Going out to eat at a restaurant is something most people associate with fond memories- good food, a change of scenery from eating at home, and mostly happy social experiences with family and friends.
However, following recent news that 15,000 restaurants are putting their customers at risk due to poor hygiene standards- the result of an investigation by The Times, the reputation of some establishments could be at risk with customers.
The investigation, which reviewed over 250,000 food establishments in the UK, revealed more than 15,000 restaurants and food outlets have inadequate hygiene standards and are putting customers at a significant risk. In fact, 566 restaurants received a rating of 0, meaning they would be forced to close, unless changes were implemented to make the necessary improvements.
Bob Cotton OBE, is a member of the P&G Professional Advisory Council, and has spent a lifetime working in the hospitality industry. Here, he discusses the importance of hygiene to improve overall ratings and business results.
If we cannot get cleanliness right in the restaurant, everything else becomes secondary. In a great restaurant, good location or competitive pricing are all meaningless if we fault on basic cleanliness.
Investment in professional cleaning products, that are simple, trusted and effective, like those in the P&G Professional range, deliver quality results quickly. The simple to use products feature clear instructions with icons and symbols to streamline training to help ensure they are used correctly. With proper training and the right equipment and products, employees can complete their job in less time, with less elbow grease. Tools like these help give employees the ability to do a great job, which can improve their capability to complete daily tasks impeccably first time, every time.
Restaurant owners also need to ensure they are recruiting the best and investing in training to develop and motivate employees. This in turn will encourage retention as staff who feel valued are typically more invested in their work, and care about the success of their business- ultimately ensuring the environment meets expected hygiene standards.
Just as important is setting up a proper monitoring system. How often are complaints being made, how quickly are they being addressed, and are the number of issues reported gradually reducing as a result of your improvement efforts? As part of this process, I would advocate regular mystery guest visits, tasking them with visiting the restaurant one night a month and submitting a comprehensive report for management.
Ultimately, the financial success and reputation of a restaurant depends on its staff. Give them the right training and products to do the job, and the establishments will flourish and maintain good reviews.