A 2012 poll of 38,000 consumers by Technomic, Inc. found that food, cleanliness, and service were most important to them when visiting a restaurant.
- Food – 91%
- Cleanliness – 88%
- Service – 86%
- Value – 84%
- Beverage – 78%
- Atmosphere – 61%
If cleanliness is 2nd most important to the food, and the first areas that a customer walks or drives by looks filthy or smells bad, then you’re losing out on potential customers who won’t even walk in the door to try the food. Below are 5 areas that need to be clean other than the kitchen area:
Dumpster Pad Area
– A filthy dumpster pad not only looks bad, but it smells bad. Even though these areas are usually blocked off, customers can still drive or walk by them and if you have trash everywhere with foul odor wafting past, it’s bad for business. Not to mention, these areas are riddled with bacteria that employees come in contact with every day. It’s neglected by many and it shouldn’t be.
– Food grease, dirt, gum and other atmospheric contaminants soil restaurant sidewalks quicker than most other businesses. At the least, a mat should be at each entrance, but you’ll also want to keep the sidewalks clean on a routine basis otherwise foot traffic in and out of your restaurant will be compounding the problem. Let’s not forget that filthy, greasy concrete also looks terrible and carries an unattractive odor along with it that you may have grown accustomed and no longer notice.
– Customers like to look outside when they eat if they are sitting at a table near the windows. If they are seeing dead flies, spider webs, and greasy finger prints smeared all over the windows, it takes away from their view, and their appetite.
– One of the areas many customers walk in to prior to actually ordering and can turn them off to trying the food in a restaurant almost immediately. If this area is unclean, you can almost guarantee that your potential customer will tell others who probably won’t visit unless it’s out of pure convenience. Toilets, floors, and sinks should be cleaned regularly throughout the day, and soap, toilet paper and towels well stocked.
– This is an obvious one, but filth on the floors, dirty table tops, messy condiment or beverage areas and/or overflowing trash cans are definitely turnoffs for repeat business. We’ve all eaten somewhere out of convenience and knew we shouldn’t have, but what is the one thing we have in the back of our minds after that experience? If you’re like most, it’s something along the lines of, “this is the last time I’ll be coming here.”
Keeping the exterior areas clean is something that should be left to professionals who are able to get these areas to a level of clean that you’d be unable to attain in house. Professionals are able to destroy bacteria while cleaning which also neutralizes odors at the same time. Many sidewalks are permanently ruined by someone inexperienced trying to remove gum incorrectly with brute force, but professional pressure washing companies will have the proper equipment to remove gum without destroying the concrete in the process.
While we all want to save a buck, keeping these areas professionally cleaned is one expense that helps you bring in and keep business rather than losing it before they walk in the door. One last thought before wrapping this up, a clean area whether inside or out will be more respected by most people and is less likely to be defaced. For example, if your sidewalk is littered with old chewing gum, people will be more inclined to add to it. The same is true for all areas inside of your restaurant.