Blue Background

Five common cleaning mistakes many restaurants make

Cleaning your restaurant is of course very important, but there are some things you and your staff should be cleaning in front of your customers, and other things best left until after they leave. Sometimes the daily running of a restaurant can get in the way of the big picture, so here are the five common mistakes many restaurants make to help you identify where you could rack up those extra customer satisfaction points!

1) Cleaning in front of customers

There is a big difference between a staff member holding a toilet brush or a table wipe when talking to a customer. Holding ‘extreme’ cleaning aids will suggest to anyone visiting your restaurant that perhaps your restaurant may be clean, but not hygienic. There is an important distinction between the two. Both are great, and important for happy customers, but make sure that your staff understand the difference between them. The best way to do this is to constantly think of the situation from the customer's point of view. If a cleaning activity seems unappetizing, do it when the customers aren’t there!

2) Cleaning everything at the end of the day

There is no need to clean everything at the end of the day, as this can lead to disgruntled employees, and bad customer service. Instead, think about the separation of tasks. Jobs like dusting, hoovering or cleaning the floor should be left until the end of the day (or the next morning), when no customers will be bothered. However, you can consider other timings for cleaning the kitchen, general odour elimination and even spraying tables with disinfectant. Most - especially the latter - can be done throughout the day and can be seen in the positive light by customers.

3) Not paying attention to what the restaurant smells like

A common issue among restaurateurs is that they get used to the smell of their own restaurant, so they don’t notice if there is an unwanted odour greeting guests. Many smells such as spices can be too strong for some, so consider your customers and listen to feedback. Generally speaking, a nice fresh scent can suggest quality and cleanliness - especially in your waiting or common areas. Try using Febreze Set & Refresh, which can help remove unwanted odours and keep a pleasant scent. Want to know how to get rid of the smell of smoke from a room? Read our article to find out the best way to effectively remove the smell of smoke and other unwanted odours!

4) Using poor quality products which waste time and money

The materials in your kitchen, just like the ingredients in your food, can make a world of difference. Using economically effective janitorial supplies right from the start will help create a series of good habits for your staff. For example, by using high-quality products such as Fairy dishwashing liquid in the kitchen for cleaning your dishes, pots and pans will help your staff spend less effort scrubbing away grease. Coupled with good training, your staff can become more efficient and hence use their time for other important tasks. A useful kitchen cleaning tip is to establish good habits with your staff while they are still new and working extra hard to get into the swing of thing. Set up a cleaning rota to help you ensure that everything is cleaned regularly, without stress or worry. Different restaurants require different routines depending on many factors, such as weather and the flow of customers, so work with your staff to establish an effective rota. You may have observed that some restaurant owners even show their bathroom rota publicly. You can see this as a clipboard placed at the back of a bathroom door and signed every three to four hours as a staff member goes inside to check if everything is clean.

5) Not making enough effort in the recruitment process

Another mistake made in the restaurant business is not paying full attention to the character of the employees in their establishment. Try to ask them questions during your recruitment about their families or about different responsibilities they have had during their lives. Their answer to this question will help you judge if they are a good fit and trustworthy enough to keep your restaurant immaculate. Remember, an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure so invest more time and scrutiny during the recruitment process! If you’d like to read more of our restaurant tips, read our article on The 10 things you should consider before setting up your restaurant.

Did these tips work for you?

Tip ID

Tip Name


Recommended Products

P&G Logo