient business for all to enjoy. If you’re looking for more information on how to keep your restaurant safe for customers, contact us today.
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