How to give your business the ultimate spring clean
The Bar/Self serve
Take the bottles down from display and clean each one and the shelving they sit on to make the bar gleam. Clean out the fridges and pull them out and clean behind and underneath them.
Empty all the cupboards and scrub the insides. Do a twice-yearly check on best before dates on long-life items. Do the dishwashers need a service? Steve says: “Remove all the portable equipment and lift the fryers, cleaning thoroughly underneath. Turn the kitchen from top to bottom, leaving it like an operating theatre.”
The Dining area
Empty and clean out any display cabinets or decorative elements that normally get forgotten. Check tables and chairs: if they are scuffed, a quick sand and varnish will work wonders.
Cleaning the fascia in spring is a must! Use this time to clear gutters. Look up to the higher floors at the front and rear. What does the front of the building say about your venue? Hire a window cleaner to scrub windowpanes and walls even if they’re not yours. A lick of paint will go a long way. Steve says: “Make sure you wash down tables before they go outside after winter.”
Your outside space is just as important as the inside of your venue and should be clean and tidy too. Take a seat yourself and see what’s in your customer’s eyeline. With more customers opting to be outside – even in the depths of winter – what can you scrub, mow, disinfect and repair?
Round the back
Whether customers can see the rear of your property or not, the health inspectors do! Rubbish can lead to fi re or rodents so clean everything away, Are new bins needed? If they are just dirty, there are companies that will clean them out professionally. Set a high standard in this area to encourage your team to keep it well maintained in the future.
“69% of customers want sanitising stations to become permanent.”
Why is spring time the perfect time for caterers to carry out a deep clean?
You should be deep cleaning your venue regularly as a part of a basic maintenance cycle.
Rather than it being a yearly deep clean, depending on the site, it is weekly or even daily now. However, in winter you get a greater degree of traffic in indoor spaces. You have the problem of the flu season and now Covid-19, so you’ve got to be doubly cautious coming out of winter.
What are the key points to consider?
Customers want to see servers cleaning, wiping and spraying. It feels reassuring and will bring people back into the venue. It’s not about being good, you have to be seen to be good.
Clean anything a customer can touch, from coat hooks to door handles and table tops using a handheld fogger.
Also look at a system that’s cost effective and time effective. For deep cleans I’ve always pushed towards steam. You can take tap water and turn it into the best disinfectant you can get just by heating it up to around 160C and blasting it out. It will literally kill anything.
Are customer priorities leaning further towards cleanliness now?
Definitely. Previously I’d prioritise the food, atmosphere and price. But now cleanliness is up there. People aren’t exactly pulling on white gloves to check for dust, but they are very critical now. If I spotted a napkin on the floor of a restaurant I’d walk out. It just says to me – what’s the kitchen like? The cleaner the place, the happier customers feel.
What kind of equipment do you recommend caterers use?
Use a steam vacuum machine and consider buying your own. You might be spending between £2-3k but the machine will do everything fast for around the same price as a professional deep clean and you’ve got it for decades. The next best thing is small handheld foggers. You walk around fogging everything and it will be sterile.
Has the time for caterers to move on from Covid-19?
I think we will live with Covid as a circular thing forever. It’s something that will rise and fall with the seasons, just like flu season. So, you are going to have to factor this in. The pandemic was a big wake-up call for a lot of people. To make customers feel comfortable, everyone needs to up their game. Hugely. And visibly. You should able to go into the toilet of any restaurant, pub or cafe and see a sign with the last clean ticked off every hour.
Elsewhere, you want to see a sign saying, ‘This establishment is steam cleaned for your safety’. I suggest taking note of the way McDonald’s do it. They have special systems where if you move from one station to another you wash your hands every time. It’s exactly the level of detail you should be thinking about when designing your own cleaning systems.