You never get a second chance to make a great first impression. Customer perceptions of your foodservice establishment are formed before their food arrives. Making sure your environments are clean can help lead to a great experience for every customer. Customers are less likely to return to a food establishment after having a negative experience due to lack of cleanliness and dirty appearance.
Sanitizing and eliminating the possibility of cross contamination especially around food preparation areas should always be a primary concern for owners and employees. An establishment that cleans specific areas as they become contaminated (such as food preparation surfaces or dining area tables) will maintain an upstanding appearance. During ‘rush’ periods, cleanliness is more difficult to maintain and should be remedied as quickly as possible once there is a lull of incoming customers.
Foodservice cleanliness is only going to become more significant as consumers are more aware of a restaurant’s appearance. Cleaning a foodservice environment should be viewed as a cyclical routine and constant upkeep should be completed as needed. However it is important to note that constant spot-cleaning will only delay, not remove, the need for deep cleaning. The exterior of a food service establishment should be maintained and cleaned regularly as it is the first thing a potential customer will see. Having an unclean exterior may directly affect a customers’ choice to enter the establishment and reflects badly on the business as a whole.
Using an easy go-to checklist, such as the following, that covers important areas will provide as helpful reminder for cleaning or sanitizing foodservice areas:
- Mop floors
- Wash kitchen hoods
- Clean exhaust fans, ducts, filters
- Wipe down tables
- Empty grease traps
- Clean and disinfect bathrooms
- Clean sinks, mirrors, toilets and urinals
- Disinfect critical touch points
- Sanitize all food contact surfaces
- Clean ovens, grills and fryers regularly
- Wash internal and external windows
- Dust windows, blinds, air conditioner vents, and wall hangings
- Refill consumables, including paper products and soap
- Clean dumpster area
Having an effective cleaning program tailored to your foodservice’s needs will ensure that you maximize customer satisfaction in both food quality and the overall dining experience. Whether your establishment is large or small, upscale or casual, the customer’s impression is always a priority. All staff members should be trained in proper cleaning and maintenance routines, as many areas should be sanitized and spot cleaned constantly. Deep cleaning ensures optimal cleaning results for a healthy and clean foodservice area. Keeping areas clean will exceed customer expectations and do your food justice.