Given that most QSRs are in small spaces, what are the various considerations when it comes to procuring and purchasing cleaning products?
To ensure food safety, certified detergents and sanitizers must be procured accompanied by their MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheets). The staff should be well trained in their usage, and regardless of the space available there should be a dedicated area for the storage and application of detergents. All of this should be an integral part of the restaurant design. It is important to properly design the restaurant facility after taking into consideration the norms and standards for food safety. We follow the HACCP and ISO 22000 systems and code in the design of our facilities.
What kind of products do you prefer, and how do they differ between the food preparation area and guest area?
As mentioned, the products should be certified and from an accredited supplier. There are a variety depending on the usage like the all-purpose cleaner, general sanitizers, degreasers, surface sanitizers, and polish. All the types are used in the food preparation areas, whereas the all-purpose cleaners and surface sanitizers are used in the guest area.
Do you outsource staff to clean the space or do you have in-house staff?
It depends on the operation and the locations we have. In all cases, whether outsourced or in-house, a detailed training is conducted internally.
What kind of training is given to your staff – both kitchen and restaurant? How often do you provide training? Any kind of supplier training that you get from cleaning product suppliers?
Training sessions are related to food safety and hygiene, and they are conducted post hiring. We also have checklists and SOPs for implementation, follow-up and hygiene audits. On a quarterly basis, some modules of the training programmes are reviewed in order to keep the staff alert on the food safety and hygiene issues. The supplier of detergents provides training on the usage of the products.
With a small space, a washroom in a QSR restaurant also tends to be small. Usually for one person. What kind of schedule do you follow to ensure that the washrooms are clean and hygienic?
We have proper checklists and hourly cleaning schedules that we ensure are in place to be executed and audited by the Supervisors and Managers on Duty.
What is the biggest challenge in maintaining the restaurant?
With proper staff training, sourcing of the correct products and having clear SOPs, guidelines and checklists you will easily overcome any challenge you might face.