How often should you clean your restaurant? Well, that kind of depends on what part you are talking about. It’s kind of like asking, “How often should you clean your house?”
There are many parts that are going to need cleaned daily, or even several times during the course of the day. Floors need to be kept clean, trash needs to be taken out, seats need to be wiped down, coolers need to be tidied and swept.
If you are talking about things that aren’t used daily, it could be a weekly task. Unless you have some very sloppy diners, you probably don’t need to wash the walls on a daily basis, but you will need to have them on a regular cleaning schedule. The same with decorations, windows, etc. Schedule the cleaning, then check to make sure the person assigned to do the job signs off on it when they are done. If you wait until you notice the dirt, it’s probably gone too long.
Keeping your operation clean isn’t that difficult if you plan for it, and keep up with it on a daily basis. Make your people responsible for their part. Servers and bussers can be given cleaning tasks as part of their side work. Cooks and dishwashers should be assigned parts of the kitchen that are to be cleaned.
The key is planning, and holding your staff accountable. Make cleaning schedules, and require people to sign the schedule when they have completed the task. If you have a problem with cleaning, the schedule will tell you who was responsible.
The say cleanliness is next to godliness. That may be a bit extreme, but it is a critical part of running a successful restaurant.It may be the difference between a regular customer, and a one time visitor that will be spending their money at your competitors restaurant in the future.
Sometimes It’s What You Don’t See
Be honest. How often do you walk into a restaurant and notice that there is no dust built up in the corners, or that there aren’t any streaks on the display cases. If you’re like me, you probably don’t notice these things. Why? Because they’re not supposed to be there.
The majority of your cleaning efforts will go unnoticed by your customers, and that’s as it should be. They don’t care how often you clean the glass or scrub the corners. All they care about is that your restaurant is clean.
If you are staying on top of the cleaning, you customers will notice, even if they don’t conciously see it. They may not be able to say why they like the feel of your restaurant. All they know is that it feels right to them.
On the other hand, if you are not staying on top of the cleaning, your customers will definitely notice. They expect your restaurant to be clean, so anything that is unexpected, like dirt and streaked glass, will stand out. Suddenly they begin to question what else isn’t up to standards. Soon, their opinion of the atmosphere, the food, and the service are called into question.
The solution, make sure your staff is doing their cleaning sidework. Because what the customer doesn’t see is vitally important.