Published on April 17th, 2013 | by Josephbker0
Restaurant Cleanliness Lays The Groundwork For Thriving Business
The reputation of your restaurant is based first and foremost on the dishes that come out of your kitchen. No matter how stylish, trendy, or clean your restaurant, you won’t earn regular customers by serving up forgettable entrees. But regardless of how tasty your menu items are, building a good reputation begins in your kitchen – which diners expect to be cleaner than their own kitchens.
Not only should your restaurant be cleaner than a home kitchen, the law demands it. Health codes are determined at the city and state government levels, and health inspections can come at any time. Generally, inspectors visit at regular intervals, but they don’t have to warn you they’re coming, and they may pop in for a surprise visit if anyone complains that your restaurant isn’t up to par when it comes to cleanliness.
Health codes vary by state, so it’s essential to read and completely understand the codes that pertain to your location. Post them in a prominent place, so employees see them every day.
Food preparation attracts insects. Everyone likes a free meal, and your kitchen is an ample source of crumbs and drips for pests. Train workers to stop and clean up any spills or messes throughout their shift.
Cleaning at the end of each day ensures no food particles are left sitting overnight, attracting pests. To make the cleaning process move quickly, divvy up chores and create a checklist so each employee can clean part of the kitchen and initial the list when the spot is clean. Then, you’ll know everything is done without leaving all the cleaning to one person.
Quality cleaning supplies are important in the restaurant industry. Rags should be clean and unworn, and mops and brooms should be kept in top condition. A broom in good condition will have the straw intact and be even across the bottom. Keeping a mop clean requires thorough rinsing after each use to ensure all debris is removed. Mops should also be hung when not in use, ensuring proper drying, and heads should be replaced when the mop starts to come apart or is exceptionally dirty. As a general rule, don’t use a mop head longer than two to three months.
As for grill and griddle maintenance, opt for synthetic grill brushes. Wire brushes are a proven health risk, as the wires can sometimes break free and end up in customers’ food. If you do use wire, wipe down grills and griddles with a wet rag to make sure no wires are left behind.
The dangers of an unsanitary kitchen range from a slap on the wrist from restaurant inspectors to an outbreak of a food-borne illness. The risk posed to your patrons and your business is surely enough to keep you cleaning, but just to make sure you do, the local food safety department retains the power to fine you or even close your restaurant if you fail to meet standards. Many states also require the display of a restaurant’s health inspection score, and popular review site Yelp has added restaurant health inspection scores to its site.
If you’re not sure your kitchen is clean enough, ask yourself if you would eat food from your restaurant’s kitchen.