The Post-Pandemic Cleaning Challenges for Restaurants

The Post-Pandemic Cleaning Challenges for Restaurants

Re-opening up a restaurant in the aftermath of the pandemic is no easy business. Restaurateurs are left facing a sizeable virus-shaped financial hole in their account books and increasingly expensive food prices. 

Fortunately, many restaurants are expected to see a sharp increase in diners now that restrictions have eased. 

But, the pandemic has placed an unavoidable, but necessary, spotlight on the cleanliness and hygiene of restaurants. Coupled with the staff shortages that many restaurants expect to experience, the focus on hygiene in the re-opening of the industry has the potential to make many restaurant managers a bit hot under the collar. 

So, with the help of the Cintas Corporation (a corporate cleaning facility service provider), we have compiled some top tips to help manage the additional cleaning strain that the pandemic has placed upon the restaurant industry. 

These tips should help restaurant managers to keep their restaurants as clean as possible, as efficiently as possible. Not only will this free staff up to better tend to customers, it will also go a long way to preventing a COVID breakout, allowing the restaurant to stay open for longer and with more available staff. 

And if nothing else, customers want to be able to dine out in a safe and comfortable environment. If you’re not hot on your hygiene, then unfortunately you’re reservation book is going to stay cold. 

Cleaning materials and PPE stock 

Consider stocking protective personal equipment (PPE), like gloves and masks, and cleaning materials as important as stocking your food & drink inventory. Staff need easy access to them to ensure that they can keep themselves and customers safe, so ensure that it is readily available. 

Installing chemical cleaning dispensers that are directly linked to the waterline, will enable staff to dispense readily diluted cleaning products at the touch of a button. This allows for quick and easy cleaning, letting staff get back to customers quicker. 

Touch-less Sanitisers & Paper Towel Dispensers 

The installation of soap and hand-sanitiser dispensers will provide obvious benefits to help stop the spread of you-know-what.  Make sure they’re touch-less dispensers to avoid dispensers acting as a harbour for germs and other nasty virus’. 

Make use of paper towel dispensers and avoid using air-dryers. Air dryers do dry your hands effectively but they’re also very effective at blowing germs and bacteria all around the restaurant. 

Laundry and Cleaning Kitchen Tools 

The cleaning of things like uniforms, kitchen towels and kitchen tools (among many other things) can be a very laborious process. Instead of taking restaurant staff away from their other duties, restaurant managers should consider outsourcing the cleaning off their laundry and tools. 

This ensures that things are cleaned properly to a professional standard and helps to combat the expected staff shortages. 

The Restrooms 

Cleaning the restrooms of a restaurant is a very important job. 

Even before the pandemic back in the early 2010’s, one article reported that 4 out of 5 people would completely avoid (!) a restaurant if they knew that it had dirty restrooms. 

Now in 2021, with the extra hot focus on hygiene, it is not ridiculous to assume that 5 out of 5 people would likely avoid a restaurant if it had filthy restrooms. 

Put in place a regular cleaning schedule and employ the use of high pressure cleaning tools to avoid the spread of bad odours around your kitchen and restaurant. 

Kitchen Drain Lines 

The kitchen drains see an awful lot of grease, oil and food residue throughout the day. If kitchen drain lines aren’t properly maintained then they can start to clog up. Not only is this clogging problematic and time-consuming to remove, it also smells. It smells very bad. 

Make sure that your kitchen drain lines can flow freely to avoid the fore-mentioned odours from sneaking into your kitchen. 

Restaurant Flooring 

The re-opening of restaurants will see restaurant flooring experience more wear and tear than it has over the past 18-24 months. As a way of protecting and maintaining the cleanliness of these floors, many restaurants choose to employ the use of mats. 

But, like with a restaurants laundry, cleaning these matts and maintaining the cleanliness of your restaurant floor is often very time-consuming, so it may be worth outsourcing the cleaning of your floor mats.

This advice has come from Toronto’s leading HOSPITALITY BUSINESS BROKERS™, CHI Real Estate who help clients buy and sell restaurants and commercial properties.

Rohit Raina
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