With cold and flu season ramping up, consumers have heightened awareness about the transmission of germs. Beyond seasonal germs, norovirus, a gastrointestinal illness, has all but shuttered popular fast-casual chains in recent years. Restaurants are making efforts to optimize their locations’ cleanliness, and they are communicating their efforts to customers, whether the guests choose to dine in, opt for takeout or have food delivered directly to their home.
When choosing where to dine, more than half of consumers say that interior cleanliness is important to them, according to Technomic’s 2018 Q2 Consumer Brand Metrics. But it’s important that operators don’t overlook those who prefer to order food for takeout or delivery, particularly during flu season. According to Technomic’s recent Takeout & Off-Premise Dining report, consumers purchase takeout from restaurants about five times per month on average. With cleanliness being one of the top considerations consumers look for when choosing to dine in, the interest in food safety continues as it relates to delivery and takeout as well.
Technomic’s 2018 Generational report found that when consumers compared restaurant attributes such as friendly service, order accuracy or a good value, 59% ranked cleanliness as “very important” compared to lower numbers for the other attributes. To offer consumers peace of mind, restaurants should consider including single use handwipes or single-use hand sanitizer with takeout and delivery orders to address consumers’ desire to wash their hands before eating.
In addition, restaurants can also consider placing PURELL® Hand Sanitizer dispensers throughout their locations for consumers to use, as well as equipping their delivery drivers with PURELL® Hand Sanitizer bottles for use in their vehicles to help their employees mitigate risks for transmission of germs. Front-of-house placement of PURELL® Hand Sanitizer dispensers for guests to use also a serves as a visual reminder that the restaurant prioritizes consumers’ health and wellness.
Perception does matter. Operators should of course go above and beyond in ensuring their staff follows proper food handling protocol, but it’s just as important to convey that dedication in front of consumers, whether they’re dining in or ordering takeout or delivery. Using PURELL® Hand Sanitizer dispensers and offering single-use wipes and hand sanitizer to their guests when off-premise can help expand the message that the restaurant is doing everything they can to make sure diners don’t get sick.
Don’t leave takeout and delivery customers in the dust when it comes to cleanliness; make sure they know every effort the restaurant is taking to ensure food safety and prevention of illness is being enforced.
This post is sponsored by GOJO Industries, the inventors of the PURELL brand