A plan to keep spick and span

Maintaining the highest cleanliness standards in premises more important than ever, writes Hance McGhie

AS the UK’s hospitality industry fires up again after many months of closures, refreshing your cleaning schedules and ensuring your team is well-versed in hygiene practices has never been so critical.

As you welcome new members of staff to your team, it’s prudent to have a tried and tested training session with recruits, to instil excellent hygiene practices from the off.

Providing a manual or a lesson on your cleanliness processes is, of course, useful, but it’s even better to explain to staff why these things are critical, and equip them with the knowledge and a wider understanding of cleanliness and its importance.

This session is also a good time to show staff where to find equipment and cleaning supplies, and what products work with which area.

Any chemical hazards and other safety issues should be clearly explained.

There are lots of online courses that you can use for training sessions too, so it’s worth researching options and investing in the right ones for your business.

You will no doubt employ the services of a professional cleaner  to thoroughly clean the front of house and bar areas before opening each day, and starting every morning with a clean venue is critical.

However, it’s very important to instil a “clean as you go” policy with staff members, to ensure that your premises always look perfect.

In essence, it ensures staff members tackle any spills or other issues straight away, and ensures that they take the time to continually clean throughout the day, wiping surfaces, and equipment, removing waste and tidying up after themselves immediately and at all times to make sure the bar, cellar, surfaces and all walkways are always clutter free and clean.

As well as operating a clean as you go policy, having strict systems for other areas of cleaning is a great idea.

You can draw up easy to follow, clear how-to guides for beer line cleaning (even if you use a high tech system), closing the bar down, sanitising sparklers, washing glassware, cleaning the toilets, keeping the cellar immaculate, cleaning floors and front of house will help you – and your staff – be more confident when it comes to ensuring everything is done correctly and to a high standard.

The guides can also include details of the products that should be used for each area of cleaning and any guidelines for using them safely.

Having the systems clearly visible in the venue – and providing digital copies for staff members – can help employees to stick to the checklists clearly until they are well versed in your methods. This will also help staff members to crack on with tasks without having to ask for recaps.

It’s important that younger or less experienced members of the team feel like they’re contributing to the running of the bar, so allocating areas of cleaning to certain members of staff can help them to take responsibility and become an “expert” in that area.

Play up to skill sets; if someone is a tech whizz, let them be in charge of the beer line cleans using high tech apps and systems, and if someone is great at customer service, give them the front of house cleaning job so they can chat to customers and represent the venue in a positive, friendly manner.

Having high standards when it comes to personal hygiene is crucial, but these tasks do fall to individuals – so training them in areas such as hand washing and sanitising, cleaning uniforms, avoiding touching their faces, keeping their hair tidy and avoiding certain pieces of jewellery is very important.

These standards can be covered in the initial training sessions, but it is important to keep an eye on these aspects every day so customer confidence can be maintained.

It goes without saying that bar managers, owners and landlords have a part to play, too. Keeping up to speed on new ideas and processes is  important, as getting stuck in your ways won’t do your business any good.

Keeping abreast of new technology, and having a working knowledge of new guidelines, new products and cleaning techniques is also crucial – as some of it will save you money, save you time, save waste and increase profits.

  • Hance McGhie is business development executive at Chemisphere.