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How to optimize your operation while making your restaurant shine

Waiter cleaning
Photograph: Shutterstock

After a long year at home, people are eager to return to restaurant dining, and this pent-up demand is good news for restaurant operators. However, customers’ expectations around cleanliness and sanitation have changed over the last year. Post-pandemic, customers will be looking for cues that restaurants continue to be vigilant. According to Technomic’s November 2020 Operator Survey and Barclay’s December 2020 Future of Cleaning Report, 89% of consumers say that having employees visibly cleaning/sanitizing makes them feel safer, and 77% indicate that an institution’s cleaning policies impact their intent to visit. 

The message is clear—consumers want cleanliness—but for operators this means an increase in costs and labor. During the pandemic, increased cleaning protocols impacted restaurants’ margins, and 90% of operators say they expect cleaning costs to remain elevated, according to Barclay’s.

To compound the situation, restaurants are facing extreme labor challenges. According to the National Restaurant Association’s 2021 State of the Restaurant Industry Report, 62% of fine-dining and 54% of both family and casual-dining operators say staffing levels are more than 20% below normal.

As such, operators are faced with meeting customer demands for cleanliness while balancing their own labor and operational challenges. These days, restaurants need all the help they can get and savvy operators turn to trusted partners for assistance in times of need. And when it comes to cleaning, sanitation and food safety, Ecolab can help optimize operations with its high-performance, innovative solutions that positively impact guest experiences.

The solution for surfaces

Ecolab’s Sink & Surface Cleaner Sanitizer (EPA Reg. No. 1677-260) combines a cleaner and sanitizer in one formula with no rinse required, reducing time and labor while saving water. And using the product is so simple that training new employees is easy which helps drive efficiencies across the restaurant operation.  

Sink & Surface Cleaner Sanitizer’s concentrated formula means it’s cost-effective and the diluted product can be safely applied without PPE, using a spray bottle or any type of cloth. On hard, non-porous food contact surfaces, the EPA-registered Sink & Surface Cleaner Sanitizer has a 15-second kill claim against the virus that causes COVID-19, and a 30-second kill claim against norovirus.1

Smart warewashing and more

Beyond cleanliness of dining rooms, kitchens and bathrooms, customers also judge a restaurant by the sparkle of glassware, the shine of flatware and spotlessness of dishes. More than ever, a restaurant’s reputation rests on its warewashing program. Ecolab’s SMARTPOWER™ program can help operators take their warewashing protocols to a whole new level of clean.

The SMARTPOWER™ program is a comprehensive warewashing program with highly-effective formulas that work together to eliminate the toughest food soils and decrease rewashing by 60%.2 It includes enhanced safety features like color and shape-coded chemistry blocks that help reduce errors, promote safer product handling and help reduce the risk of cross-contamination. Each solution is easy-to-use, so that even new hires can do the job—and ease of use is key when dealing with labor challenges.

Ecolab partners with restaurant operators to help drive financial performance by helping optimize their operations with solutions designed to save time, labor and resources while also delighting guests with clean spaces and spotless dishes. To learn more, visit Ecolab.com.

1: When used according to directions for use. Refer to EPA master label #1677-260.

2: Based on Ecolab testing. By running 500 racks per day and reducing racks by 10%, testing proved 61% reduction in rewash, resulting in 10% reduction in overall racks washing daily. Results may vary based on each specific set of circumstances.

This post is sponsored by Ecolab

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