Well-trained staff and a clear schedule is a must for on-trade success, firms say
MAKE no mistake, basic hygiene remains one of the most crucial elements to maintaining a business’s reputation.
Suppliers contacted by SLTN were all in agreement that today’s customers will simply not tolerate dirty premises – and will vote with their feet.
Keith Warren, director of the Catering Equipment Suppliers’ Association, said: “Few things put people off more than dirt and clutter. Everything – surfaces, crockery, floor, staff fingernails, and so on – it all needs to be spotless. Get it wrong and people will walk away.
“Not only will they not come back, they’ll also warn their friends.”
Bob Hannah of The Business Insurance Bureau echoed this stance. He said: “It is imperative that a kitchen is thoroughly cleaned daily to avoid creating an environment where bacteria can grow, causing disease and illness to employees and customers.”
Hannah also stressed that, from an insurance perspective, operators are required to conduct certain types of cleaning regularly to remain compliant with their policy.
All insurers, he said, will insist on regular cleaning of things like extraction hoods, canopies, filters and grease traps once a week – with records kept for inspection by insurers.
“If you fail to meet these conditions, and need to make a claim, there’s a high chance your claim will be rejected,” he warned.
Staff training and a clear cleaning regime is also important, according to Peter Alsworth, chemical sales director at Winterhalter, who said employees must be taught that cleaning chemicals used in a commercial setting “are much stronger and require careful handling”.
“Having an agreed cleaning regime and a structured range of products in place makes it easier to ensure all areas are kept clean, especially if staff transfer between sites, since consistency is easier to maintain and less training is required,” he said.
Alsworth added that there is a legal obligation for employers to provide Control of Substances Hazardous to Health training to anyone who might come into contact with chemicals.
Hannah of The Business Insurance Bureau agreed that well-trained staff and a clear cleaning schedule are “of the utmost importance” to keeping a venue clean and compliant.
He said: “Key considerations when devising a cleaning schedule should be that it is well planned out, targets all areas of the kitchen, with space to log appropriate precautions, methods and frequency.”