Dirty Floors...Do Customers Really Care?
Written by Cindy Rice, RS, Eastern Food Safety
Floors often don’t get the respect that other parts of a foodservice operation usually demand, e.g., handwashing, food temperatures, and employee illness, etc. However, the cleanliness of your restaurant is hugely valued by customers. One survey found that over 90% of Americans rated cleanliness as a major factor when deciding whether to become a repeat customer at a restaurant. Restaurants largely depend on repeat customers, and these losses can be devastating to a business.
In addition to sparkling mirrors and windows, spotless tables and a sleek décor, floors are a main contributor to the sanitation perception. In the front of the house, clean floors are a customer’s first impression. They help to shape the ambience and mood for a positive, satisfying experience. You could say that a restaurant operation is a little like layers on a canvas, starting with clean floors, then pristine tables and chairs, gleaming tableware, with the spectacular food as the final layer on top.
When floors and carpets are dirty, smelly and sticky, they are breeding grounds for pathogens, odor-causing bacteria and insects. For example, one single fruit fly can lay 100 eggs per day. Not only are these issues a major turn-off for customers, they also reflect badly on food safety and what might be going on in the back of house and food safety. This damaged reputation for the company overall can spread and inhibit new customers.
First impressions matter. Customers value your efforts to keep your establishment safe and clean, and trust that you are taking care of them and their families. Cleanliness also leaves a good impression, even after the customers are gone. Your investment and dedication to a consistent, effective floor cleaning program will have benefits far outside the walls of your food establishment. Your patrons will spread your goodwill to others, which will attract new customers and you’ll keep your repeats too.
References: IPSOS P&G Professional survey, June 2017
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