A delicious meal is easily ruined by a negative atmosphere, no matter how great the restaurant might be. That negative atmosphere can arise from unruly patrons, surly waiters, or an unclean restaurant.
While the first two can be forgiven as a one-time issue, restaurant uncleanliness can easily lead to loss of customer loyalty. For most people, the presentation of the restaurant is just as important, if not more so, than the food itself.
Studies show that one unclean area of a restaurant can lead to questioning hygiene practices in other areas and sometimes even an immediate departure. A survey of 2,000 people by Proctor and Gamble Professional showed that 90% of customers consider cleanliness as a hallmark of a good food business.
Safety considerations are also an aspect of restaurant cleanliness. As restaurant owners know, there are standards of practice to adhere to in order to maintain licensing and recognition. The last thing a restaurant owner needs on an already hectic schedule is the addition of mold, bacteria, or unwanted pests to their place of business.
Furthermore, foodborne diseases have led to 48 million illnesses and as many as 3,000 deaths nationwide each year. As studies have shown, a staggering number of those deaths arise from restaurant experiences.
Suffice to say, sanitation and restaurant cleanliness are essential for food safety and hygiene as well as public perception.
From the outside, customers start making judgments from the moment they enter the parking lot. Senses kick into overdrive as they take in every message you send via sight, smell, and sound. Whether the customer is hypercritical or overtly aware of their surroundings or not, here are some of the things they may notice right away:
So, even if a kitchen is immaculate and hygienic, an overrun exterior or odorous bathroom can be enough to deter a customer from returning. Customers report that some of the first things they notice upon entering a restaurant include:
Yes, the food is obviously of extreme importance in the success of a restaurant. The attention to cuisine can sometimes leave little to no time for the upkeep and cleanliness of the restaurant.
However, cleanliness and customer satisfaction are also critical to creating satisfied and loyal customers. Never underestimate the power of a freshly cleaned bathroom or an attention to detail. Customers leave reviews, and sometimes an unclean restaurant will lead to a negative review. Once people catch wind of poor sanitation or hygiene practices, they avoid the restaurant like, well, the plague.
The bottom line is that a long, happy day in the kitchen is easily spoiled by a long night spent cleaning. Maintaining restaurant cleanliness should be a standard practice, but a nightly cleaning is also necessary.
Fortunately, there are many services out there that focus on helping restaurants obtain and retain those loyal customers through the power of a clean restaurant. These janitorial services offer nightly front-of-house cleaning and give the attention to detail to ledges, baseboards, windows, floors, table bases and booth crevices. They can also help with back-of-house, including ceiling tiles and vents, wall shelves and racks, equipment, floors, mats, and floor drains.
Never let a good meal be marred by a poor environment. Keep the space clean, keep the customers happy, and keep them coming back for more.