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Boosting consumer perception of restaurant cleanliness

Photograph: Shutterstock

In today’s competitive foodservice landscape, restaurants cannot rely on their food and service alone—that is, they must make sure that the atmosphere is good and that the kitchen and restaurant are clean. In fact, when choosing a restaurant, 93% of consumers say restaurant cleanliness is important or very important. That’s even higher than kitchen cleanliness—89% say that’s important or very important, according to Technomic’s Consumer Brand Metrics.

When a restaurant is untidy, customers might have the perception that the operator doesn’t care or pay attention to attention to detail elsewhere. In turn, they might think that dining there could mean running the risk of contracting a foodborne illness and falling ill. A proven way for operators to stand above the competition and ensure customer loyalty is to keep their restaurants as clean as possible, from the front door to the back door and everywhere in between.

Which cleaning solution is the right choice?

There are thousands of cleaning products on the market—some only clean, while others only sanitize. Operators have to ask themselves which cleaning products are the most effective at killing germs, which are the best at cleaning, which are the best at sanitizing, which are non-toxic and which are safe to use on guest tables and in the kitchen.

Today, 3,000 surface sanitizers and disinfectants are registered with the EPA, but most antimicrobial products contain warnings indicating they are hazardous to humans and domestic animals as well as instructions to use in a well-ventilated area and to wash hands after use. Fewer than 100 surface disinfectants have been placed in the EPA’s lowest category for toxicity rating—Category 4 products do not require warning labels or hazard statements. Fewer than 10 surface disinfectants also received the EPA’s Design for the Environment (DfE) certification, and one of those is the revolutionary new all-in-one PURELL® Foodservice Surface Sanitizer.

PURELL® sanitizer’s one-step cleaning and sanitizing solution quickly eliminates germs on surfaces, including norovirus, salmonella, E. coli and listeria in 30 seconds, as well as hepatitis A in 60 seconds. The fragrance-free formula was designed for food contact surfaces, featuring NSF D2 no-rinse certification and the EPA’s lowest allowable toxicity rating. And, with no harsh chemical fumes, it’s the ideal sanitizing solution for an entire restaurant—from food prep surfaces in the back of house to front of house guest tables and guest areas.

Cleaning checklists

Cleaning is a pre-requisite to a hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP) plan,but with so many things to clean in a restaurant, it can be difficult to remember all of the individual cleaning tasks that need to be taken care of and how regularly equipment needs to be cleaned. Key areas that need to be considered are back of house, front of house, restrooms, exterior of restaurant, windows, laundry, floors and more. Cleaning schedules also need to be established for areas and equipment that need to be cleaned on a daily, weekly, monthly and annual basis.

Boosting customer perception of cleanliness is less about any buzzworthy strategy and more about presenting a very clean business. Using the right products, like PURELL® Foodservice Surface Sanitizer, along with establishing cleaning schedules and checklists and training employees, is a winning combination for operators

This post is sponsored by GOJO Industries, the inventors of the PURELL brand

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