It is not just essential for the health and safety of your employees and customers, but also plays a pivotal role in building the brand image of your restaurant. Hygiene is probably the second most important aspect of running a quick service restaurant; the first being maintaining food quality. Imagine a customer visiting your QSR, only to find it unclean. They’d leave in a heartbeat.
HERE’S A GO-TO CHECKLIST TO MAINTAIN HYGIENE AT A QSR.
Every customer trusts a restaurant that appears visibly clean. As a quick service restaurant, you should not only be well equipped with cleaning supplies at all times of the year, but also conduct regular inspection of the kitchen, eating and washroom areas. Hygiene levels in the kitchen must be carefully managed to ensure safe food preparation and hygienic handling.
• All surfaces that come in direct contact with food should be cleaned after every task.
• Equipment like cooking range, oven, deep-fryer, freezer, baking sheets, tongs, etc. should be sterilized on a routine basis.
• Common kitchen utilities like cutting boards, blenders, grills, and countertops should also be sterilized daily.
• Surfaces like bar tops, tabletops, and chairs must be sanitized thoroughly at least twice a day.
• Entrances and exits must be cleaned daily.
• Toilet bowls, seats and restroom floor must be cleaned after every few hours.
A few things to keep in mind to keep the equipment in an excellent working condition:
• Keep switching between the cutting boards.
• Change sanitizing water at regular intervals.
• Regularly clean trash bins.
• Regularly sanitize food preparation areas.
• Clean your equipment.
• Store cleaning Items such as wipes, brushes, mops, dishcloths, etc away from food to prevent any contamination.
Ensure staff hygiene
Cleanliness begins at home - in this case, your staff. So, train your staff members about personal hygiene. In fact, for safe handling of customers, the employees should be well equipped with clean clothing, gloves, hairnets and hygienic tools that are necessary for promoting hygiene.
This training should also include some basic guidelines such as:
• Good personal hygiene, including proper and frequent hand-washing before starting work, between tasks, and before working with food products, equipment, utensils, and linens.
• The nails must always be appropriately trimmed, clean, and not have any nail polish.
• The uniforms must be changed after every shift.
• Wear proper headgear and hand gloves while handling food. No dishwashing must happen without the use of rubber gloves.
• Any cuts, wounds, or open sores which the staff members may be injured with, must be completely covered with a waterproof bandage.
• Employees should wear hair restraints such as hair nets that can help in keeping hair fall under control.
Create your own hygiene checklist
To maintain hygiene standards in restaurants, you must create a checklist of the specific cleaning duties and tasks that have to be performed by the staff members and follow it like a holy book.
A QSR cleaning checklist mainly comprises the tasks related to cleaning and sanitation that is done before the end of a shift or workday. The staff can refer to it to ensure nothing is missed out!
Ensure proper ventilation
Your quick service restaurant must have a proper ventilation system in place for the well being of your staff and customers. It is also important for the safe preparation and storage of food. A poor ventilation system can reduce the efficiency of the restaurants’ operations to an unpleasant atmosphere filled with smoke, high heat, steam, and excess moisture.
So how do you go about it?
Either you can go with the traditional HVAC (Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) technology system or install a Demand Controlled Ventilation system. A DCV system is more cost effective as it automatically senses the amount of heat, fumes, and other elements in the kitchen and runs only when needed. The restaurant ventilation system should include features like hoods, exhaust fans, makeup air systems, fire suppression, etc.
Why makes hygiene an important factor?
• Restaurants with lousy hygiene are very much likely to fail. No matter how much you hide it, the news about poor health can quickly get out. Ultimately you might end up losing out on your customers.
• Unhygienic food preparation can lead to an unhealthy environment.
• Poorer the hygiene, grater are the chances of cross contamination and spread of disease.
Keeping your quick service restaurant clean could be a big part of the success, if only you do it right. It can help you gain a lot of popularity amongst the customers and also create a large number of brand advocates for you.