Any organisation preparing and serving food and drink should employ robust cleaning and hygiene processes as part of its wider food safety policy. Effective cleaning and hygiene (and food safety in general) will help to prevent the infections that can lead to guests (and staff) becoming ill. While this duty of care is the primary reason for ensuring the highest standards of food safety, any illness outbreaks can have serious implications for the reputation and brand value of the business as well as leading to expensive legal bills and compensation payments.
Research commissioned by Diversey Care showed that the appearance of a restaurant had a significant impact on customer behaviour. The majority of people questioned said if an establishment looked unclean on their arrival they would either leave immediately or before completing their meal. This means that the outlet loses business immediately because people who have chosen to eat there then spend less than they would have done if they stayed for a full meal.
The impact on repeat business is also significant. Additional research in the hospitality sector completed with support from Diversey Care showed that cleanliness and hygiene was the most important factor when making recommendations to friends and colleagues. The research also showed that people now make decisions using online rating sites and leave bad online reviews or tell their friends if they encounter poor conditions. Hard-won reputations and goodwill can be lost very quickly if standards are allowed to slip.
The various studies undertaken also highlighted the areas that customers consider the most important when it comes to cleanliness and hygiene: food safety, cleanliness of food preparation and serving areas, and washroom hygiene. Focusing attention on these will help improve cleaning performance and perceptions among customers and guests. As might be expected from a leading global cleaning and hygiene supplier, Diversey Care offers a complete range of products to help.