The first quarter of any new year, and journey towards Spring is typically a time for reflection for individuals and businesses alike – with resolutions from indulging less to pulling out all the stops to achieve growth, abounding.
And with the first quarter of any year typically being a little quieter for many organisations, particularly those in the hospitality sector, it’s an ideal time to ‘get your house in order’ and turn this calmer period to your advantage, to ensure you’re geared up to ensure your best chances of success. Ensuring your venue makes the best first impressions is one of the things you could concentrate on during this time.
For example, whether your customers are dining, relaxing or simply passing through, it is critical that the communal areas are kept clean and tidy, to ensure that everyone has a safe and healthy experience. Visiting a business that is unclean is enough to turn away those customers who do still venture out and hurt a business’ bottom line. Alternatively, a clean venue will also satisfy customers and encourage them to return, resulting in increased income and success over the year as a whole.
Chris Elliott, one of our friendly hygiene experts, explains his top tips for finding those hidden hygiene gremlins this February:
- Put yourself in your customer’s shoes
“My first recommendation is to take a walk through your facility. Have a look around at what you pass on the way, considering it from the perspective of potential customers, and try to remember the last time each area was deep–cleaned.
“You might notice some dust on the light fittings, or maybe a few scuffs on the skirting boards. If these areas are not normally included on your team’s cleaning regime, then I’d expect that they might have suffered some wear and tear over the past 12 months, and might need a thorough clean and possibly a new lick of paint.
“Now would also be a great time to tackle those bigger jobs that you’ve been putting off all year, like redecorating where needed”, said Chris.
Check these aspects carefully, especially in communal areas of your facility:
- Dust items on walls (eg art or decorations)
- Manually clean all the walls
- Check the light fixtures
- Clean glass windows and doors
We recommend using the Evans EC4 Sanitiser multi-surface, unperfumed cleaner and disinfectant. It kills bacteria and yeast and has virucidal activity against enveloped viruses (eg coronaviruses).
We love this product because it offers antiviral solutions for food areas, ensuring you are working with the correct chemicals that tick both boxes. With fast contact times of just 30 seconds for bacteria, and one minute for viruses, it works super-quick to ensure the area is sanitised. Screen-printed trigger bottles provide instant instruction and knowledge to your staff on how to use the product safely and correctly.
For those tougher areas, the EC2 Heavy Duty Cleaner & Degreaser is another one of our go-to products!
2. Consider all touchpoints
The importance of sanitation and hygiene in hospitality operations cannot be understated. As service providers who regularly interact with customers, prepare food, and clean shared spaces, all employees must be properly trained and must always have supplies available to ensure defined procedures are followed. The potential consequences of not following sanitisation protocols could be illness, loss of trust, and long-term damage to your brand.
Across our whole society, hygiene and cleanliness have never been more vital than they are now, but this is especially true in the hospitality industry. During the COVID-19 pandemic, this sector was frequently in the spotlight due to the large amount of customer contact. Hospitality venues have had to adapt to passing new regulations for social distancing and hand hygiene in order to keep their doors open.
While the rules are ever-changing, many customers find it gives them peace of mind when a business provides accessible hand sanitiser where possible.
“Hand sanitisers should be positioned in suitable, contactless, wall-mounted ‘auto-dispense’ machines or smaller individual bottles for individuals’ ‘self-use’, particularly close to touchpoints,” Chris explained.
“For this, we recommend the regulated EN 14476 brands to keep compliant, and also that they contain specific ingredients to ensure they don’t strip users’ hands of their natural oils, but instead condition as they treat.”
3. Review your cleaning regime/hygiene strategy
We’ve come a long way since last January — we now know how to combat this virus, and now that we know more, it’s time to do better. We’re better prepared than we’ve ever been to ensure that something like this never happens again. We now know more about diseases, and better techniques to prevent their spread are being researched around the world. We also know more about the importance of hygiene in preventing viral spread in the community, as well as the need to select the correct hygiene products to eliminate any particular pathogen we’re dealing with.
For organisations that haven’t already done so, now is the time to implement a proactive – not reactive – hygiene strategy on all fronts.
“It’s time to take a look at your current protocols and see if they’re still working. Do they inspire trust in your business, your staff, and your customers? Are they quick, easy, and secure? Are they up-to-date on important UK and EU legislation for your industry, especially in light of Brexit? If you answered no to any of these questions, it’s time to evaluate.
At Elliott’s, we specialise in hand-holding organisations through the process of reviewing or creating their hygiene strategies. We also have a handle on all the latest COVID-secure guidance, and can give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing you have all bases covered – see our free COVID-secure guide for businesses for more details on that.
Chris said: “Starting with a free, no obligation hygiene audit, we review everything from your kitchen design to your cleaning rotas, making sure they are as cost-and-time-efficient as possible, as well as keeping you compliant with ever-more–demanding rules and regulations. We create a strategy that ticks all your boxes, and our ordering system is convenient and cost-effective, ensuring you access to the products you need, when you need them and at the best price.”
This lends itself to maintaining protection against the future spread of other illnesses too, such as common colds, influenza, and sickness bugs. No matter how the rules evolve over the coming days and weeks, it mirrors the kind of good hygiene practice we’ve been championing for years to safeguard people against everything from the usual seasonal flu or norovirus to an unprecedented health crisis. Not only that, but our strong relationships with environmental health officers enable us to liaise with them on your behalf, and so safeguard your reputation
As a family-run business, hygiene has been our passion for over three decades now, and we’re committed to helping you get it right when it’s so easy to do so, but equally easy to get it wrong without the right guidance.
To discuss your individual requirements so that we can help you come up with a bespoke solution, please call us on 01482 327580 or email us.