A recent poll conducted on the Eatocracy, CNN asked consumers when you dine out, do you take health ratings into account?’
Just over 20 percent of the 2106 people asked, would not eat in a restaurant with a score lower than ‘B’ and a further 20 percent would only dine in an ‘A’ rated restaurant. A loyal 20 percent of diners said they would let the rating slide if it was a place they loved and a laid-back 40 percent didn’t even check a restaurants hygiene rating, despite hygiene scores legally having to be shown in full view of customers.
These results show that hygiene ratings matter to the customer and that if grades fall below a B, 40 percent of your potential custom is being lost.
Pinche Taqueria in New York was rated ‘C’ during its latest health inspection and is experiencing this loss of custom. Stacy Ledwith, general manager at Pinche Taqueria says ‘I watch people look at the grade, make comments and faces and then walk away’. Although Stacy credits her regular customers who ’know we are a good place, with good food and that we are clean because we built a name for ourselves’.
The importance of hygiene ratings not only translate to potential customers on the street but also potential customers online. Yelp, a widely used review site, now includes hygiene ratings in its critique of restaurants and social media is widely used to spread the word, whether good or bad, about consumers dining experiences.
However it is a contentious issue as to whether hygiene ratings matter within the restaurant business, as demonstrated by a very public online discussion regarding a recent health inspection.
Per Se, in New York, was voted amongst one of the best restaurants in the world in 2013 but received a ‘C’ grade in its latest health inspection. Restaurant owners and critics jumped to the defence of Per Se, criticising the hygiene rating scheme for being little more than a snapshot in time and a cash generator for public health departments.
Stacy Ledwith at Pinche Taqueria also shares this criticism of the health inspections, stating that her inspection came at a time of takeover from a far less hygienic owner and that although improvements have now been made her follow up inspection has been continuously delayed and unnecessary visits and fines issued in between.
It appears restaurants are defenceless in the battle of the hygiene ratings, with potential customers holding ‘A’ and ‘B’ grades in such high regard but the potential for ‘C’ grades so great. In a system that could just catch you on a bad day, how can restaurants bite back?
To be in a position to pass your self-inspections (and the health inspector’s inspection), every restaurant should follow daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly cleaning schedules. The cleanings should be thorough and cover all areas, including both the front and back of the house and areas outside of the establishment. The list below provides an idea of how often you should be cleaning different areas/items.
- Daily — Sweep and mop all floors; clean all counters, under-counter shelving and refrigeration shelving, small equipment, floor drains, and dishwasher surfaces.
- Weekly — Clean all internal fan guards, refrigeration door gaskets, oven gaskets, underneath fryer wells, the grill vents above grills, inside ice machines, all garbage cans, and the walls around equipment; defrost the small ice cream freezer.
- Monthly — Deep-clean floor drains, ceiling vents, rolling carts, floor mats, and employee lockers.
- Quarterly — Clean outside ventilation filters, internal and external dumpsters, staircases, and storage units.
In addition, restaurants should understand their service contracts and ensure that preventative maintenance work is performed according to schedule. They should list maintenance/renewal schedules for items that include elevators, dumbwaiters, refrigeration and HVAC equipment, hot water heaters and boosters, mechanical equipment in the kitchen, grease traps, interceptors, pest control services, hoods, ducts, fire suppression systems, fire extinguishers, knife and slicer blades, medical supplies to treat cuts and burns, licenses, permits, and food safety certifications.
Finally, you should keep all documents related to the health department in one place. Creating a “Food Safety Binder” is preferred in most cases, and you should use this binder to hold your last three health department inspection reports, self-inspection reports, maintenance and temperature logs from the past three months, fire extinguisher repair reports, exterminator’s reports, etc. Keeping such information in one place is handy when the inspector is on site.
If both staff and management have been consistently focused on food safety and sanitation, you will be well prepared for a visit from the health department.
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Rectifying Health Inspection Score
Popular restaurants such as Per Se and Sushi Den, which also received a ‘C’ grade last year, have high turnovers and loyal customers that appear to minimise the impact of a poor hygiene rating. Great reviews still flood in, via Yelp, for their great service and food. Independent, new restaurants may find the affects of a poor hygiene rating more damaging where reputations have not yet been built.
However, whether large or small, all restaurants seem to take the same approach when it comes to rectifying hygiene ratings. Don’t mention it, remedy the violations, and please the health inspector on his next visit!
All the restaurants mentioned above failed to address their poor hygiene rating on their website or social media platforms. The threat to a restaurants reputation appears to be too great.
But what if restaurants did address their poor hygiene rating publicly? Engaging with customers via social media is increasingly popular amongst large and small businesses. It would provide an excellent opportunity for customers and potential customers to see the restaurant beyond the ‘C’ grade.
Engaging with customers across your digital world can provide transparency where a public health hygiene rating so often doesn’t. After all, customers are more likely to provide a little understanding and a lot of appreciation for good food, great service and an ‘A’ rated dining experience.
How’s you Restaurant Cleaning Services is doing?
The goal of Tru-Shine Cleaning Service is to make your restaurant clean! Kitchen cleaning is critical to all establishments. Tru-Shine Cleaning Service takes away the burden of cleaning your restaurant, so you can concentrate on what you do best; providing great food to your customers.
Tru-Shine Cleaning Service janitorial programs are tailor made to your needs: we provide nightly restaurant cleaning for your dining rooms, bars and lounges; as well as cleaning kitchen floors and equipment. We can package other cleaning services such as pressure cleaning, carpet cleaning, specialized floor cleaning, stainless cleaning, hood/filter cleaning, event staffing, dusting programs and hood and filter cleaning. Tru-Shine Cleaning Service can be your “one stop shop” for all your Kitchen & Restaurant Janitorial needs! With Tru-Shine Cleaning Service, it is “all about you”! We are here to serve your cleaning needs.
Tru-Shine Cleaning Service provides janitorial services for Restaurants and other establishments in the food service business. We also provide Hotel and Country Club cleaning services. Tru-Shine Cleaning Service is a full service Janitorial company that will meet all your needs.
Why choose Tru-Shine Cleaning Service for your Restaurant cleaning needs? Our Mission is to offer professional and pledge to clean thoroughly, completely and reliably and give to the customer worry free cleaning service in quality and consistency.
Our goals at Tru-Shine is to obtain 100% satisfaction in our service. No fine print. No asterisks. No worries. 100% guaranteed.
HOW DO YOU GET STARTED?
Tru-Shine Cleaning Services will perform at no cost to you a complete assessment of your cleaning needs. We don’t take up a lot of your time, we only ask that you let us know if you have any particular cleaning requirements. We then put together a professional proposal outlining what cleaning we would perform for you. The following is contained in your proposal:
Areas to be cleaned in your Restaurant (scope)
List of Daily Specifications
List of Periodic Specifications
Explanation of Cleaning Supplies.
Schedule of Fees
List of References.
List of Insurances that we carry
You have a fantastic Restaurant to run. You need to know that you can come in each day and have a super clean Restaurant! You need to know that the company that cleans your Restaurant is reputable.
You need to know that the company that you hired understands your needs. You need to be able to trust that company. You want peace of mind knowing that professional supervisors are ensuring quality workmanship when your Restaurant is being cleaned. You need to know that if there is a problem, it will get solved immediately. You need to know that your cleaning company is conducting its own quality control audits to ensure that your facility is as clean as it can be.
SO WHY WAIT? YOU CAN HAVE A PROFESSIONAL RESTAURANT CLEANING SERVICE HANDLING ALL YOUR CLEANING NEEDS IN AS LITTLE AS 5 DAYS!
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