One easy way to promote cleaning and hygiene positively is to make it highly visible to your customers. Although this may seem counterintuitive, customers likely value seeing critical areas being cleaned during their visit. It demonstrates that your organization takes cleaning and hygiene seriously enough to keep on top of it rather than simply doing a quick clean in the morning or at night.

There are several reasons why promoting cleanliness can make a difference.

Hospitality industry research commissioned by Diversey Care established the link between cleaning and hygiene and customer perceptions and behavior and their recommendations and ratings.

One of our studies showed that over one third (37 percent) of people who enter a dirty restaurant will leave immediately and a further 23 percent will order but leave before completing their meal. Almost two thirds of these say they will never return to the establishment. The cleanliness of tables, including table cloths, cutlery and floors were the three most significant factors in assessing the restaurant’s cleanliness and hygiene.

In another study, two thirds of the people questioned had stayed in a hotel that was not clean. Of these, 82 percent told family and friends about their experience, 75 percent were put off returning and 72 percent recommended family and friends should not stay there.

There is no reason to believe that customers in any hospitality business would behave differently if the establishments they frequent have low Food Hygiene Ratings or are indeed dirty when they visit. Assuming this to be true, pubs, bars, restaurants and hotels must make every effort to highlight their excellent food safety, cleaning and hygiene processes.

Here are a few pointers to help you improve hygiene and make an impression on your customers:

  •  Pay attention to hand hygiene, as many infections are spread from person to person and surface to surface when employees touch contaminated surfaces (or food) and then touch other food, people or surfaces without washing their hands. Staff should wash their hands frequently, but always after visiting the toilet, when switching tasks and when moving from handling raw to cooked foodstuffs and vice versa.

  • Embed surface cleaning/disinfection into the daily routine of everyone involved in food preparation and serving. A clean-as-you-go approach is ideal. Clean kitchen surfaces regularly throughout the day and always when switching tasks, working with new ingredients and when moving from cooked to uncooked foodstuffs and vice versa.

  • Focus on areas critical to food safety and customer perceptions. Always clean up immediately after accidents and spills. Keep bar and food serving areas clean at all times. Table tops should be cleaned for each new customer. Washrooms (toilets) should be checked regularly and cleaned as often as required to maintain cleanliness.

  • Choose cleaning products that are easy to use, economical and effective without getting in the way of your food and drink preparation and serving.

  • Choose products with proven disinfection performance against common foodborne pathogens. These should disinfect all common surfaces - including plastics, paintwork, worktops and stainless steel - found in food preparation and serving areas. They should contain no perfume to eliminate the risk of tainting food.

  • Place food hygiene ratings and other hygiene certificates in-house where your customers will see them (e.g. by the door, at the bar, in washrooms), on your website and social media channels, on menus, advertising, etc.

  • Ask customers to mention your excellent hygiene in their reviews on TripAdvisor, Yelp, and other similar websites.

  • Let customers know that you use professional formulations from a leading supplier.