Food businesses, whether you’re in high-end dining or fast food, have more to lose from dirty floors than just presentation points.
Spills, dirt, or food waste left on the floor are both unhygienic and unappealing to your diners. Poorly kept floors can also cost thousands in premature damage, and in accidents from slips on an unsafe surface.
Food preparation and service is chaotic work, so how do you go about ensuring that your floors remain safe and clean when your restaurant is a bustle of staff and diners at peak time?
The answer is to keep it simple.
Look at your existing cleaning processes and ask yourself:
- How easy is it to complete this task under time pressure?
- How feasible is it to complete this task when the business is busiest?
- How safe is the floor when the process is complete?
If the task is not easy, feasible, or safe, you may need to look at changing your cleaning processes.
A restaurant keeps cleaning materials in a locked passage cupboard between kitchen and dining area. The mop bucket needs to be moved through to the opposite side of the kitchen for filling. Cleaning solution and chemicals are kept out the back of the restaurant, outside the kitchen.
The problem here is there are three separate locations that need to be visited, just to gather the materials required to clean. This might be acceptable after-hours when the restaurant is void of diners, but imagine the delay if a diner were to knock an entire bottle of wine to the floor!
Accessing a cupboard in a busy passage can also be a problem, as is trying to navigate a mop bucket through a busy kitchen. Having to move the bucket between cupboard, cleaning solutions, kitchen and dining area turns what should be a simple clean-up task into a logistical nightmare.
Mopping, especially in situations constrained by time and space, can leave floors clean—but with enough residual moisture to still be unsafe to walk on.
In this case, the restaurant may consider creating a ‘spot cleaning kit’ for spills that occur during the dining period. The tools in this kit should be selected based on ease of use in a busy dining room.
Consult with employees to evaluate the existing tools and what they feel might be better suited to urgent clean-up situations.
The spot cleaning kit should be located closest to where it’s needed most: the dining room and kitchen areas. Think carefully about how your staff and diners will be impacted by use of that location.
Do the cupboard doors block any major pathways when opened? How many crowded areas lay between the cleaning equipment and potential spills? Is there a way to reduce that number?
If existing tools are leaving floors unsafe to walk on after cleaning, those tools may be better left for after-hours cleaning where the floor can be thoroughly dried before use. Moisture left after cleaning a spill is just as hazardous as the original spill! ‘Wet floor’ signs may protect your business from legal consequences, but only a safe and dry floor will protect your business reputation.
The commercial cleaning equipment is full of products that put safety first. New technologies constantly being developed to clean and dry floors more efficiently, find out what’s available and make the most of it!
Thinking strategically about how cleaning processes work at your busiest moment is the first step in developing intelligent cleaning policies that improve efficiency, safety, and diner satisfaction. Remember: if it’s not easy, feasible, or safe—it’s time to evaluate the system!