With the reopening of restaurants and food service operations, operators are having to figure out how to do more with a smaller staff. One of the ways to ease the burden of having a smaller staff is by using smart and efficient cleaning technologies.
There are several options I suggest for maximizing cleaning and sanitation efforts to ensure guest satisfaction, compliance with health codes, and reduce labor costs.
The first option I recommend is a commercial dish machine. Commercial dish machines are available in a variety of configurations from small undercounter models that might be used in a bar area or café to large conveyer models for large restaurants and hotels. These machines are more efficient and effective than manual ware washing. They use much less water, about 5% of the water needed for a 3-compartment sink set up. Additionally, commercial dish machines can automatically regulate the proper amounts of detergent, sanitizer, and other chemicals, which can help an operator stay in compliance with health codes.
When considering what dish machine to purchase it is important to consult with an experienced supplier. There are high-temperature models which require less chemicals and low-temperature models that are more energy efficient and less expensive. Each situation is unique. Another critical aspect to consider when looking to purchase a dish machine is if the supplier can maintain the machine. Only professional technicians should perform maintenance and repairs. Choose a supplier that offers installation and 24/7 emergency service as part of the contract.
The second option the I think operators should consider when looking to reduce labor cost and possible health code violations, is a Chemical Management System (CMS). A chemical management system is a mechanical dispensing system that mixes the appropriate amount of concentrated cleaning chemical with water as it fills a spray bottle, mop bucket, or pail. Similar to a commercial dishwasher this automation can help to properly regulate chemicals such as glass cleaners, disinfectants, degreasers, and floor cleaners.
An additional benefit of a CMS is its ability to reduce cost for the operator, a ready-to-use quart of glass cleaner is approximately $3.00 and a quart of the same product that is dispensed through the CMS is $0.30.
There are thousands of dollars to be saved by eliminating the shipping of water-based product to your restaurant or foodservice establishment. Just like dish machines, the CMS equipment requires routine maintenance to ensure it is working properly and to prevent problems. I strongly urge you to make sure that installation, maintenance, and 24/7 repair service are a part of your contract.
Finally, an area that is often overlooked when people think of implementing advanced cleaning technologies, is a restaurant’s floors. There are micro scrubber machines that are perfect for hard surface floors in restaurants and can save time. For example, when using a traditional mop and bucket a 1000 square foot area would take a minimum of 12 minutes to mop plus additional drying time. By using a micro scrubber with a built-in squeegee and vacuum, the same area will take about 6 minutes to effectively scrub and dry. The drying helps prevent slips and falls, and the machine is also more ergonomic and easier to use for the person performing the cleaning. Additionally, entrance mats are a great way to stop dirt at the door, helping you limit the number of times you need to clean your floors.
Some other useful cleaning products that can take the pressure off of your staff are high-capacity controlled-usage restroom dispensers for products such as paper towels and soap. Additionally, table-top sanitizer wipes are a great tool for your staff to have in their belt bag to allow them to quickly clean tables while walking through the dining room.
My final word of advice when it comes to purchasing any of these products is to buy from a professional distributor who will come to your restaurant, perform a site survey, and identify the best products and tools to save time, money, and ensure safety and compliance. These distributors should also provide in-service training for your staff, so they know exactly how to use the products and equipment for maximum effectiveness and safety.