Over the past two years, cleaning and sanitation processes have made their way to the top of everyone’s mind. Pre-pandemic, these processes may not have been something diners thought about too much—if a restaurant looked clean, they were happy. Nowadays, however, with concerns surrounding the spread of germs and viruses, operators have had to work harder than ever to reassure their guests and keep them—and staff—safe. Combined with this, the current labor situation many restaurants are facing has presented a new and unique challenge—how to keep things clean and safe with a smaller staff and less time. A survey from the Society for Human Resource Management from mid-summer 2021 found that nearly 90% of employers across all sectors are struggling to fill open positions, so it makes sense operators are on the lookout for solutions to help simplify cleaning procedures and build customer confidence without sacrificing safety and quality. There are a few ways operators can do this.
Simplifying cleaning procedures is the first step in ensuring restaurants are kept clean. The easier and more intuitive a job is, the more likely it is to be kept up with. Give workers a single, broad-spectrum sanitizing and disinfecting solution—after all, COVID-19 isn’t the only risk to a business. Use a disinfectant that is easy to use, EPA-certified and calls for a short contact time for maximum efficiency. Consider ready to use (RTU) products as well as sanitizing and disinfecting wipes, too, instead of solutions in buckets with rags. The easier a product is to use, the more likely it is that staff will be able to use it correctly.
Next, make it fast and easy to clean “the right way.” Much like using RTU products can help quicken the pace of cleaning, so can using multi-purpose products that achieve multiple cleaning steps in a single step. For example, no-rinse floor cleaners dry quickly and without residue, eliminating the need to rinse or dry floors, while using multi-surface cleaners that do not require pre-cleaning help cut down on time spent sanitizing the restaurant.
Show them how—reinforce training
Ecolab’s January 2021 Post-Vaccine Consumer Attitude Study found that 95% of consumers say they still want to see as much or more cleaning and sanitation as they did before vaccines became available, so it’s critical for operators to implement processes that showcase what’s being done. The first step in doing so is to ensure that employees are properly trained—according to a survey by YOOBIC, one in three frontline workers say that lack of training is their biggest challenge. For operators to feel confident their staff is well trained, there are a few strategies to try. First, make training flexible—that is, allow workers to complete training modules on-demand, anytime, anywhere. Next, make the training highly visual by using video-based training and on-site demonstrations. This way, workers will understand more intuitively how and why cleaning protocols are what they are. Finally, make cross-training a priority—ensure all employees know basic cleaning, sanitization cand disinfection protocols so they can cross-clean for different teams during slow periods.
By strengthening training processes and ensuring workers are visibly cleaning, operators can feel confident not only that their restaurants are being properly cleaned and sanitized, but also that their customers feel confident in the level of cleanliness.
In the current climate, and with the current labor challenges, it’s critical for operators to find a cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing solution that meets all of their needs—not just some of them. Ecolab products are professional-grade products meant to streamline restaurant sanitization needs, all while providing a superior clean. To learn more, visit ecolab.com/restaurants.
This post is sponsored by Ecolab