Restaurant cleaning has always perplexed me. Why do they make it seem so difficult?
I recently went out to eat with my family and some friends to an upscale chain restaurant. This particular chain goes overboard on decorating. Large concrete statues and fountains great you as you approach the rotating door. Natural stone walls, expensive lighting and very plush seating were carefully selected and placed to give the feel of luxury. After being seated, the menu prices matched the decor. This is not my normal environment. I am more comfortable in a “mom and pop” style place where a cheese burger and fries tops the selection.
I can tell you though, I will probably never return to this restaurant. All of the money spent on appearance was wasted as soon as we walked through the circular door. It was covered with hand prints, splatter, and general dirt. Inside was the same. The plush bench we sat on in the waiting area was sticky and the floor was un-swept. The table where we were sat was more of the same.
We gave my 2-year-old son some crayons and paper to occupy him. As 2 year olds do, he dropped one of his crayons on the floor. When I picked it up, it was covered in some sort of sticky goo that really made me question whether or not the floor had ever been cleaned. Since it was the green crayon and there was no way I was going to give it back to him, we ended up with a pink tractor and grass in the drawing.
When he needed to use the restroom, I cringed, and carefully lead him to the men’s room. As expected, it was more of the same. The sticky, dirty, expensive tile floors and walls made me constantly guard against him reaching out and touching. (Anyone who has ever taken a 2-year-old to the restroom knows the challenges involved with this.) If this is what the lobby, restrooms and eating area looked like, I would hate to see the kitchen.
Restaurant Cleaning Has a Cost
Why do we tolerate poor restaurant cleaning? Businesses spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to develop and promote their products. They invest in lavish decorating. Spend countless hours refining their offering, to have it all go to waste by not putting the same amount of care and thought into cleaning. What would the cost have been to solve all of these issues? I am going to say less than the cost of a statue.
The cost of not fixing these is un-measurable because people typically will not say anything to the business, but will tell everyone they know.
The really disturbing issue that comes to mind is that they probably do clean. I am sure someone cleans the restroom every day. Someone does sweep the floor and wipe off the entrance glass. They are spending the time and money to go through the motions. But again, this time and money are wasted. The procedures are incorrect or the products they use are ineffective or not used in the proper manner. This is something I see all the time.
Facilities allocate the time to clean. They invest in the products to clean and then have staff put forth the effort to clean, but the results don’t match the effort. If it isn’t working, find a different way. Does it take any more effort to mop a floor with a dirty mop than a clean one? I am still sliding the mop along the floor. Would it cost more money to use a clean mop and change the water in the bucket?
Reflection On Over All Quality
The cleanliness of any facility speaks volumes to the type of service that will be given. Retail stores, restaurants, office buildings and schools can all have their image affected by cleanliness. What is your level of cleanliness saying about you? Despite best efforts are you still getting the same results?
With a few small adjustments, time spent cleaning can produce better results which will pay for themselves very quickly. Most of the time it is just a change in the way cleaning is done.
In the case of this or any eating establishment, the return business would far outweigh any increase in restaurant cleaning cost.